August 28, 2006

Helping Kids Understand Time and Responsibility

A while back (before last year's school year ended) when we had a lot to do and places to go, I decided to use the white-board (dry erase) in the kids room to explain to them how the day would play out. I drew a chart with the times of the day - every 30 minutes - and wrote next to the proper times what main events we had to do. They wanted to play with their friends for as long as possible (where we were going after school), and I wanted them to get their school work and chores done before we left. The chart showed them what time Daddy would get home and when dinner would be served as well. It showed them when I had to start cooking (and what time we would have to leave their friend's house to get home for me to cook).

Seeing the day on the dry-erase board, they understood how many thirty minute increments there were between 'NOW' at 8:30AM and 'THEN' at 5PM (when we had to leave their friend's house to get home).

I also made them an assignment list and wrote their chores on the board so they would see what was expected of them. As they did the chores, they crossed them off. As they completed school work, we highlighted it on my lesson planner.

Each thirty minutes, we crossed the time off of their dry-erase chart. Doing this told them at a glance how much time they still had left with their friends if we left right then!

It is amazing how well and fast they worked when they:
1. KNEW WHAT WAS EXPECTED OF THEM UP FRONT
2. UNDERSTOOD CONCRETELY THE CONCEPT OF TIME
3. HAD A GOAL IN MIND.

It made me think... aren't we all like that? Sometimes we expect those little playful minds to grasp big grown up concepts like time and responsibility without ever really sitting down and TEACHING them the concrete realities of it all. They just needed a little visual object lesson, a little experience (and even a few natural consequences to suffer through), and some motivation or reward to work for! Kids are no different from their parents!


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14 comments:

buggymug said...

That's a great idea, Bee. :)

Yesterday I made a chore chart and my kids have really enjoyed getting familiarized with it today. Which, that sounds funny to say that they "enjoy" chores! LOL. But, sometimes just having something tangible and visual can make such a huge difference.

Bev.

Laura @ Homeschool Rocks said...

What a great idea! It's definitely something that we all struggle with at our house.

Thanks for stopping by the other day! :)

RegentLawWife said...

Not that we're perfect at this -- but even way back when the kids were toddlers, I showed them how our evenings had limits. I used One paper plate as our evening. Then I cut up several wedges from other plates and I wrote on them things we like to do and things we must accomplishe before bedtime. Of course, there were too many activities to fit into one evening, so the kids got an idea that we had to use our time wisely. So, when I picked them up from daycare (we had a very good experience with a corporate daycare back then), I would ask them in the car "How would you like to spend our evening?" Those tiny people would come up with actual, workable ideas!

My kids are now 8g, 7b and 4g. On holidays I write timelines of the days events. In some of our family photos, you can see a holiday-smiling kid clutching a piece of paper. Mom knows it's a timeline :)

BTW, I'm new here. Found you the same week I found KONOS! Woo hoo! We've been homeschooling since day one and look forward to exploring an expounded version of what we'd already been doing.

Nice to 'meet' you, Bee!

Brenda said...

What a great idea!! I really struggle w/ my 11 1/2 year old daughter and this may be a new plan here at my house. :) Thanks!

Sprittibee said...

Howdy Bev. Glad you liked it. We should probably do some kind of chore chart because I hate to keep reminding them. Are you on the KONOS email list? My friend MelRae has the most awesome chore chart ideas!

Laura - Thanks for returning the visit and the comment! I think we all struggle with it, really.

Regentlawwife - What a neat idea, the paper plates! That is great. I'll have to do that next time. Yesterday's little episode didn't go so well with a graph. I would love to hear more about your holiday timelines! What all did you put on them? Welcome to KONOS and my site! I love Konos!

Brenda - Hope it works for you! The key, I think is consistency. I struggle with that part of it more than anything.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the great ideas Heather. I always look forward to read more about homeschooling and KONOS and what you are all doing. I joined the KONOS virtual co-op and can't wait to get started. Blessings to you in this school year. May we all have a great year and grow closer to God and our kids. Sue in Orlando

RegentLawWife said...

Thanks for the warm welcome, Bee!

Regarding my holiday timelines: They were basically schedules of the day's events with notes on why or where. This stemmed from the kids badgering me about the events, which made my holiday stressful. Now I will begin to add historical tidbits as well.

Hmmm, chore charts...Like you I'm onto FlyLady. I also still use my SHE cards(Sidetracked Home Executive). For the kids, we have used a variety of systems with varying degrees of success. Early on, we even used a reward system for good behavior which I dubbed "The Smiley System". One favorite memory is when my youngest had done something rude but it struck my funny bone and I could not suppress my laughter. As I turned one of her smileys upside down, I said, "I am NOT smiling." She got me back with "Oh, yes you are!!" LOL

Sprittibee said...

You're welcome Sue! You lucky dog! I can't afford to do that... and I'm sure it's going to be wonderful. Jessica is like, super-human or something. ;)

regentlawwife - yer welcome, huney. *said with my best Southern drawal* I'd love to see a photo of your holiday pie charts just to give myself a visual. I guess I'm a visual learner. I haven't read "Sidetracked Home Executives". Cute name for your system.

Diana said...

I'm an adult and I still like my planners to be laid out in 30 minute increments. LOL! There are some things that just work no matter how old you get! ;)

RegentLawWife said...

aiClarification - for all of us who are A) up too late to see straight or B) Staggeringtoward the coffee cup :) (I'm both this week)

#1 The paper plate "Pie chart" was about time management in a preschooler-friendly format.

#2 Holiday timeline is a totally separate item. It's a piece of paper with the holiday schedule printed on it (10am baking cookies, 12 noon scavenger hunt, 3pm carve jack o'lantern, 5pm Put on costumes, etc)

#3 - Your invention of the Holiday Pie Chart: You're making me hungry! LOL

Sprittibee said...

I would love to see photos of your charts. :)

RegentLawWife said...

Take a peek and see how the pie wedges list things we must do and then things we like to do in the evening. Begin by placing the "musts" onto the chart of "Our Evening". If there would be any time to add in a "like to" then the child can help make the choice. This really helped my kids when they were preschoolers. Even though I thought of this as "time management for those who can't yet tell time", my neighbor snapped it up for her second grader. He can tell time, but the management part needs work.

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b383/hula_skirt/PieChartTimemgmt1.jpg

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b383/hula_skirt/PieChartTimemgmt2.jpg

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b383/hula_skirt/PieChartTimeMgmt3.jpg

I hope the pictures help. Sorry for URL's. Blogger isn't liking me tonight. And sorry it took so long! My laptop had died, then the replacement died as well!!

Sprittibee said...

That is just brilliant! I love them. How cute. Thanks for sharing them!

Julie said...

It is always encouraging to me to see what other moms are doing to help their children to become hard workers . A good work ethic for life must be developed early in the growing up years. That is another one of the great advantages of homeschooling; we get the opportunity to instill the value of good, hard work in our children.

I have 4 children that have finished homeschooling and 1 that is in high school homeschool. They all have jobs and are exceptional in their work. I credit that to the time we had to teach them how to work at home since they weren't burdened with a zillion activities away from home like most school children.

How happy I am that we have been homeschooling over 20 years! What a blessing it has been to our family.



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