Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What's Working for us Thursday

Last week, a friend at "Our Busy Homeschool"    put out a challenge to blog each Thursday about something that is "working" for our family right at the moment.  It might not work in a day, or a week - or it might work long-term... who knows.  But for right now - it works.

Well, this week I'm going to share something that is "Sort-of" working - but not quite.  But it is working better than nothing.  And to be fair - I'm not doing the whole thing.

Years ago, I tried a program with Delta to get the Morning and Bedtime Routine going a little bit better.  It encourages the children to do each routine faster than the music provided.  If they beat the music, they got a point.  Points would add up for a "Date" with a parent.  I think if they got all the points for the day (or part of day?) they also got a Star.  It is called "Children's Miracle Music".

Well, I don't have the poster anymore, and I'm not sure where the CD's are - although I have a copy of "most" of the tracks as MP3's on the computer.  The "add up your points" songs are missing, and "Brush your Teeth" is missing in the morning - I think when I made the MP3's years ago, the filename was the same so I only have one.  At the moment I'm not tracking points or giving out stars....

I remember way back we stopped using it because Delta would dance to the music if he was done before the time was up.... but that quickly turned into dancing through the music instead of doing what he was supposed to.

Over the last couple of years I've tried a couple of programs to make various times easier - Accountable Kids, Chore Packs, and a couple of others.  They seem to work for a few days - maybe a week or two - and then it doesn't seem to work.  I'm sure it is my lack of consistancy with it all.... cards get lost, and everything seems to start being a hassle.

But recently I felt like I was spending all my time giving commands.  So one day, I threw the morning routine on.  And you know - it was better.  Not totally - but the kids are generally hustling to do the items.

A few drawbacks.... it is a set routine - no customization.  Also, I have 4 kids.... and sometimes they CAN'T do the same thing at the same time.  Definitely not helpful for things like "Use the Bathroom" (4 kids can't use 1 bathroom at the same time!)  So I do have to over-ride some of the directions so it works out better.  Another example is "Do Your Hair" - except I have to help each of the 3 girls do their hair.... so again, I have to modify the directions.   And of course, there is a set amount of time for each item - designed to be fair - but sometimes it doesn't work out.  For example "Make Your Bed" has plenty of time to make a basic bed - but if the sheet has come off, it takes my kids more time.

But, as I said - my kids are responding well to it - even without the "points".  (I could see "points" helping in the longer term)  I'm tempted to make my own version - recording the instructions with specific instructions for each child for the songs....  but then it sounds like a lot of work when I'm not sure how long it would work....

And as I'm typing this - I'm dreaming of Accountable Kids working like I wish it would....  Sigh

Also, just a note - the SkedTracker program is still working well for getting our Homeschooling working well.

P.S. - I know today isn't Thursday - I wanted the post ready to link it up tomorrow morning!


  1. I know one of my kids would love reminders or directions set to music! I think it can be such a powerful tool. We use it for some memory work and for math, why not for chores too? Neat!

    1. Yes, it is cool how they scurry away to do it when it is set to music... (And it is generally upbeat "quick" music....) I really don't know if it would work for an everyday thing for very long - but it works well for the occasional boost!

  2. I have this program too! There have been some hilarious episodes with 4 children and the bathroom song... My 10 and 12 year-olds now roll their eyes and refuse to participate in the morning music though. I've found a system that is rally working well for us right now. It's a point chart system based on the book "The Kazdin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child". So far we are only working on the habit of completin school in a timely manner, but I have been blown away by the change in our home's atmosphere. We are moving on to chores when good school habits are acquired. And it would work great for morning and evening routines.