*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Getting my kids to want to do the right thing because it is right is something my heart longs for. Right now, from my spot as a mom with three kids under five, this seems like a long way off! In the meantime, I remind my children and try to inspire them and gently nudge them towards what’s right with the hope that one day they will want to do what’s right on their own.
And I know I’m not alone in this.
A question I often hear in Charlotte Mason moms groups is, “How do I get my kids to want to do chores?” How do we move these sweet little ones from sticky-faced, food-throwing, clutter-loving people, to self-motivated neatniks? A strong work ethic, after all, leads to successful adults. And that begins with childhood chores.
Unfortunately, I know the answer involves consistency on my part, and that is just not something I excel at. Yet.
My biggest downfall in chores consistency is follow-through. I ask Miss H to clean her room, and then 2 hours later realize that she still has baby dolls and pajamas covering the floor. I ask E to feed the dog, and 30 minutes later our furry friend is at my heals and whining (in his defense, E is only 2.)
What I need is some kind of management system to help me remain consistent. I started using the Homey App with H, and it is helping me to be more consistent with chores so I can encourage the habit of cleanliness in my children.
The Homey App helps me manage the household chores we need to do. I can assign chores to different family members, set a due date, and get email reminders. I’ve added chores from chore packs that the app offers, and I’ve also added chores myself. The chores are broken into two categories: jobs and responsibilities. Responsibilities are the chores that occur regularly. For Miss H, those regular responsibilities are making her bed, cleaning her room, picking up her toys, and clearing and cleaning the table after dinner.
For each chore that I assign, I can give it a monetary value through the app. We don’t give money to our children for doing their regular responsibilities. Those are things that they should do as members of our family. But chores that go above and beyond, that take extra time and push them a little bit, earn them $0.50. The homey app allows me to set prices for these jobs and responsibilities, and keeps track of how much our little ones have earned. When they get older (and the chores are worth more than fifty cents!) I can link their bank accounts to the app and add money right to their accounts.
The amount they earn can be divided into three “jars”: save, spend, and give. If H does an extra chore, I can just add a value into each jar. This came in especially handy at the store the other day when she wanted to buy a craft kit for a dollar. Even though she didn’t have money with her, she had a dollar in her spend jar, so she was able to get it.
Using Homey With Little Ones
Since Miss H doesn’t have a device of her own (and won’t for a very long time!) I check the chores list and remind her to complete her chores. When she’s done, she takes my phone and snaps a picture of the completed task. This has been so helpful for us! Some of the responsibility for completing the chore has fallen onto her shoulders, instead of being mostly my responsibility. Before using the Homey App, I had to put down my spatula while cooking dinner, go see that her room wasn’t clean, and come back downstairs to the dinner that was now smoking on the stove. This happened several times until the room was actually clean. And because the follow through was so hard, I often gave up.
But now, when Miss H tells me that she’s done with a chore, I hand her my phone. She takes a picture of the cleaned up area and brings it to me. If the area isn’t clean, I send her back. Friends, I am not as lazy as this sounds. This is not about not having to walk up those stairs. This is about having her take the responsibility for chores instead of me.
She feels excited to get to use my phone in this way, and I feel like we’re one-step closer to understanding and valuing the purpose of chores.
This handy app his helping me become more consistent in my chores. I know that modeling this sort of hard work is invaluable for my children! Adding the chores from a cleaning schedule has helped me to be more consistent with certain tasks in our home. I can also take the cleaning schedule, which looks so long and overwhelming sometimes, and delegate some of the chores to other people. This will be especially helpful in the future!
The chore packs are helpful because sometimes, I completely overlook areas chores that I need to do. One of the chore-pack chores said that I should clean the dishwasher. This is not something that I remember to do on a regular basis!
There is a free Homey app that you can download from Apple, Amazon, and Google play. There’s also a subscription option that would be allows you to add more family members, bank accounts, and chore packs.
It feels like we’re finally making some progress with this habit of cleanliness!