Monday, September 29, 2014

Chore Chart. Teaching Hard Work & Money Management



Our way of doing chores and cleaning is constantly evolving and adapting.
Wanting to put more responsibility on the kids and also wanting a way for them to earn money, I came up with this simple chart.

How to Make it:
  1. If you want to make it look a little bit cute, find a piece of scrapbook paper you like for the back. This is totally optional. :)
  2. Get a piece of paper and divide it long wise into how many sections you need for how many kids you have doing chores. Mine is 3. (LM, LB, LL)
  3. Leave a big space next to where you'll write their names for the square chore cards. Next to that draw a small space for the sun & moon. These represent morning & night.
  4. Then divide the rest of the paper into the days of the week, adding an extra space for extra Saturday chores.
  5. In each box write the money-value they can earn for completing their chores. I chose 10 cents for the daily chores, and 60 cents for doing the extra Saturday chores. (We also decided not to pay the kids for doing chores on Sunday).
  6. After the chart is all made, place it inside a sheet protector.
  7. Make "chore cards" that fit inside the square space you've created. You can make many or just 3 that rotate. You can make special ones for the kids' different ages. Just figure out what needs to get done, and what chores the kids are capable of performing. To keep it simple, I chose only 3 chores that we rotate each day. They stick to the sheet protector with sticky-tack.




How it Works!

  • These chores are to be done after breakfast, and after dinner.
  • If the child does his/her chore, then I circle the 10 cents with a dry erase marker. If they decide not to do their chore, it doesn't get circled.
  • Each day we rotate the chores. (or you can rotate each week).
  • The Saturday chores are where we all do housework and yardwork and I give assignments to each of the kids depending on what needs to get done.

  • At the end of the week, we'll add up how much each child has earned and give them their money.
    • They keep their money in zipper pencil pouches
    • We have separate bags for them to set aside 10% for Tithing for our church, and 10% for Savings.
  • Then we erase all the circles and start over the next week!


In Review:

We've done this system for about 3 weeks now. My children are ages 7, 5, and 2, and all have different personalities. So it has worked differently for each child:
  • My 7 year old (LM) is very motivated and often just needs to be reminded once. He rarely misses a chore and is very excited about earning money.
  • My 5 year old (LB) needs much more reminding and also some help getting the chore done. Though he might not comprehend completely the value of money, he likes when it's money time.
  • My 2 year old (LL) doesn't understand much of the whole system, but for both my 5 year old and 2 year old, they are learning to help out around the house, and hopefully the rest will come as they get older.
  • I do like having them earn a little bit of money. It's been a good tool for teaching about tithing and savings. And that they have a little money they can use for things they want to buy. Especially for my 7 year old that wants to buy everything he sees. It's helpful to show there is a limit to how much we can spend.

Therefore: 

This is helpful to have to remind us all to do chores, and to help teach about money. My 7 year old is gaining the MOST from this kind of chore chart, so if you try it with young kids and find it's not working too well, maybe come back to it when they are a bit older and it will be much more meaningful.  :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Playtime Hearts




I recently had our 4th child, and we also recently moved.
I've been busy and tired and we are trying to find our new rhythm.....
and I'm trying not to lose my marbles. :)

The kids seem to be acting up a little bit more lately, and I've been praying & asking for help and guidance as a Mother.
The answer that keeps coming back to me is to spend more time with my kids.
Because when all is said and done, I know that is what really matters to me.


So I came up with an idea to help make that happen:
PLAYTIME HEARTS.

Here's what I did:

1. I traced heart shapes onto yellow paper and cut them out. They are roughly 2 1/2 inches big. I cut out about 26 hearts.




2. I wrote on each heart a fun activity that I know the kids like to play. 
A lot of these are things they've asked me to play with them in the past......the ones where I have given the all-too-often response of "not now."
I came up with these myself, but it would be fun to sit down with your kids and think of fun things to do together. 


Here's a list of what we've got:

Cars
Airplanes
Legos
Color
Dance
Trains
Super Heroes
Paper Airplanes
Play Library
Wii
Game (3 of these. We have a lot of games)
Soccer Outside
Catch Outside
Ninja Turtles
Mazes
Make no-bake cookies
Little People
*Your Choice (2 of these)

(I also left a few hearts blank so I could add things later that we think of to play).



3. I taped them onto the little chalkboard we have hanging up in our kitchen (You could tape them up anywhere).




4. And from here it's easy! I let the kids take turns picking a heart and we do whatever is on the heart, together. Sometimes there is a time limit (20-30 minutes depending on what's going on that day) and sometimes we just play and I try to just forget the time and focus on my kids. It's been refreshing to remember what it's like to play as a kid. It's good for all of us. :)



Some days are busy and we don't pick any hearts.
Some days are wide open and each of the kids get a chance to pick a heart.
Sometimes it's when my oldest is at school and it's just me and the little ones.
Sometimes it's all of us together as a family, including Daddy.
This week we used one of the hearts as our activity for Family Home Evening.
And sometimes we play without picking a heart at all. :)

When all the hearts have been picked, I'll tape them back up and start again.


This idea was a direct answer to my prayers.
We've done it for the past week, and it has been so much FUN!
It's helped us all in so many ways. The kids seem to not be acting up quite as much. I've noticed so many wonderful qualities in my children when we sit and play together---because I'm actually paying attention to them! Something I needed to be reminded to do.

But most of all it's helped me make the time for what truly matters to me--matters more than anything and everything.

My family.

Monday, September 15, 2014

He is there.



(The Doctrine & Covenants is a book of scripture--The Lord's inspired words through His modern-day prophets. You can learn more HERE & about my faith HERE.)

I love this scripture so much.
No matter where we are in our lives, or what challenges we face, these words are true for us!
God is our loving Father.
He is with us when we are weak and struggling. And even when we're not.
We may not see it, but help is there.
He is there.