I’ve decided that our family needs its own Kaper Chart! For those unfamiliar with the Kaper Chart, it is basically a chore chart for a Girl Scout troop. You can find a more developed description at Girl Scout Leader 101. They come in many designs. I made one for our troop last year that looked like this:
It wasn’t nearly as fancy as this one, but it used a three-fold and had the areas for announcements and chores and the girl’s names on sticky notes so I could move them around each meeting. This year, I’ve been using a whiteboard and magnets, but it hasn’t worked nearly as well, so next year I will be going back to the three-fold board. I am amazed at what having a large, clear and cheery chart does for the girls. This year, we have not been nearly as good about doing all the different aspects of the meeting each time and I think part of that is really just not having a large enough chart for the girls and me to focus on during the meeting.
So, what lesson can I learn from this for other areas of my life? Well, first of all, my family is in desperate need of a Kaper Chart! I have tried regular chore charts in the past, but I don’t think they were large enough or cheery enough for anyone to want to pay attention to them. I also think they were pretty static. The nice thing about the Kaper Chart is you can move girls’ names around on the chart and have them doing different things each meeting. That could work at home too. Instead of having to do the dishes every. single. day., someone can move their marker to another chore and trade with someone else’s marker. It does seem like it would work better with a larger family than ours (there are only three of us), but I think I’m going to try it anyway. It would be nice to have some help around here and maybe this is the motivation everyone needs!
I also can use this at my job coaching Speech and Debate. I can have a Tournament Kaper Chart where students get assigned things that I have been doing all along – taking pictures, choosing restaurants and making reservations, sending out schedules for each day, etc. It would relieve me of some of the myriads of things I have to do and empower the students to take some ownership of the team. Girl Scouts theme is “Girl Led” because the girls are supposed to be learning leadership and organization and cooperation. I think those same lessons are good for college students to learn as well!
I will be getting on choosing a design for our Family Kaper Chart soon. I’ll let you know how it works!
What about you? What do you do to keep your family on track for getting things done around the house? Do you take it all on yourself? Do you use a traditional chore chart? Do you pay your kids to do chores? I’m curious! Please comment with a link to a blog post or telling us your strategy for making sure you aren’t the only in the house doing house”work”.