Most kids don’t like chores. Well, I know for sure that MY kids don’t! If we’re really honest, I’ll admit that I don’t care much for chores either. But I *do* like the end result. I love a clean and comfortable room. I also like taking care of my family, being responsible and honoring God. This is my motivation and I’m teaching my kids that these are the reasons behind why they need to do their chores, too.

We’ve tried a variety of systems for chores, with or without allowances. We’re *surviving* but our chore system can stand some improvement. And by “improvement” I mean “something that will motivate the kids and help them have a better attitude about it.” Because you and I know that attitude is important and we all do better with a little motivation. Those two things right there are why I’m so tickled pink with our new “You Rule Chores” app on the iPod touch.

Tickled. Pink.

“You Rule” is a kids’ chores app – almost like a game. The kids love it, they still don’t like chores very much, but the “game” makes it better. Let me explain how this works.

Screenshot from yourulechores.com

The You Rule Chores App

The chores: You set up the chores and assign them. There’s a list to choose from but you can create new ones and assign to any or all kids on specific (or all) days. Chores are assigned a difficulty level – easy, medium or hard.

The coins: Depending on the difficulty level, chores earn a certain number of “coins.” (We’ve started calling them “chore points.”) You have control over how many coins each is worth, we kept the pre-programmed settings – one, three and five coins. You can also add or deduct coins from a kid’s total from the parent page.

The wishlist: Coins can be used to “buy” something on the wishlist: they tell you, they buy it, the coins come out of their total. There’s a list of pre-programmed items can choose from but kids and parents can add new things and parents can adjust the cost of items on the wishlist. These items range from monetary value items (allowance, a toy, a movie) to privileges (staying up late, picking dinner, etc.)

The process: Kids pick an avatar, log in to see their assigned chores, do them, check them off and coins are added to their total. Parents can uncheck chores that need to be redone and reassign them. The front page tracks the kids’ progress through the week, each avatar “racing” to the finish line as chores are completed (based not on coins but on completion of chores verses total chores assigned for the week.) At the beginning of the week the “race” resets but the coins remain. Kids choose to spend or save their coins as they want.

Screenshot from yourulechores.com

So why do I love this so much?

Responsibilities and daily habits – I’ve used the app to add other daily responsibilities and habits in addition to daily chores, things that we just need to remember to do. Getting dressed, brushing teeth, taking baths, trimming nails are on our list in addition to doing school, feeding pets, cleaning their bedrooms and doing their laundry.

Privileges and fun things – The wishlist is useful for more than material things and monetary rewards. We’ve added a lot of privileges and fun things and the kids actually seem more excited about those items than most of the others. We’ve included things like family movie night, sleepovers, and being the tv show picker for the day. I’m actively searching for more privileges and fun things to add.

Self-motivated – Of course I’m going to need to remind the kids to get their chores done most of the time but the kids *want* to get their chores done (more or less) to earn their coins and move their avatar ahead in the “race.” (Chores done with bad attitudes and disobedience may be marked off but will end up having their coins revoked, by the way.)

Rewards – We finally have a workable system for rewards. I want the kids to help because it’s the right thing to do but I also want to reward them for their hard work. Combined with the natural motivations like being able to play a board game when the table is cleaned off or play the wii after the bedrooms are clean — an existing rule we already have, the kids now have additional motivation for both doing their chores AND doing them without arguing. And used in conjunction with my own daily chore app, which the kids can help with for extra chore coins, we’re all working together to stay on top of our responsibilities. Last but not least, they’re also learning how to save up their coins and make wise decisions with them – if they want to save up 250 coins to go see a movie, they’re going to have to avoid wasting 10 here and there for a little piece of candy!

Screenshot of You Rule at iTunes (^ linked)

Realistic and Rewarding

The You Rule Chores app turned out even better than I expected! Being so customizable, I can set realistic expectations for my kids and offer rewards that appeal to them and work for all of us. The kids can practice independence and check the app on their own and do their chores and take care of their responsibilities without being told. (They’ve done that a few times.) All in all it’s been a fun experience and I expect this new chore system to stick around for a while!

Do you have a good chore system?

I’m going to be giving away ELEVEN free You Rules apps for the Mommy Time Facebook party next week. Check back soon! Until then, check out the You Rule Chores website.

{I received a free copy of the app to try it out and review it but the opinions in the review are my own.}

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Written by

Amber

Hey, y’all! I'm Amber, and I wear many hats: Pastor's wife, marriage advocate, eclectic homeschooler, mother of three, and domestically challenged homemaker--lovin’ life and livin’ deep in the heart of Texas.
I love to write and I hope to use that wisely, to encourage others, and for God’s glory. I seek purpose in the mundane. I want my kids to see God’s fingerprints throughout all of creation, learning, and life. As I teach our children, God is teaching me through this homeschool journey, too. I love Jesus, family, coffee, words, and the color teal.
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