Sunday, September 19, 2010

Question from a Reader

I'm not very good about getting back to those of you readers who ask questions!  If you ask 2 or 3 times you are very likely to get an answer, so just be persistant!

One question, asked by Carrie, was how I implement the Melissa and Doug chart featured in this post, for more than one child.

The Responsibility Chart is more of a family-as-a-whole chart at our house so if everyone has brushed their teeth, or all of the kids have been good about clearing their plate, cleaning up toys, etc. they get a magnet put on.  If only one child is doing something, then the kids who need to work on it will be admonished to do better tomorrow and I may put a magnet on just for the kid who did complete the chore.  Often they do chores together anyhow, like cleaning up the living room, all brushing teeth together before bed, etc..  Each day when we do our chore chart time we will review the things we need to work on for the week and I'll ask each of them how they are doing in that area.  For individual rewards, I have a little paper chart hanging on the wall with their name on it above the homeschooling table that contains 25 blank boxes.  Each time they say a memory verse or Ali reads a Beginning Reader book, or they answer me with a "Right away, Yes Ma'm!", do an extra chore, have an extra-cheerful attitude about schoolwork, exhibit a character quality we are working on, etc. I put an X in a box on their chart.  After 25 X's they get to choose a prize from my prize box.  My prize box is a plastic tub full of exciting little plastic toys, something I found in our shed this summer that was left over from my missionary work at Camp Good News as a teenager.

Each family has to find their own groove for chore charts, whether they will be by the individual or by the group.  For our family of very small children, the group method works for now.  If they are making progress on their chart and most of the boxes get filled in with a magnet during the week then they get their allowance, which at this point is 2 cents per week for Justus (just so he can feel big and have some offering like the other kids), 30 cents for Jer, and 50 cents for Ali.  If they completely disregard the chore chart or have a terrible week about doing chores then allowance will not be given out.  At this point in time, I see myself as the main facilitator of the chore chart.  My kids are so little that I am primarily responsible for enforcing the cleaning up of rooms, the morning routines, the reminders to clear their plates off the table after dinner, the brushing of teeth, and so on.  At some point we may move to a system where they take charge of their own list of things to do each day but for now, the responsibility chart is a good reminder for me each day of what I need to lead and train the children in doing.

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