Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Chore Charts

I’ve wanted to post about this for a while now. A little over a month ago my five year old and I worked out a chore chart for her, so she knows what to do during the day and what her responsibilities are. I mainly started this because my five year old is just like me, a morning person and an early riser. I remember I always used to be the first one up in my house. While my mom and my sister slept I was usually able to watch a whole bollywood movie before they woke up (and that tells a lot because those things are like 3 HOURS LONG!!!)

Anyhow, my five year old is exactly the same way, (except she's never seen a bollywood film, shocking I know! LOL!). Now that daylight savings time has kicked in, morning prayers are around 5:30am and I’ve noticed sometimes she’s up even before then (even if she went to bed at 10pm the night before). Well we tell her to stay in bed and try and sleep some more, which she is able to do for another hour or so and I also usually try and go back to sleep for atleast an hour after that. So we made up some ground rules for her. First, if she wakes up she needs to try and stay in bed until 7am. At 7am she can get up and start going through her chore chart. Before we made up the chore chart she would wander aimlessly through the house not knowing what to do or she would come wake me up because she was bored. I didn’t mind but I preferred it if she had her own schedule to follow and she knew what her day would consist of and what she can look forward to accomplishing.

Anyhow, we worked out a chore chart similar to this:

1. Go to the potty and wash up.
2. Get dressed (She has a little drawer that she can choose her days clothes from that has her “home clothes” in it which consists of comfortable dresses or shalwar kameez that she only wears around the house, not if we go out somewhere) (She also combs her hair and puts on a matching hair band and a little chap stick, it’s so adorable!)
3. Make your bed (thank goodness I do not have to do that anymore! :) )
4. Read, play with your toys or work on your computer until parents wake up (or until I have her breakfast ready if I am already awake)
5. Eat breakfast
6. Put your dishes in the dishwasher
7. Wash your hands, face, brush teeth and clean up.
8. Homeschooling time, or do Madressa homework, or bike riding or activity time. (This is a time period of a few hours that we usually do all of our work and/or go bike riding to the park or if we planned some sort of outing or activity then we do that.
9. Eat lunch
10. Put your dishes in the dishwasher
11. Wash your hands, face, brush teeth and clean up.
12. Naptime or reading time
13. Playtime or do as you please time (Which usually consists of any outings or activities we have planned or Mama cooking and her playing with her sister, or Baba, or grandpa or grandma. We also do homeschooling at this time if we didn’t get it done in the morning.)
14. Dinnertime
15. Put your dishes in the dishwasher
16. Get ready for bedtime (washing, brushing teeth, putting her day clothes in the laundry basket (home clothes and outside clothes that she may have worn that day) and putting on her pajamas
17. If there’s still some time before bed (they are usually in bed between 9pm and 9:30pm, unless they missed their nap that day then they are in bed by 8pm) they can play a little bit with the family (especially their uncle who comes over at least once a week for dinner)
18. Quick clean-up (picking up toys in their room, living room, parents room, kitchen or any other room they have been playing in)
19. Bedtime

Then at the bottom of her chore chart I have another small section that says:

Other things to remember during the day:
a) be kind to others (especially to her little sister)
b) be helpful (help mom with preparing food, setting table, cleaning up, sorting laundry, emptying dishwasher, etc...)
c) remember your manners (table manners, social skills, and her please and thank you’s)
d) say your prayers (pray with us as often as she can and also read her duas throughout the day, especially before going to sleep)

Now of course not every day is like this and not every thing is accomplished or completed in this order. We just made this up to use as an example so we have some sort of schedule and she knows what to do and expect. For example, Mondays are library days and we usually go there in the mornings, therefore we don’t do as much homeschooling that day because her uncle usually comes for dinner Monday evenings so we prepare a nice dinner that evening and don’t do that much homeschooling, if any. Saturday is totally different because we usually have other commitments and activities going on. Madressa is on Sunday and most of our day is spent there. And then other days we may have field trips or I just feel like going to the mall some days and having lunch out. :)

Anyhow, having a chore chart has really made my life easier and has made her feel more confident and responsible. There are a lot of different ways you can set yours up; I just did mine in a table format using Microsoft Word. You can do yours in excel or download one that’s already done for you and print it out. You can also have rewards for different chores accomplished. There are a lot of great sites you can get ideas from, here are a few I’ve found that gave me some ideas for her chart:

ChartJungle - Full of all kinds of charts
MyRewardBoard - Good place to start if you want to set up a reward system
ChoreBuster - Set chores up for everyone here! :)
DLTK's Custom Chore Chart - You can have different themes!
And of course About.com’s scheduling, calendaring, and charting section for lots more info.

6 comments:

  1. Tasmiya5:50 AM

    MashaAllah, great idea. Do you have any advice on how to STICK to a chart? I start out with such gusto and so does my 5 year old then after 2 weeks or so we sort of trail off and forget all about it until we get in the mood for a new one.

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  2. Mash'Allah....that is just awesome! LOL at the bollywood. When you said you watched one before your parents even got up i was thinking "Dear GOD! Those things are like 3 hours long!" and then that's what you said next - lol! Poor child is getting deprived... ;-)

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  3. PS. I need to write up a schedule for me like this...gonna do that today. Thanks for the linky's!

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  4. Tasmiya, actually I don't know how we are doing it. I guess she just feels better having something to do and knowing what to do. She just needed some direction.

    However not everything is always happily done. Brushing teeth after every meal is really difficult. But ever since we got her a new Hello Kitty toothbrush and toothpaste she’s been a little better about it. :)

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  5. Bollywood movies are such a waste of time, rarely is there one worthwhile to watch. I haven't seen one for ages myself. I did like Lagaan a lot though.

    Yes having a schedule really is such a lifesaver. I feel like I get way more accomplished then.

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  6. Wonderful idea - I am going to snatch one up right now! ;)

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