Wednesday, August 31, 2011

One of the best things about being a home educator is that you can reinvent your home school as often as you need to. When you get bored with the schedule or when the routine stops working for the kids...just change it up!
We have needed a new chore and school work checklist system for awhile now. The nagging, begging, yelling and crying was not getting me far in motivating the troops. Shocking, no?
So, here it is. It's not beautiful. But it works. And that's all that matters to me.
These are made out of small poster board sheets. I cut a sheet up into strips to make the pockets, then stapled and taped them onto a full sheet. Then I cut brightly colored note cards into thirds and wrote each chore and school subject on the front of a card. All of the chores and school work are on green cards. You will notice that Julia also has an orange card in her top pocket. Orange cards are reserved for extra chores. Kids earn an extra chore when they don't finish their regular chores by 9:00am. On this chart, Julia is about halfway through her chores.
Every evening I make sure all their cards are turned to the side where the chore or school subject is written. We don't do every subject every day, so I only put in the cards that show the subjects assigned for the next day. When a chore is complete (and not before it's complete!), they go to their chart and turn the card for that chore around to "DONE". This way, they know what they have left to do, and I can make a quick visit to the charts to see their progress.
I keep all the charts on the dining room table so they are very accessible. One of the great things about them being so small and lightweight, though, is that they can easily be put away on a shelf or in a cabinet when we need to use the table for something else!

Even Astrid and Ezra have their own pocket chore charts. Theirs have pictures in addition to words, since they are not readers yet. And a bonus, their charts are extra small so they can carry them around while they move from room to room fulfilling their responsibilities!

And here are a few pictures of a regular day in the life of our home school.
Asa reading his history.

Julia reading Little Women

Ethan reading his history and snacking on an apple

Typical Astrid and Ezra antics

Juniper is forced into the "fun"


  1. brillant idea!!! I have made so many things that are big, charts that don't work and take up to much room but I love this. I am making some today...if I can find poster board and note cards and staples.

  2. do it! it's working great and the kids really like it. asa says it helps him get his chores done faster and ethan says it makes him feel more organized in his morning work. i have definitely seen a difference in how efficiently they are working since we started using this system.

  3. I love this idea Emily! I've been thinking of doing something new too bc my whole approach of "did you do this and this?" just isn't working and the kids always seem to forget the most basic of chores like brushing their teeth! I was going to do small 3x5 cards with a book ring hole punched in the corner that way they could carry it around but I like your idea better since it shows what was actually accomplished. I may steal it!