Sunday, July 17, 2016

Does anyone else have this fault - they spend more time planning and creating things for routines and structure than they do actually implementing said routines and structure? That is SO me. I can't name how many different chore charts and check-lists and earn-it-back-baskets and before-screen-times and practice charts and whatnot I've made over the years. Every school year start I create some form of routine/schedule/calendar for the kids, whether a framed list behind glass for checking things off or a booklet or poster - I've even made (covered) chalk-board place-mat calendars. Total fail in that case. Sometime through the year I try again with a new or updated idea. Then summer comes and I create something to get us through summer routines.

I spend HOURS creating pretty-but-functional things like this, but the implementing tends to fall by the wayside. (Incidentally one thing I LOVE about my job is that I get to do the creating, such as our weekly newsletter I get to format, write-up, prettify, etc. And then I don't have to do any follow-thru on what's actually written, I just make another one the next week :-) I'm in heaven, lol)  Anyway, the point for me really isn't in creating something random, it's in the hope that I've finally THE system that will work at least for a while. I keep trying to create the most functional system for us.

Here's the latest. I'm kinda proud of it because it covers so many staples in one spot. We used something similar during the school year - notebook style with lists for checking off when homework and piano and jobs were done. And I sometimes printed calendars and tucked them inside but THIS notebook is an upgrade. I mean, it's laminated for crying out loud. My $12 black friday laminator is basically my new best friend, btw. That and my label maker. ;-)

First, some random search online before summer break led me to this chore checklist by Educents that breaks down how the child is supposed to actually DO the chore. Like, step one: gather all the items on the floor into a pile... etc. With pictures to boot! At first I was hesitant to spend any $ on a chore chart, but ultimately decided it'd take me way too long to try to recreate their already awesome one, and I felt like I really needed to offer the kids instructions if I was going to ask them to step-up their chore responsibilities. It was totally worth it. Now, I know this is cheating, but since I purchased the downloaded version and not the hard-copy, I'm happy to share it w/ any sisters who are interested. I didn't print every page, just the main ones.

So I laminated those instructions and once we finally got Cub Camp and Manufacturing camp out the way and had, like, one whole "regular" week of summer so far, we started our routine. Among other things, the boys had a main chore or two to complete while I was at work. I'm actually better at implementing the routines from work, as I talk to them over the monitor. I get too distracted at home and struggle to follow through. Anyway, that was working pretty well to have those instructional sheets, but we still needed more. I needed an actual written set of expectations besides the chores. So this is what I spent my Saturday working on. I couldn't find *the perfect* before-screen-time chart/schedule so I gave in and created my own. I started with just a double-sided version in each boy's notebook, but to save so much re-writing, I think I'll go ahead and print enough for Mon-Sat, probably do sheet-protector style so I can type in the routines and switch them when school starts. Also, gonna add a piano practice chart, maybe some other stuff. Anyway, behold, the SUMMER PLANNER:

Before any screen time, the boys have to complete certain tasks, but once they're completed they can have unlimited screen time until I get home. Then, after I've gotten home from work, they have additional tasks before they have more screen time, including outside time watching their younger siblings, creative play, reading time, etc..Besides the list of before-screen items, the page I created  also includes WHAT that day's chore is, as well as an agenda for plans and appointments happening that day.

Once they see what the daily chore is, they can find the instructions within this notebook. The best one is for how to clean the kitchen (start at one end of the counter and gather all the dishes, moving around the kitchen. Then do the same, collecting any trash, etc. I LOVE that one - I think I need to use it, lol.)

 Brennan and Asher each have their own notebook, pretty much identical except one has the Living room instructions, and the other the Kitchen instructions. I found these interesting presentation portfolios on Amazon that hold 3-hole-punched papers AND lay flat which is pretty cool. I already own some ultra-fine-tip wet-erase and some fine-tip dry-erase markers for use in these. Pretty fun. I'm definitely more excited about these than Brennan and Asher, but I did manage to get them to appreciate the awesomeness of them in some respects. ;-)

Now, they'll be at babysitter's on Monday and Tuesday, but I'm excited to get some housework out of them on Wednesday at least!

1 comment:

Kelly said...

yep, yep, yep and yep. I finally gave up on making them cute. I have a few systems that work for me right now. Job tickets (for when we have a lot of work that needs to be divided up) and a printed up list on the whiteboard with their daily jobs that I enforce every day.

I love you new program though. I think it will be useful to your kids to have everything written out since they might not have immediate access.

Hey - have your kids tried out Khan academy? There is a coding program there that they might enjoy since they love gaming so much. And videos about cool mathy stuff like hexaflexagons. Logan can watch those for hours (and does) but I don't feel so bad about the screen time as it's brainy stuff. ;-) They'll need an account, but you can set up kid accounts via your email so that they don't have to have an email address to use it (Khan uses Google accounts). you could also assign other educational activities. is a great website for practicing basic skills. My kids like but I find it too distracting and too easy to do stuff that's not educational. Lots of teachers use IXL, too. Your kids' teachers may have them doing stuff there.

Anyway, I noticed when I was last at your house that you are a genius for setting up cute stuff like that. :-)