My 5-year-old daughter has many wonderful qualities. She is caring, creative, enthusiastic, and loves to spend time with her little sister and pets. However, she is not a morning person. At least when she has to get up early for school. Most of the time, she's a good helper and does what I ask, despite her sleepiness. But then there are the mornings when she would rather lay on the couch and watch Curious George. It's sometimes a struggle to get her ready for school while also getting the toddler ready and myself ready for work... and out the door on time. I often feel overwhelmed and frazzled all before 8 am!
I decided that we needed a better system to keep things moving in the mornings and, at five years old, to have Farm Girl take responsibility for her morning jobs. I don't want to nag her to get ready and have everyone in a bad mood by the time we leave the house. Since she enjoys watching a kids' TV show on the iPad with breakfast, I thought that would be a good incentive for when she finishes her jobs. (Generally, we have a "no TV during dinner" policy, but I'm OK with it during breakfast when I'm trying to do a million things.)
|The job and reward labels are removable thanks to sticky-backed Velcro.|
Making the Chart:
- paperboard, cardstock, or bristol board
- a few scrapbook papers or construction paper
- all-purpose glue
- print-out or hand-written labels of jobs and a reward (if your child is not reading these words yet, also put a picture with the word)
- Velcro with sticky backing (I had this left-over Velcro in my sewing box, but you could come up with other ways to stick the labels to the chart. Some other ideas are to have see-through pockets to slip the labels into, ribbon on the labels which can be hung on little hooks on the chart, tying the labels to the chart which then can be flipped back and forth, or magnets.)
- envelope for storing labels
To make the chart:
1. Cut the paperboard slightly smaller than the scrapbook paper (about 1" smaller on each side). Center and glue down the scrapbook paper onto the paperboard. Overlap the extra scrapbook paper around the edges of the paperboard and glue onto the back.
2. Cut out the labels. Layer with scrapbook paper shapes and then back with paperboard for strength. Let labels and chart dry under a few heavy books.
3. Cut a few small strips of Velcro (about 1"-2"), separate them, and stick all the rough "hook" sides to the chart where you want the labels to eventually go. Stick all the remaining Velcro pieces to the labels (they should all be the "fuzzy" side).
Every school morning, the chart will start off empty with all the jobs and reward (iPad) cards in an envelope.
All 5 jobs must be completed before she can have the iPad with breakfast.
As each job is completed, she can take that card out of the envelope and stick it on the chart. When all 5 job cards are on the chart, she can put the iPad card on and ask me for the iPad.
I think this system will work out well. It will help Farm Girl to take responsibility for getting certain jobs done in the morning without me constantly nagging her. She can complete jobs in the order she wants and the chart (hopefully) makes it fun and challenging. Plus, there will be the incentive of watching Curious George while she eats breakfast!
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