Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chore and School Charts

Anyone who has read many of my blogs knows I am not a normally organized person. When we decided to homeschool I knew I was going to have to step it up a notch and to be honest was not really sure how this would work.

When ordering Bodie's curriculum I ordered the teacher's guides specifically because they break everything down for you. This way I could look at every day and know exactly what we were doing for the day and week.

This accomplished one aspect of being organized so I could not figure out why we were still struggling. Why, for instance, am I having so much trouble getting household things accomplished. I mean aside from the fact that I have a two month old baby, a two and a half year old, and a school age child.

I knew that the homeschooling thing would take some tweaking, and yet it is so hard for me sometimes to think outside the box.

I am always googling, trying to find ideas to incorporate. The other day I found a website that I really like called http://www.homeschoolcreations.com/. This is not a website just for homeschoolers. These ideas are helpful for those of us with toddlers or preschoolers or even during the summer when you need some things to keep the kids busy.

I found that the ideas I was trying to incorporate, like chores, for example were simplified here by a chart system.

First of all, there is a chore chart. These are printables you can get right off the website. The chore chart has a section for morning, afternoon, and to earn chores. For the charts she uses pictures so that her kids who are too young to read are able to look at the pictures and easily tell their chores for the day. She has a whole bunch of printable pictures for chores. I pick out the three I want them to do each day morning and afternoon. For the jobs they get paid for they are allowed to pick the ones they want. So they have three chores to do in the morning, three to do in the afternoon, and three to pick out if they want to earn money. They cannot do the earning jobs until they have finished required chores. Then they have the option of choosing to earn money. If the day goes by and they never do their earning jobs, they lose the chance to make money for that day. This is great for teaching them responsibility and for mom not having to harp on them. As they do their chores I mark off the ones they do and payday is once a week.

I have had them doing chores, but because it was not scheduled, sometimes we forgot and there were not as many getting completed. This way saves me some work and rushing even though for Brylee to complete hers I have to be quite involved.

Ok on to the school chart. Again she has the pictures you can print off and also calenders for every day of the week with spaces for you to put the pictures so they can see what they are doing every day.

I don't know why, but this is something Bodie likes. He likes being able to see what comes next. Also, seeing it on a chart is different than having mom say it. If it is on the chart it is gospel. Oh I can't wait till we have the day where we do not stick with the chart as written.

What I like about the chart is that the night before I can sit down and put his schedule for the next day up. I realized in doing this how rigid I have been in sticking to the basics of our curriculum. One of the main reasons we homeschooled is so we have the flexibility to do things differently than the school setting. Here I am, Miss no imagination, making it what I did not want it to be. Not every subject has to be covered every day. There is room for flexibility. For instance, math is something I really want him doing every day, but that does not mean it has to be the little math sheet. There are a million ways to incorporate math. Cooking is math because he learns measurements, card games are math ( he is awesome at war), estimating is math, patterns are math, and and even some types of building is math.
We have struggled at times with him taking too long to complete a task and I find myself constantly harping on him. Now the ball is in his own court. I can give him thirty minutes to complete a task, such as a math sheet. If it is review and I know he knows it, then that is plenty of time for him to get it done. Instead of constantly telling him he is almost out of time, I simply remind him that if his work is not complete in the time frame expected then he will be using his free time doing math.

For more detailed information check out the link above. Basically I printed out the chart cards and days of the week and used my laminator to make them last longer. Both Brylee and Bodie have chore and daily charts and they get excited to see what is on there every day. This system has really helped me as well, though, because I feel more prepared and it varies things up for me too. It helped remind me again to think outside the box. I have already thought up some chart categories that I want to add. Also, I find just like the kids I operate better and get more accomplished if I can see what is supposed to be next......kind of keeps me on task. Anyway, I just like it and thought I'd share for anyone at home wanting to be more organized with their kids, but not really sure how to go about it. Here is one more way I have found that helps me get closer to that goal.

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