Saturday, March 19, 2011

Little tricks

More often than not, when I'm writing on my blog I'm talking in broad terms and focused on the emotional impact (good and bad) of raising children on the spectrum (as well as one who is not).  I am hoping to expand the range of topics on my blog by including occasional posts which will discuss tools that have worked in our home.  I may also begin providing regular, short posts which will include amusing anecdotes and quotes from my children that are often very funny and amazingly wise. 

I will begin with the latest tool that we have been using to help us manage the many chores that need to be done in our house on a daily and weekly basis.  I purchased a folder from a teacher supply store which has a pocket for storage on the inside of it.  The following is a picture of our chore chart:

The chores to be done are listed on the left and the chores which have been done on the right.  The chores shown are those which I have selected for the day.  All other chores are stored in the pocket of the folder to be used on days I feel we should do that chore.  When a chore is completed, we move the chore from the "to do" side to the "done" side.  The boys enjoy pulling the chore off the velcro and placing it under their picture.
On the front of the folder, I have placed a list of all the major chores we do in our house.  I have also included what frequency the chores should be done (ideally).  Having this list on the front helps me review all the chores we may need to do since I can't always remember during the hustle and bustle of the morning.
We also have a daily schedule listing all major events of the day, including chore time.  I prefer to have a chore time in the morning and one in the afternoon.  The one thing to keep in mind with using a chore chart, particularly with young children, is not to expect them to be able to do a perfect job at each chore.  As far as I see it, having the boys see all the chores that are essential for a household to function is an important life lesson.  Teaching them how to perform the chores provides them with tools which will hopefully help them gain a healthy amount of independence as they grow older.  At the end of the day, I often point out who has done chores and give them praise for their help.  It's incredibly rewarding and satisfying to see all the chores completed and for the chores to have been evenly distributed among all family members.  One thing I like to remind myself is that teaching children how to live life may not be a class in school but it is perhaps equally if not more important than learning math, science or history.  Ideally, in my opinion, it's fabulous when math, science or whatever is taught as a part of daily living. 
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