This is a horrible picture of a really good idea.  
I’m sure it’s not my idea, I’m sure I got it from an agglomeration of lots of people’s ideas, but it has worked for many years in our family so I figured I’d share.  It’s funny how the simplest, least fancy things seem to work the best sometimes.
Ok, so every time there are lots of jobs to do (this is particular example is from a Sunday dinner, but I’ve used it or everything from packing for a trip so Saturday jobs, to running errands, to service things, etc.), I have come to realize that it doesn’t work just to order people around.  Either they forget what I asked them to do or I do, and then we all get huffy and frustrated.  I have realized over the years that kids (and adults too), like to know what’s expected of them (this is why we do specific job charts every Saturday…still!…click HERE to see those detailed job charts).  There’s something so great about knowing exactly what is expected and being able to complete it without other jobs being piled on.
So, I just grab a paper, write all the tasks that need to be done, and draw a circle next to each.  Then I give the list to the kids and they write their initial in the circle they will do.   

It always helps to throw in a “fun” thing to keep your kids wanting more…like, who wouldn’t want to jump at the chance to give their mom a back rub?  I’m shocked that wasn’t the first job claimed πŸ™‚

Once they are done, they color in the circle and all’s well in the world.

No fights, no hassle, very little nagging, it’s a beautiful thing.


  1. This is great & the kind of thing that I need for myself:)

    I'm into all things simple like this.

    Did you get your back rub & did the grandparents get their banner?:)

  2. I did a similar thing for years with my kids..I would make index cards (different colors for each kid) for each kid with their job(s). They turned in their card when they were done and sometimes they would get their devices back when they turned it in. They don’t like to hear your voice tell them to do anything!!

  3. I know this is off topic, but many posts ago you asked about books that you and Lucy could read together. You loved the Narnia books and the symbolism. I found a series with great symbolism and it's a great read. The Prince Warriors. I have loved it.

    1. Thanks for this suggestion (even though I'm not Shawni πŸ˜‰ ). Another good series with symbolism are the His Dark Materials trilogy of books by Philip Pullman.

  4. I do this and it has worked so well! They get to sign up for the Saturday chores – and it's first come first serve! They are all teens now, so if they decide to sleep in, they know that the "bad jobs" are likely the ones left (they've asked me to leave the list out the night before, but it's a good motivator to get them going in the morning, lol)

    1. That's exactly how we did it growing up! It worked like a charm at getting us up and going on Saturday morning. One sister, who still has a hard time getting up as an adult, always got stuck with the last and worst job (for us that was mowing the lawn since my parents lived on an acre of grass), but to get sleep was better to her and she actually learned to find ways to like the job since she was stuck with it every Saturday.

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