Saturday, October 5, 2013

Our Lovely Little Chore Chart... Free Template!

If only there was an easy, no hassle way of getting my children to pick up after themselves! This is how I felt a few months ago, but ever since I implemented a reward system, my children have been much more cooperative. They're actually pretty excited to clean up because they know they'll be rewarded with "Happy Mommy Tickets" in which they can redeem for various prizes such as snacks, tv/movie/computer time and even money.

I started out gathering free clipart and putting it into the computer and designing the chore cards.

I laminated the cards and punched holes near the top. Then I organized the chores into the time of day the chores should be done and when the kids completed a chore, or activity, they would hang the chore card on the bottom hook in the "Done" row.

This version of the chore chart can be downloaded for free in a few days!

I wasn't too happy with this version as the kids would often perform the tasks in a different order. I wanted the chores to be within sight and have them check them off with a dry erase marker.
The latest version of the chart is laid out in a basic chart format. The photos are visible and the kids can check off what they have completed using a dry or wet erase marker.
I have three children that can use the chart, so they each have a different colored marker and they mark off in the same box as their sibling. So you might have a few different colors next to "brush your teeth". I prefer the wet erase markers as dry erase can easily come off when another child is marking a spot on the chart. Just lightly mist with water at the end of the chart week and wipe off.

The chart is filled in by
two of my kids up to Tuesday.

For every 4 completed tasks,
they're rewarded with a
"Happy Mommy Ticket".

You can decide how many completed
tasks are needed for a ticket.

I created a custom layout to fit a long frame I had. The templates I created for you should fit a standard 8 x 10 frame. This will print on a standard 8.5" x 11 sheet of paper that you will need to trim down to 8" x 10".

You will need three frames for morning, afternoon and evening chores/tasks. Or you can laminiate each sheet and simply tape it to the wall or stick it on the refrigerator.
We're a homeschooling family, so our afternoon chart is filled with a lot of school related tasks.
Skip the afternoon chart and just use the Morning and Evening chart if you feel the afternoon chart does not apply to your family.

Feel free to email me with any suggestions.

Toddler chart coming soon!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Our Homeschool 2013

Our homeschooling has been going pretty well so far. In the past I felt like I was winging it, especially last year with being pregnant. But the baby is here now (4 months old) and I feel more in control.

Bean and Pea are in 2nd and 3rd grade. The only difference is their math level. We've started to use Saxon Math this year and I actually love it! There are mixed reviews on the Saxon method, but repetition has worked well for us so far. We're in our 4th week of school and 4th week of Saxon and so far the repetition is welcomed by my children.

In the past, I've used MEP Math. It's free and all the worksheets are available to download in pdf format. It worked well for us because I was able to download onto the ipad and have the kids use the Notability App to mark down their answers. I couldn't print up the lessons/worksheets, so this made it easier. However, the kids didn't like the lessons, and since I couldn't print up the lesson plans, it was even hard for me to understand some of the questions. There were lots of tears with MEP. This was just our experience.

This is our 4th year since we started to homeschool and I've learned quite a bit about my childrens' learning styles. It's true... it can take a couple of years to finally get into the groove.

Saxon has helped me stay focused. I'm not going to jump around different math topics only to find by the end of the year, they're trailing behind. This is our 4th week, and I already see a great improvement in my daughter. My son is doing great but he has yet to be challenged as we've already covered a lot of what is being presented. The challenge is coming up very soon, but I have faith that he will be able to understand it.

I never purchased the Saxon Meeting book mainly because of the reviews. I chose to purchase the 2nd and 3rd Grade Daily Warm Up Worksheets that can be used in place of the meeting book. You can purchase them for $2.75 at In my opinion, they have saved me a lot of time and make the daily meeting time run more smoothly.

Since I have never purchased the Meeting book, I'm not entirely sure if I'm missing any important pages/graphs. I figure I can make my own graph or find free templates online.
As for Language Arts, we use a variety of different programs.

Once in a while I use First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind (Vol. Levels 1 & 2) (First Language Lessons)

Spelling: AVKO Sequential Spelling

Reading: They read 20 minutes a day from books we check out from the library. I also have them read books on Reading Eggs and they complete reading comprehension quizzes as well as lessons on parts of speech, vocabulary, putting vocabulary words in alphabetical order, identifying grammatically correct and incorrect sentences, and a few other language arts lessons.

US. History: I knew that this year would be a good year to introduce our nations history. I searched and searched for a low cost curriculum and came across this wonderful and FREE curriculum created by another homeschool mom. I really can't believe it's free! Everything is laid out day by day and week by week. There is a total of 36 weeks and plenty of flexibility. I go to the library to search for the books listed in the curriculum and I end up checking out many others to suit my children's grade levels. Go to Guest Hollow for the complete curriculum.

Science: Guest Hollow offers a free science curriculum broken up into weeks.