Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday: Chore Wars

I was looking around my messy house this morning trying to think of what actually works for me that I could share. I'm sure there are things I take for granted, but I was feeling pretty much dysfunctional. Then I remembered -- Chore Wars!

In case you're new around here, my husband and our 7yo and 5yo boys have been playing World of Warcraft obsessively for the last year. Some brilliant mother (I'm assuming!) realized the potential for a similar fantasy character-based system for getting stuff done around the house!

I'd avoided reward-based systems for most things (you know us crazy radical unschoolers), but the boys actually seemed interested in this. So, of course, how could I deny them the pleasure of unloading the dishwasher for "eXperience Points" and pretend gold?

Now, it does take some discipline on my part to actually sit down and enter their points on occasion (like, immediately after each thing they do because they're bugging me about it). But, when I'm willing to do it, it definitely works!

We started using it in January, and haven't been completely consistent, but even so, it has helped created new habits and encouraged them to be more helpful and aware of all that Mommy does to keep our home running. They unload the dishwasher nearly every day, put away their own laundry, help pick up their baby brother's toys, take kitchen scraps to the chickens and the compost bin, dust (when I remember to ask!), fold laundry (when they feel like it), and work on their own room.

Go check out some more awesome tips at Rocks in My Dryer's Works for Me Wednesday.


(Jim &) Brandy Brow said...

Interesting idea--thanks. Great first WFMW post. Glad you joined the fun. :o)

The Building Brows

Brooke said...

great idea - i wonder if i could use it on mr. right? ;)

Crunchy Christian Mom said...

Brooke, this can totally work on husbands, too! LOL. Scott and I both have accounts. Of course, I earn so many points I don't have time to input them all. ;)

Anonymous said...

That's a great/hilarious idea. Thanks so much for your comments on my blog - it was my first WFMW, too, and I'm already so excited about doing it again!

Anonymous said...

What an awesome idea! I never would have thought of this in a million years, but now I'll have to try to remember it for when my little one gets big enough for chores.

Deanna said...

Wow! World of Warcraft? You guys are hardcore! Thanks for visiting my blog.

Jerralea said...

Great idea on the chore chart! We've done them before too. Dad's usually in charge of giving out the points since I'm at work.

Thanks for visiting my blog, Jerri's Journey. I understand what you mean about totebags relating to the occasion. That's why I'm always on the lookout for more of them!

mandi said...

love it! i'm passing it on to my friend with 4 kids (3 boys). thanks for the tip :) (and big thanks for all your advice on cloth head is above the water now!)

knittingmama said...

That sounds like a really fun idea. Do you boys argue over how many points? Like, "I should get x more points because I put away two more plates" kind of thing? If it helped to take a few chores off my hands, I might be willing to try. I'm just not much for charts and stuff. You know how we crazy unschooling mothers are!

Jena said...

I LOVE this! When we went to the link I gathered everyone around and we picked names and pictures. My family is big into games like this, so it made us laugh and we were really impressed with it all. Thanks for letting us know about it. I ran right over to my blog and linked to you and wrote about Chore Wars. Thank you!

Oh, and I want to know if I can link to you on my website. You can email me at if you want.


Crunchy Christian Mom said...

Knittingmama, my boys don't argue about the details. But you can easily give half points or double points if you feel like it. It's really pretty easy. Part of the fun of entering points is also getting to battle dustmonsters and giant spiders! :)

Butterfly Mama said...

Great idea, my husband goes in fits and spurts with WOW...mostly because it bugs me. Currently, our almost 4 yo loves to watch him play it!

This is probably in our future - but my son LOVEs to help and do chores...hopefully no one will tell him that they are not really as fun as his Mommy keeps telling him.

Hugs, Heidi

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