Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Chore Chart - by Cara Potapshyn Meyers

Now that the holidays are behind us, and some routines for your child may have "relaxed" during this time, it is a terrific time to re-establish more structure for your family. To help your family get back on track and start the New Year off right, we came upon just the right solution for you!
I was excited to be invited to try out an online scheduling site called, "GoalForIt." This excellent online resource provides a variety of free solutions for personal success that are easy to use and can help bring more focus, balance and fulfillment into everyday living. I particularly love their simple-to-use Chore Chart, which can help children of all ages learn essential skills in a fun and rewarding way.

This FREE Chore Chart can help teach kids, tweens and teens many important lessons, including:
Chore Chart is an ideal way to help your kids feel like they are making a contribution to their family by doing their part around the house.
Understanding right from wrong:
Setting behavior goals is an important way to help children strengthen their character and judgment.
Healthy Habits:
Teaching good habits involving nutrition and physical activity are the cornerstone of preventing obesity in children and adolescents.
Money Matters:
The optional point system teaches children three important lessons for managing money; earning, spending and saving.
I went to the site and set up my personal account. My focus was to make up a Chore Chart that my son could reasonably follow. This site is incredibly simple to use. To create a personalized chart, you choose a "background" that you or your child likes. You then go to the category options (ie. chores, behavior, healthy eating, etc.) and click on the goals that you would like to see on your chart. I was able to combine one chart to include not only chores, but also behavior goals and healthy habits. Then I selected how many times per week I thought my son could reasonably achieve these goals on a daily and weekly basis. This allowed both of us to see the big picture of how well my son was able to successfully carry out his goals. That's it! I made one up in just a few minutes. I had the option to print out the charts for a few weeks, complete with dates, enter the daily information directly to the website, or do a combination of both.
Once the chart was completed for the day, I had the option of entering how well my son did onto the website on a daily basis or at any other point in time. This process took virtually just a couple minutes. We would click on the appropriate day and goal. Then my son got to choose which type of “sticker” he could apply to that goal once it was finished. At the end of the week, I could print out a summary to review with my son. We could easily see where he would be rewarded or given a chance to try harder to complete the goals for the next week. We could even go back into the site and modify goals that we felt were more unreasonable for my son to achieve. There is even a “Moolah” button you can use to “bank” points for actual money if you desire. Overall, it was a fun, interactive way to work with your child to both empower him/her or to set and achieve reasonable goals. The site also offers suggestions about both rewarding your child or working on ways for your child to be more responsible for his/her goals.
My son was able to easily achieve most of the goals I set up for him. As he becomes better at being able to meet all of his goals, we can then collaborate together and work on either increasing the number of times he would need to meet a goal per week or add additional categories to his chart. We can even create our own personal goals if we choose. The Chore Chart is completely customizable and flexible.
I plan to continue to use the Chore Chart system! With it's ease of use and completely customizable system, I even want to make up a chart for myself! The website is user-friendly, simple to use and best of WORKS!
Try it out with your family. Not only is it FREE, but it is simple to use. Best of all, my son actually likes it! With any child, that is half the battle! 

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