Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Schedules and Routines

Little Man is now 4 years old. He is crazy smart. He is really into numbers and time.

Since his dad and I are going through the Big Crazy Mess (i.e. Divorce), he has had some issues adjusting to things. Apparently, the house rules I hung a couple months before we left are still up at the house. I don't know how well Little Man's dad follows them. But I recreated the rule chart for our house.

I got most of these rules, in some way, from the Duggar Family's House Guidelines. Granted, they have 22 different guidelines and we only have 10, I think ours work for our family. We even adapted some of these for our Sunday School class! (You can see them here along with our other bulletin boards.) For Little Man, if he breaks one of the rules, he loses a toy. His favorite toys right now are Legos. So you can imagine that this makes the most impact if he loses his Legos.

Because Little Man is so fascinated with time right now, his schedule goes beyond a typical picture schedule like you might use with a typical 4 year old. Little Man can read a lot of words and has a very good memory. And since kids need a schedule and routine, this is Little Man's schedule:

We've also started doing chores. I've been really bad about remembering to do things like a sticker chart or something like that. So I went looking. I found Kid's Chore Chart Cards at Confessions of a Homeschooler. I liked them, but I didn't have a pocket chart and I only have one kid. Thankfully at the bottom of that post, she linked to Shining Our Light's Chore Chart. I liked what she did. The only thing I didn't like was the prize box. Yes, I'm one of those mom's who is against an allowance. Well, not really. But in our house, a chore is something you do to help others. (It goes with #9 on our rules.)

Well, I had set it up very similar to Shining Our Light's except I didn't have the "Little Man needs ___ tickets today." Initially, I had them all being "chores" but just recently, we realized that some of them are more "routine" and should be done daily and not "chores."

So we have the following:

This is Little Man's Routine. They are things he needs to do EVERY DAY. He has 4 things in the morning and 3 things in the afternoon/evening. And even though he is 4 and working on getting rid of his nap, he still needs one. If he doesn't have one, he gets CRANKY in the evening! The "Clean Play Room" means he has to pick up ALL of his TOYS wherever they are, his room, the living room, the playroom. When he does his routine he gets tickets:

That last spot is for his "Best Bee-havior." If he is on his best behavior all day and doesn't back talk, fuss, argue, and basically follows all of the rules, then he gets this last card. If he gets all of his tickets, he gets a sticker:

When he gets all his stickers he can have tablet time.

Now, he does have other chores. Remember when I said earlier that if he misbehaves he gets a toy taken away? Well, he has the chance to "earn" those toys back by doing chores. Right now, he only has 3. We are going to eventually do 4. When we have no more toys that he has lost, he will just have to do them. Maybe there will be an allowance or a reward or something. I don't know yet. So this is what we have to track those chores:

He has things like:

Empty the Dishwasher (the things he can: silverware, cups, etc)
Set Table (put the silverware out, butter, things he can)
Clear Table (what he can)
Put Dirty Clothes in Laundry (this is actually help put them in the washer)
Fold Laundry
Put Laundry Away 
Take Trash Out (help with bathroom trash cans)
Clean Bathrooms (he has to help wipe down the surfaces)
Dust Living Room (this could be his room, play room, etc)

So far this system has been working. I know it will need tweaking as he gets older, but it's a start for right now.

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