Chore Board (repurposed old window)
We have a friend who replaces windows for a living, and he’s one of those really smart guys who keeps the old windows and shares them with people who love them (like me).
A few months ago he and his wife drove to our home with a gift in hand. Two old windows with 8 panes! The perfect gift for a family with eight children.
One of these windows have been put to use as what I’m calling our “chore board”. I chose this name because sometimes we’ll have contests or earn points for special rewards based on cleaning and other responsibilities, and it becomes a scoreboard. It hangs on a tiny wall behind my garage door, next to the bathroom door in a poorly lit corner. We’re using what we’ve got, which is what life’s all about.
Before I hung the window on the wall, I used dry erase markers to write each child’s name and basic responsibilities on the back of each window pane. Yes, that meant writing backwards, which explains my somewhat wonky handwriting. I did this so we can write on the front of the window panes without messing up the basic list. We can cross things off, circle them, write new lists, etc. but their names and basic daily chores will stay put. Right now, with sports teams in full swing, we’re just focusing on basic habits. We’ll add more to the list when our evening schedules calm down and when I know that we’ve mastered the essentials. Until then, I’m not going to overwhelm us all with lists we can’t reasonably accomplish. I want my children to feel successful, not buried.
I know that I could add things like brushing teeth, bathing, and other things to the list. I chose not to, because I’m here at bedtime and can keep track of those things easily, and lists can get so long and overwhelming to kids. This board is primarily for the things we need to do in the after school hours, the ones that get crazy. The blessing of having a teenager is that sometimes I can leave him to babysit while I run one of the children to an activity. The down side of this is that it leaves them with 20-30 minute increments of down time when I’m not home. The purpose of this board is to help them be proactive, to work even when I’m not watching, and then be able to do fun things later.
We’re trying to teach our children that consistently doing small and simple things will offer great results, both in our home and in their personal lives. If they can learn to enjoy those simple things they will have discovered the secret to living happily. I found the wall sticker at my local dollar store and thought it would be a nice reminder, hence it hangs above the old window.
So, simple as it is, we’ve got a new chore board hanging in our home. The window fits the style of the rest of the house, and the entire project cost me ten minutes and one dollar. Can’t beat that!
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