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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Get Up, Get Out - Contributor Post

As school has started, our entire morning routine has shifted, and not in an easy-to-swallow way. Thankfully, Alex Nguyen from Alex Nguyen Portraits has done this before and she's got some great ways to get the kids up, out, and into good human beings.


School normally starts up around here after Labor Day. With the beginning of school, begins also the morning struggle of getting my boys ready and out the door on time in the morning. I have two kids going to two different schools, so it took everything I had to keep my sanity from reminding them of the same things every. single. day. They could recite whole episodes of Curious George, but not remember to brush their teeth in the morning without a reminder. Times two! Fortunately, I instituted a morning chart routine a couple of years ago when my oldest started kindergarten, and it's really streamlined our whole morning process. Now, instead of me getting frustrated that, yet again, I'm reminding him to go pee and brush his teeth, I just redirect him to check out his morning chart, and he can look and cross off what he needs to do. It's been a sanity saver, and let's me make a cup of coffee in the morning so I can get going with my day.

The second thing which also helps in our household is a chore chart. I downloaded a template and laminated the different chores and velcroed it to the chart. I love it because there are things that need to be done such as feeding the pets, practicing spelling, not fighting with their brother, etc. that isn't necessarily a chore that I want to reward. The template has a "morning", "afternoon", and also a "to earn" column. In our household, I give out chore coupons for completed chores in the "To Earn" column. One coupons = one quarter OR 30 minutes of screen time. Each boy gets their own chore chart to complete, with age appropriate chores. It really helps gives them a sense of responsibility, and also gives me a chance to redirect them to being helpful (and in the older son's case, making sure his homework is completed, he has practiced his soccer skills or tae kwon do poomses). In the long run, kids who *want* to be helpful get to be, things get done, and sanity gets saved. It's a win, win for everyone!

Project Links: Morning Responsibility Chart Template for Chore Chart (.PDF File)
This is the responsibility chart I have for both my kiddos. It's SO helpful in the morning because I can just tell them, "Go look at your chart!" instead of nagging at them in the morning. The step-by-step tutorial I found on here. To make your own you will need: corrugated cardboard, paper, bamboo skewers, and a straw.

My older son's chart reads: wake up, go pee, brush teeth/puffer, eat breakfast, get dressed, pack back pack (includes homework AND lunch). This is simple stuff that needs to be done every day! My younger son has pictures since he can't read yet.
Here is the chore chart I have for both my boys, I downloaded the template from Home School Creations (it's a .PDF file, free to download!). I laminated mine, and then put velcro on the backside. I like this template because it has morning, afternoon, and also a "to earn" column, because I want my boys to have automatic things to do that aren't just for money (such as feeding their pets). It also has pictures AND words so both kids can look at it and understand what it asks.
What the velcro looks like, it's very easy to adjust around. When the boys are done with a chore, they put it "upside down" on the chore chart to let me know that it's been finished (easily done with velcro).
I got my squares from Home Depot, but you can also buy them from places like Lakeshore Learning, or
Some of the different chore squares the printable template came with! It also came with some blank ones where you can make your own.
In our househole, one chore in the "to earn" column equals one chore coupon. The value is 25 cents OR 30 minutes of screen time, whichever they want.



  1. Great tips everybody. Thanks! I even have a giant colorful sign on my schoolroom that claims 'If not Pine Tree State, who? If not currently, when?'. I refer the kids to the current whenever there's a large number to scrub up, or employment to be done.job chart It's nice to listen to them say it to themselves typically, as they devour a born pencil or one thing (that wasn't even!). I additionally love the method you visit your students as 'friends'. may strive it....

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