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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Junk Out! 2010

This blog carnival is hosted by An Ordinary Mom.

I mentioned last week that, previously, just getting through life was the focus of our household and that we didn't even have the time/energy to look around and notice things that were minor but not the way we wanted for our home.

I also mentioned that one of the things that bothers me the most is the fact that, as a result, my 8-year-old daughter (Monica) doesn't know much about the process of de-cluttering, cleaning, and "earning her keep," LOL!

Since we are working on de-cluttering and cleaning, it would be a shame to let it get back to the way it was, right? I have found a tool that helps parents and children make an agreement about jobs the child is to perform, assigning point values to the daily jobs, and then allowing the child to shop in a reward store once they have earned enough points.

My Job Chart is a FREE interactive, online version of the traditional charts we have made in the past where the child has the chores listed, you mark off the job in some way (stickers, initials, etc.), and at the end of the week they get an allowance or something else.

This online chore chart system has a separate log-in for the parents and the child(ren). The parents are guided through the process of assigning jobs, printing a copy of the completed chore chart with each child's picture (if desired), assigning point values for each job, creating rewards with the number of points the reward costs, and sending messages of encouragement (or otherwise, if necessary) that the child will see when they log in to their account.

My Job Chart even gives good suggestions for jobs that can be assigned as well as rewards that are not necessarily monetary goods. Parents can also make up their own jobs and rewards if they don't see what they want already listed and even upload pictures of the jobs/rewards to encourage the child. My Job Chart can also send parents e-mails saying the child has either finished a job or earned a specific reward.

When the child logs in to their specific account (siblings are not able to access each other's account), the first tab lists each job they are to do and separates them according to the time of day they are to be completed (morning or evening). The next tab shows a list of "extra credit" jobs that the child can do if they want - or are trying to get points for a really big reward. The third tab shows the reward store that has pictures of the rewards and how many points they cost.

This video shows what the child's account looks like.

It only took me about 30 minutes to create an account, select basic jobs that I want Monica to start with, assign their point values, and give her a choice of 5 different rewards to choose from. It was really easy. And, yes, she was actually interested in what we are agreeing to do.

One of the bonuses to this online system is the fact that Monica enjoys computer time and feels like she has somewhere to privately work on her progress rather than look at a poster on the fridge, where anyone can see what she has or hasn't done.

This week will be our first full week implementing this system. I'll tell you if it was effective for us in next week's post. You can sign up here if you want to try My Job Chart to help you and your child(ren) focus on keeping your home de-cluttered and clean so that you can enjoy it more.