Are you on summer break yet? Do you have kiddos at home with you? On the second day of summer break I realized something. As nice as it is to sleep in, stay in pajamas, and chill all day… it can quickly go downhill fast. I knew my kiddos needed something to keep them responsible, on schedule, and on track. Joelle can normally go with the flow pretty well, but she can get lazy really fast. Israel thrives on a routine. He likes to know what to expect for the day and week. I think that is why he LOVED school so much. He needs that consistency. Oh, before I get started on all things responsibility, let us take a moment. Israel graduated from Pre-K! This little stud is going to Kinder in the fall, and he is so excited. He rocked Pre-K and is doing so well.
Okay, back to the point. This summer I am working out around 9:00 each morning. Therefore, I need my kids to be dressed and ready to go by 8:45. So, I’ve been setting their alarms for 8:00 each morning (PTL they don’t wake up earlier than that… and if they do I have no clue because they aren’t allowed to come downstairs that early, ha! BUT, that’s a whole other post!). As soon as they wake up, they get started on their morning chart.
Before we had this routine, the kids would stay in their pajamas all day. That is fine on some days, but on others we need to randomly leave the house for the store, to run errands, or something else. I do NOT want to battle the getting dressed issue. I don’t want to decide what they need to wear, or fight about shoes. I just want them to get in the stinkin’ car, ha! So, I decided if they got dressed immediately out of bed, that would be best. Now they don’t come downstairs until they have brushed their teeth, changed clothes, picked up clothes, and made their beds. I am NOT picky about how they make their bed. I don’t even make my bed. We are just trying to create good habits.
Well the morning routine was going so well that I decided we should do it at night also. Israel absolutely loves giving himself checkmarks, so I knew that would make our evening routines go so much smoother. Our nighttime routine does vary from the chart because we don’t make them take showers every single evening. If they don’t shower, they simply mark that one out and go to the next line!
Y’all. These routines have seriously been a game changer. Because our kids know what to do and what is expected, our days have been as smooth as stinkin’ butter.
Now, let’s talk about the last part of our chart. The other thing that we are working on is getting Israel to stop tearing up about silly things like putting on shoes, going to the store, etc. He doesn’t throw fits often anymore, but he still struggles with transitions. We want him to be independent and ready to tackle kinder, so I knew we needed to stop the crying altogether. I could spend hours talking about how much progress he has made since coming home a few years ago, but again… that’s another post, ha! The important thing is, I wanted him to have something visual that would allow him to be held accountable for his choices. I also wanted to see if he could bounce back from an “x” so that he will be able to handle a color change, conduct mark, or clip move in kinder. I don’t want him to be the kind of child that loses it and can’t bounce back for the rest of the day. Right now we are currently working on getting 17 out of 21 checkmarks in a week. I knew that one checkmark a day wasn’t going to work because it is just too long for him. I wanted him to have a good balance of immediate satisfaction, but also trying to maintain good behavior for an entire day. So, I broke the day into three parts. This way he can still bounce back and get some checkmarks, but he is also held responsible for that part of the day where he slipped.
I must say, I didn’t think he was going to make it the first week because those checkmarks were hard to come by, ha! But, he did it! The first week he had 17 checks. The next week he had 19 checks! So, there was A LOT of improvement immediately! We were really striving for all 21 checkmarks this week, but as you can see on his chart above, that isn’t going to happen, ha! But that’s okay. I don’t expect him to be perfect. I just want him to self-reflect and keep on improving 🙂
Oh, and we are doing allowance for the charts. Our kids are getting an allowance based off their age (Joelle- $8, Israel- $5). I am now doing something completely different for Joelle because she is older and capable of handling more. Check out Cara’s post HERE to see what I’m doing with Joelle. She has tons of freebies and ideas for older kids! And, just for a little funny for the day… our kids decided to make us charts. We cracked up about their final product. PTL I only have to do one thing a day ;). Our dog does appreciate food daily though 🙂
We decided to put our charts in dry-erase pockets so that we don’t have to print them each week. You can find the dry-erase pockets I use HERE! (Amazon Aff Link)