I decided at the beginning of the summer that I wanted my kids to learn the value of work. And, let's be honest, I was sick of cleaning up after them. So we resurrected the chore charts. Each girl has 6 jobs to do every day, plus a "special help" column if they do something extra that day, like help make dinner or weed or some other non-everyday job. For Julia we have read a book without help, empty the silverware basket, tidy up toys, schoolwork, clear the table, and make her bed. For Ella, get dressed without help, put away books, tidy up toys, schoolwork, set the table, and make her bed. They get a sticker for each completed chore. 100 stickers = a treat. (I'm thinking Slurpees.)
Let me be clear: I was sick of cleaning up all the toys. I wanted them to tidy up the toys every day. That was the main objective of the chore chart. The other jobs were nice and all, but I really wanted those toys picked up. I also wanted Ella to dress herself, but that was a distant second to the toys.
If you were to look at those charts today you would see that Julia has a total of 87 stickers, with a whopping 6 of those being from tidying toys. 6. Ella has 91 total, with 4 in the tidy toys category. There continue to be toys ALL OVER MY HOUSE. So much for that.
On the upside, Ella gets herself dressed every day. On the downside, she still requires someone to watch her get dressed for reasons unbeknownst to man. And if you try to offer help, you get this response: "We really need me to do this by myself now." I swear, that kid knows how to push every button you've got.
Now that I've vented, it's obvious that they've done chores, and I'm very glad for every single one they've done. Beds actually get made occasionally, Julia will read and write and do math without complaint, and the table is set and cleared most evenings. They are good kids, even if they scatter toys like nobody's business.