There is no question that my kids take after their mother. They hate, hate, HATE housework of any kind. They're really GOOD kids, very active and in challenging classes in school, and so I struggle a bit with enforcing chores during their free time. They just don't seem to have much of it. But at the same time I refuse to be that person who has to teach her college-age child how to do laundry because they've never entered the laundry room before. Enter their recent bout of Potter-mania, and my latest brilliant idea: a Harry Potter-themed Chore Chart.
My kids LOVE Harry Potter. H is halfway done with book 7 and A is halfway through the first book. H has insisted that we do a family Harry Potter Halloween, and is lobbying for a trip to Universal so hard. It just made sense to use the reward system from the book in real life. I sat the kids down in front of Pottermore and had them take the Sorting Hat quiz. (We are a truly divided house: Husband is a Ravenclaw, I'm a Slytherin - which H is still upset about because I'm not ALWAYS mean, H is a Hufflepuff, and A is a Gryffindor.) Then I set about making a truly flexible chart. This is what I ended up with:
The concept is simple: I assign point values to different daily tasks, and I keep a running tally as the kids complete them. If the kids go above and beyond in other areas, I'll assign bonus points, and if they act out in other areas ("behavior unbecoming of their house") I'll take points away. Once they reach 100 points, they get to visit our reward bin and the point tally resets to zero. So far it's been a big hit, and there's a healthy competition in to see which "house" will get the next House Cup.
If you'd like to try it in your house, feel free to download the write-on version I created. You can get the Chore Chart here and the House Crests here.
If you'd like to create your own from scratch, I used Word and a free font I found on Fontspace called "Lumos" to create the charts. The font is sort of tricky as it's mis-named internally and shows up as "New" in any programs once it's installed. The House Banners were available as a free download from iLove Digi Scrapbooking (I just googled Harry Potter digiscrap to find it, but you can find it here.) Then I printed my charts out, laminated them using self-sealing laminating pouches, and keep my tally with a dry erase marker.
Now if only I can figure out how to make the chart work for MY chores, I'd be set. Adulting is hard, but at least a tiny part of my day is now magical.
Revise or Give Up?
4 days ago