Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chore charts

This has been quite the busy summer! I thought I would have updated this blog more during the summer, but we've really enjoyed the hot summer days! Lots of swimming and outdoor activities!! So much fun!
We did start a chore chart for the kids a couple of months ago. It has been very successful! We've put a lot of energy and making this habit and so far it has really paid off! Each Sunday evening we print out the new chore chart for the week. This is one of both Aidan and Abigail's favorite parts of the week. I let them pick out a new "graphic" to put in the corner of their chart. Aidan usually goes back and forth between star wars and some super hero. Abigail goes back and forth between Cinderella and My Little Pony. While Aidan is 4 and Abigail is 2, we went ahead and made their chores identical for right now. Abigail may not be able to actually do some of the chores, but with some help she is able to do her part in them! They LOVE putting their own stickers on the chart! Some of the chores are really easy and things that they do everyday, but it helps in making them feel productive and makes the other chores much easier! Here is a list of the chores that they have to do each day:

1. Get dressed and throw pajamas down the laundry chute (AM)
2. Get pajamas on and throw clothes down the laundry chute (PM)
3. Brush Teeth (AM)
4. Brush teeth (PM)
5. Make bed
6. Each day Aidan has to do 2 pages of his letter of the day (printing them) and one page of his number of the day (out of his preschool book). We call this his "homework" Abigail does her "letters" too. She will sit while he is doing them and either color or try to do letters too. Aidan usually shows her how to do the letters of the day and she tries to be like him. Who knows, maybe she'll be printing real looking letters soon enough! Aidan ends up being SO proud of his letters of the day and is getting very good at them.
7. Abigail feeds the dog. Aidan gives the dog water.
8. Practice reading. Usually this just involves either Jason or I reading to them and making him identify certain words. We are working on Abigail identifying certain letters.
9. Clean up all toys.
*BONUS... they have an opportunity to earn bonuses during the week, but it has to be something really big to earn it.

The catch for them is that they are not allowed to watch ANY tv until the chores are completed. This was a struggle at first, but has probably been the greatest benefit of the chore chart. Most days consist of about a half hour or less of tv before bed. It makes me feel good to know that they aren't watching tv as much and more just imagination play is happening.

Sundays are a free day. He doesn't have to complete all the chores and the tv ban is lifted :) However, with church and other family activities they don't get much tv anyway! AND, most of the chores are so routine that they don't even question them anymore!

Neither Jason or grew up with an allowance and at this time we do not plan on doing allowances, but we wanted to do something in exchange for their completing their chores. So we came up with mommy/daddy money and a mommy/daddy store.

Each day ALL stickers were given, they will each be given a quarter. With Sundays off, they are given a total of $1.50 each week. One quarter has to go in the church basket on Sunday and one has to go in their piggy banks. The other dollar is theirs to spend in the mommy/daddy store. We didn't want them to be discouraged with a dollar buying nothing in the stores except mostly junk (and I don't need any more junk in the house!), so we set up our own store with our own prices. We went out and bought some better, non-junky stuff and put prices on them from 50 cents to $2.50. They can either use their money to buy something smaller or save it to buy a bigger item. Some of the items we have in the store are coloring books, markers, a watch, my little pony books, a transformer, super hero socks, etc. It took them a few weeks to start understanding "saving" and Abigail is still trying to learn that, but overall they love it! The money we spent on the toys has been well worth all the other values the chore chart has offered!

Now that fall is here, keep an eye out for more posts... a big project is starting this week!! Stay tuned!!