Monday, August 31, 2009

Pick A Stick

This summer I did my own variation on Jill's popsicle stick jobs. (sorry, for some reason I can't link directly to that particular post. It's her June 25, 2009 post if you're interested.) I need to post about it to help me to remember what worked and what didn't, so I can adjust for next summer. I'm also thinking about how to incorporate it during the school year too.

This is the morning routine I set for each day. They did really pretty well with it, though in the past 2 weeks they have "forgotten" about it. Doesn't help that I've been sleeping in a little longer than them this week so I'm not there to reinforce the schedule. Oops!
I decided to have them read right after waking then they can just stay cozy in bed and get it done. My kids do not love reading I am very sad to say. They enjoy it once they are doing it, but getting them to stop some other activity to go read is like pulling teeth. Sometimes I'd find them still reading in bed an hour after they woke up this way. :) Yea!

Then there are the sticks. Green end up means you can pick it, green end down means it's been done. Each kid had their own cup of jobs. The girls and Kobe had similar items to choose from.
Make dinner
Clean something-toilet, dust, vacuum, load dishwasher, load of laundry
Do a blog post
Read a book to Jackson
Play basketball for 30 min.
Play Wii with Jackson for 20 min.
Write a letter
Do school review work
Go get ice cream
Go for a walk
Work on a Church goal
Clean out room of either small clothes, toys, or old school supplies
Make a dessert to give away
Make a dessert for the family

I thought that this would be a good balance of enjoyable and less enjoyable activities. Today I asked the kids to evaluate how this worked. They said there wasn't enough fun stuff in there. As I review the list now, I don't think it's too bad. I do think I might move one or two to their daily routine, like school review work. I also think I'd put less sticks in the cup, maybe just 5 and repeat those for a couple of weeks, then start a new batch of 5- being sure to include at least one fun thing a week. The only one they thought was fun was getting ice cream. I was also pretty good about having an outing of some kind each week like trips to Niagara Falls, Palmyra pageant, Michigan, over to the elementary school to play on the playground, to a play at ArtPark, and to Cleveland to meet David Archuleta!! THAT was fun wasn't it?! :)

It was also difficult for me if more than one kid had a stick that I needed to help them with. I only have so many hands and so much time in a day. I need to think about how to handle that situation. Maybe mark the mommy-needs-to-help-me jobs in a different way so I have only 1 picked a day.

Jackson's were all someone-needs-to-help-me jobs.
Make your bed
Practice writing a letter
Read a book
Do a puzzle
Play a game
Practice Speech
Practice PT
Practice OT

I think I should continue doing this daily with him since he will only be at preschool in the mornings. We could pick a stick after lunch... and then I'd know I had time to work with him one on one!

I think it's reasonable to continue this at least on Saturdays for the older kids. Give them a little routine since we are so bad at having any kind of Saturday routines around here.

Overall I think this program worked for us and I will tweak it a little and use it full force next summer too- even though I will have a daughter about to enter HIGH SCHOOL at that point!! AHH!!

Thanks for the inspiration Jill!


Holly said...

So glad you did this post!! I love the idea and should have had some more variety with our summertime jobs. I am just "mean mom" and let them do the "fun stuff" after they get done with their chores. I can see the importance of having a choice though. I am going to try to keep a scaled down version during the school year- just to keep the momentum going. We'll see...

Jill said...

I'm glad you posted about your variations on this idea. I can definitely see how the needs-help-from-mom jobs could be tricky when you've got 4 kids doing jobs!

I need to figure out a better way to incorporate the jobs during the school year because time is such a factor. We probably need to get up earlier, but that means I'd have to get up earlier too so I'm not super keen on that.

Sunny said...

Man You can tell your kids that we never had "fun chores" to do when we were little. Man these guys have it soo easy. ( Next thing you know I'll be saying that I had to walk up hill to school both ways...although we DID have to walk to school:) We were just contemplating starting Hy with a chore chart. If he did one chore a day for the whole month we'll get him a movie or go get ice cream or something. I guess I'm a mean mom.

Manzanafam said...

Just have to say you inspire me. Love what you do with your kids and your blog is INCREDIBLE! I just started a blog 2 days ago (my sisters and friends have been after me to do one for years). Looks like I'll have another expert to turn to for tips. Keep up the good work on all fronts. - Wendy Manzanares (aka Manzanafam)

Rachel said...

I love this idea, Nikki. Thanks for the post and the pic!

ryan and laura said...

LOVE the stick idea! thanks!

Shan said...

I love this idea Nik. When my kids are off track it seems all chaos breaks lose and it makes me insane. This just may work at restoring order in my house! Thanks for sharing

Leanne said...

So inspiring! I love it!

And now I see that cute handwriting must just run in the family. I'm always telling Holly that I wish I had her handwriting!

Cara said...

I love the cups with the job sticks. I may have to do that!!! This is why I love blogging - I glean all these fab ideas form people I would never have known otherwise!!!!