Weekly charts can organize family chores, reward good behavior and redirect poor choices. The key to successful weekly chart use is in designing charts that are simple enough for kids to understand and implement. Getting everyone's input on the weekly chart's purpose and design encourages kids to use them and helps them learn organizational skills.
Decide what the weekly chart will address. Examples of chart designs include charts for behavior, schoolwork or chores. If you want to use charts for more than one purpose, design a separate chart for each area of life. This makes each weekly chart clear, specific and easy to read.
Hold a family meeting. Announce the implementation of the weekly chart and ask family members to list all the elements that are needed on a daily basis to run the household. For example, a weekly chore chart might include doing daily dishes, family laundry, walking/feeding pets, taking out the trash and vacuuming carpets. A weekly schoolwork chart might include completing homework, reading 10 pages in a chosen book, studying spelling words for that week and organizing backpacks for the next day.
Assign rewards and consequences. For example, for each chore completed a token will be given to the child. If a chore was not done, or done poorly, no token is earned. Tokens work better than stickers on the chart because putting stickers on the chart will limit the age of the chart by filling it up. The chart will last as long as needed if rewards are not physically attached to it. Determine how many tokens it takes to earn a reward and how many incomplete or poorly done items it takes to receive a consequence. Determine how many tokens it takes to earn a prize and what the prize will be.
Draw columns and rows. Using markers and rulers draw as many vertical rows as there are chores, behaviors or school tasks to be completed each day. Now use markers to draw seven rows so that the poster board resembles a grid or a spreadsheet. Leave enough room on the left side of the board to fill in each day of the week. There needs to also be enough room at the top of the board to fill in each daily task, behavior or chore. Write the days of the week down the left column, and list a chore, task or behavior in each box along the top.
Place a child's name in the corresponding box on the chart each day. For example, to the right of the word "Monday" and below the first chore, which could be dinner dishes, place a child's name in the box. This denotes that on Mondays the named child is expected to do the dinner dishes. Move to the right, and place a child's name in the box corresponding with the next named chore. When done with Monday's row, move down to Tuesday's and repeat the process. Dry erase boards make it easy to change up the chores as often as needed, whereas poster boards must be completely redone when the time comes to reassign the chores.
Hang the board in a conspicuous place where it is easy for everyone to see. Decorate it with stickers, photos of family members or possible rewards that can be earned. For example, if 25 tokens earns a popcorn and movie night at home with Dad, use a photo of a bowl of popcorn and movie tickets to decorate a corner of the board.