Sunday, February 9, 2014

Chore Chart: Perserverance pays off!

Good day my beautiful friends! I am so excited to be blogging about my daughters chore chart! So, many of you know that I have an high spirited, 4.5 year old, only child. She is the light of my life! I am learning that if I want something to work I really have to give her free reign to get to know the idea and really see the ins and outs before it will stick. Such was most certainly the case with the Chore Chart!

Lets see. . . I think it was about a year and a half ago that I jumped online looking for preschooler friendly household chores. I found a wealth of resources and ultimately decided to combine many of them to make my own program. I created the Chore Chart and explained the process to Bugaboo. She was interested at first and excited to help Mommy around the house. But as with all pre-k attention spans, it waned and fell by the way-side. We kept revisiting the chart at various times but she would just lose interest. Don't get me wrong, she was still helping out around the house. But it would only be when I hounded her about it. The idea of the Chart was to get her to self motivate.

Cookie sheet+Spray Paint=Instant Magnet Board!
Well, the chart has been hanging out on the fridge now for over a year with me consistently reminding her of its benefits. Lo and behold, the idea seems to have finally sunk in! She is now actively participating in the system and even reminding me when new chores need to be added! I'm so excited that its finally a working system because now I feel like I can share it with you!

So, here is how the system works: There are about 25 different household chores that Bug can do. I have a cartoon picture of each chore with the words printed below them. Each card is laminated so it can be re-used. We chose four or five chores and place them on our magnet board. Each chore has a colorful ticket attached to the back. When she completes the chore, she moves the card from "To Do" down to "Done" and places the ticket in an envelope. After she earns five tickets, she gets to "spend" her tickets in our toy bucket. A few times a year, I'll go to the dollar store or the bargain bins at Target and load up on little toys, crafts and goodies to put in the buckets. Each item costs five tickets. When she chooses and item from the bucket, she hands her tickets into me and I keep them in a jar on the fridge!

The "Toy Store" includes books, crafts, puzzles, little toys and candy.

Chores that we have include: Clean up, wipe the table, tidy school room, make bed, set the table, empty the dishwasher, dust, feed the dog, clean your room, wash the mirrors etc. . I was able to find images for all of these by searching on Pinterest. I printed them from my computer, cut them out and laminated them all so they will last. I purchased this home laminator from Amazon and it gets a lot of use in our house.

We also use a Gold Star Rewards system. Gold Stars are awarded when we have a really good day. For example, the other day Bugaboo decided to clean out her closet where all of her dress up's are located. She did this on her own with no prompting from either parent and she did an awesome job! She gets a gold star for that! When she has accrued 9 gold stars, she gets a special treat like a lunch date with Mommy or a movie theater date.

Gold stars and tickets can also be taken away if we are having a particularly rough day of not listening. Not listening is probably the biggest issue we have with Bugaboo and she really hates it when she loses a ticket or a star. All I have to do is grab the ticket envelope and sit down with her and say, "Here are your tickets, are you ready lose them over this choice you are making?" Usually the answer is no, but sometimes she is just so stubborn she will lose tickets. She gets the chance to earn them back though, so it's been a really good system for us.

It takes patience and a lot of explaining, but I think the benefits are awesome. Chore Charts teach personal responsibility, self confidence and the value of a job well done. Bugaboo is learning that you need to earn the things you want by working for them. Everything isn't just a given. She is learning that everyone in the house needs to do their part to keep things in order. Its important for us all to work together.

It also helps to take pictures of how you would like things to look when they are "cleaned up". Kids are very visual learners and knowing exactly what you expect can make their "job" easier. That was a whole lot of quotes! LOL!

I hope you all enjoyed my Chore Chart Tutorial. Please feel free to share, comment and ask questions! I'd love to hear your feedback!

p.s. Here are links to some of the places where I found chore graphics.

Confessions of a Homeschooler
Homeschool Creations

p.p.s. If you loved this and would like to see other totally awesome tutorials, reviews and recipes check out this: Reviews, Chews and How-tos
I am a contributing writer over there and it's such an amazing blog! Please give it some love!