Friday, October 30, 2015

Morning Chore Accountability Idea- Made Simple

Mornings with my kids used to be so stressful and unproductive.  I couldn't get them to do the SAME things as I verbally told them.  My son wouldn't get dressed and my daughter was always running around not sure what to do even though I kept telling her.  So, I needed to come up with a system where I was not the one to tell them what to do. 
I have tried many chore systems to help my kids in the morning before breakfast: stickers, magnets, charts, etc.  Nothing has worked!  I needed something that would help them to be independent, accountable and that was something they could do themselves.  I didn't want to have to keep up with it.
So, I came up with this stick and ball idea. 
Here's how it works:
*Each child has a 2 jars (small and large), sticks with chores on them and a bunch of puff balls (I count them to make sure there are a sufficient amount).
*On the sticks I write chores that need to be done BEFORE breakfast.  Most are quick and easy, but some take a few minutes longer.
*Each night or in the morning before they get up I put out their sticks.
*When they get up, they do everything on their sticks.  When they get a stick job done, they put it in the little jar. 
*At breakfast, they count up the sticks and put that many balls in the big jar.  I also keep the extra balls in a baggie in the same big jar.
*When the jar is filled and baggie is empty they get a reward- dollar store purchase, candy, any special prize I think of.
*It takes them about 2-3 weeks to fill the jar.
*Then we put all the sticks back in the big jar and put the little jar on top.  ALL DONE!  I only have to put out the sticks and the kids take care of the rest!  Simple, easy and the jobs get done.
So, what are the job?
*Get dressed
*Breakfast (set it out)
*Fill water bottles
*Feed and water cat
*Laundry (bring it down)
*Dishwasher (unload)
*Bed sheets (take them off and bring down)
*Check in with mom
They do not do all these every day, but I have them do about 4-6.
This has made our mornings (mostly) smooth, the kids are working and being responsible for their own jobs.  It's amazing!  I've been doing this for about a month and it works so well. 
And my kids, well, they like it and they are very proud of themselves and so am I.
Happy kids!

I do have a different system for other household chores that we do after breakfast which is even more simple, but I'll share that in another post.


Sunday, October 4, 2015

First Grade Daily Learning Notebook

First Grade Daily Learning Notebook
click HERE if you are reading this by email for the video
Here is what I include in the first grade daily learning notebook with links:
*Confessions of a Homeschooler - Elementary Daily Learning Notebook (pdf)
*Assignment sheet- Multitaskin Mom
*I Can Teach My Child- Goal Setting
*Character Traits actually from The Measured Mom, but I can't find the link (must have been a freebie)
*Math Activities from 3 Dinosaurs
*Fall Reading from 3 Dinosaurs
*Life Skills Checklist from Thriving Family (pdf)
*Age Appropriate Chore Chart from Happy Housewife
*Manners from Thirty Handmade Days
*Read, Build, Write mats from Homeschool Creations
*Gospel in the Bible- When You Rise
*Maps- Enchanted Learning
So, I put all of the daily papers on a clipboard and I utilize the sheet protectors for papers we do daily that change like the date page that comes in the daily learning notebook set from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  I also add in printable worksheets with dot to dot, soduku, word search, mazes and other ideas from
These have been a great way to start our school day and help to set up some good skill work.  I also have him copy the Bible verse for the week and a few other things like writing our address and phone number.  I really like the clipboard which keeps everything organized.  I just put all the papers in there so they are ready to go for the next day.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

PreK Daily Learning Notebook

PreK Daily Learning Notebook
click HERE for video if you received this through email
Here is a list with links to what is in my PreK Daily Learning Notebook.  
*Confessions of a Homeschooler- PreK Daily Learning Notebook (FREE!)
*Handwriting Worksheets- Make your own for tracing name
*The Measured Mom- Letter of the Week Book List
*This Reading Mama- Letter Tracing (part of the subscriber freebie page)
*Little Learning Lovies- Letter Hunt (Probably a free download somewhere)
*I Can Teach My Child- Goal Setting
*Character Traits from The Measured Mom (can't find link)
*Life Skills from Thriving (pdf link)
*Manners from Thirty Handmade Days (lots of other great printables on this site)
*Guidelines for Practical Life Skills for kids- Thirty Handmade Days
Every morning we start with Morning Time and then we go to the table and go through our Daily Learning Notebook clipboard.  I use sheet protectors and dry erase markers for some of the papers.  This is a great way to start the school work time and skills are learned.   I have seen real success and good development toward independent learning using these notebooks/clipboards. 
Hope you can get started with Daily Learning Notebooks for your children.  Have a great day learning!  Blessings, Shonda