Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Art of Charts

Honestly, I get asked frequently how I manage to do it...manage three kids, two pets, a husband, a house and my sanity. The truth is I don't. I manage what I can, prioritize, consume large amounts of caffeine, learn to let things go and CHART! As ridiculous as it sounds my guys do great with charts! I had always used them in my classroom (they worked wonders), but never really thought to use them at home until about six months ago. Then again today I was thinking how chaotic life is...I decided that  need to revisit the land of peace and order. I have found that single day charts work the best (my guys are small). Having immediate results that are tangible are even better and one chart for multiple kids is an amazing way to make peer pressure positive not negative.That being said I hope this idea helps you too.

Chart I used for getting the kids to take family pictures

Microsoft Excel/Office (other word docs work too)
Uploaded photo of child
Clip Art

  1. Start by making a grid (# of rows for # of children AND # of columns for desired behavior+1). I have three kids and want them to work on seven things. My chart is 3x8. Set aside a row for each child (I kept mine in birth order to make it easier on me). 
  2. The first column is for their picture and the subsequent columns are for the desired chore or behavior. I have recently added phrases to my chart because my oldest wants to "read." It's not necessary, but is nice to have. Pair clip art with the desired task. Remember LESS IS MORE! This is especially true when starting out. 
  3. Repeat step 2 until all tasks have clip art to match.
  4. that you have that done do a quick print preview to make sure it fits on one page...Mine needed to be adjusted to landscape instead of portrait.
  5. If all looks great hit PRINT
  6. Discuss the chart with your child before using it. Have them help you decide an appropriate reward. It can be overwhelming so offer choices. Example: "I know you are going to do great. When you earn stars in every box would you like to walk to the park for bubbles or have a movie night?" Two options generally is enough. They might think of one on their own, but by beginning the conversation like this they will know what type of prize you are willing to give.
  7. Once you have decided on the reward start your chart. I like to have my guys draw their own happy faces or stars on the task that they completed. If they do not complete it, they don't earn a shape in the box. Without all of the shapes they don't get the reward. IMPORTANT: FOLLOW THROUGH!!! This only works if you hold your ground. Younger children may require more than one opportunity, so start simple.

1 comment:

  1. Love this idea! I am ready to try them again with the Bug. She's finally understanding rewards a bit better.... hoping to get back on the potty training wagon now that she's finally healthy again!