Friday, April 24, 2009

Job Board

I have been meaning to post about this for a while now!

For the last few months, I've been trying hard to enforce certain chores, mostly for Nora, but a bit for Dana, too. Running a household of four requires cooperation, and we are trying to teach the girls that we must all work together as a team to run this house. It sounds a little bit cheesy, but that is OK because us Ackers really do love cheese. Some of us even want to make our own cheese, but that's a different topic...

A few weeks ago, Soulemama posted about the job board she made for her family, and it inspired me to make one for us. Of course, ours is tailored to our specific family and needs, but I definitely got the idea from her. For example, I am a little crazy when it comes to grocery shopping, so I do not have a grocery list or meal plans on our board. Nope-I actually have two Excel spreadsheets in which I do my meal planning and grocery listing. The grocery list has a column for each aisle at the grocery store we go to. That's how crazy I am in that department. But I digress. Actually, that is why I need the spreadsheets for those two tasks: they keep me on track.

Anyhow, the job board. It was really very easy, and Nora, Kevin and I worked together on it.

First, I took a piece of fabric large enough to cover our cork board and sewed a pocket to the bottom, the same width as the board. Then I stitched the height of the pocket in four spots to make the one pocket into five pockets. Next, Kevin used the staple gun (and a hammer) to attach the fabric to the cork board.

While all of this was going on, Nora illustrated jobs onto index cards, which we then laminated. She also illustrated the specialist classes at school, two of each. More on that in a sec.

This is what the finished product looks like. Pretty cool, huh? Yeah, Kevin thinks it looks a bit like a Christmas present. And he might be right. In my defense, though, I was just trying to coordinate with our paint and curtains in the livingroom. And our livingroom does not look like Christmas.

Here's a closer shot of the pockets. The empty one is for when Dana starts elementary school, for her specialist cards. So what the heck do I mean by that? Well, there are four specialists at school, and they work on a rotating schedule. So one week, Nora has music on Monday, gym on Tuesday, library on Wednesday, art on Thursday and music again on Friday. To keep track of this (mostly because we keep forgetting to return her library book on the right day), Nora made two cards for each specialist, and each Sunday we pull down the last week's cards and put them up in the right order for the upcoming week.

The $ pocket has jobs the girls can earn money for, such as putting silverware away or folding socks. Or pairing up socks. You know what I mean. They can earn $0.25 per job-nice! And, of course, the D pocket has Dana's jobs and the N pocket has Nora's jobs.

So, each morning I tack up each girl's jobs. As she completes a job, she untacks the card and returns it to her pocket. By the time dinner is done, her cards should all be back in her pocket. See how easy that is? Also, if she does jobs for money, she puts those cards into her pocket, too, so I can keep track of what I owe her.

So far, it's working pretty well. They like the cards, they like the fancy tacks, and they like earning money. And I like being reminded of Christmas all day long. Just kidding. You should click on this photo to enlarge it so you can see Nora's fancy illustrations. I particularly like "clos in the landre", with the clothes hanging in thin air above the hamper.

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