Monday, May 7, 2012

Kids and Chores - Computer Reward Systems

Getting kids to do their chores, seems to be a big hassle for most parents.

My older two have always done chores, and they are use to just doing a job, most of the time.  Nobody is perfect.

But my younger two are just learning.  Life has been harder the last couple of years, and somehow, it was easier to just do the chore ourselves than to train Scholar to do it himself.  In fact, I've noticed that everyone has slacked off considerably over the last four years.

But through the years, I have come across several computer tools to help with the chore problem.

Chorebuster -

I've been using this one for about 5 or 6 years.  Occasionally we stop for a while, when we have a major change in lifestyle, and I don't feel like updating it.  But most of the time, this is our main tool.

I spent close to a week entering all of the information.  Start with the people - you can always add more later, but it is easier to assign the chores if the people are already there.  You can set the level of chore responsibility - 100%, 75%, 50%, 25%,  and choose certain days to lessen a load - so you could set it at 75% for a student, and then set it at less chores for weekdays.  You can also set it for no chores, for a Sabbath or a Sunday, or for a day an older child works at a job outside of the home.

Next, put in the chores.  First, give the chore a name.  Then, you get to set how often and which days the chore shows up on the chart, there is a LOT of flexibility with that.  Below that, there is a selection for chore difficulty ranging from 0 - 14, 3 is average and default.  You can set it at 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, or 14.  On the next page, you choose who does NOT have to do the chore (so on clean toilets, I checked Scholar and Sunshine ... the rest of us can do that job.)  On the other hand, "Brush Teeth" is only assigned to Scholar and Sunshine and is marked, Two people do this job.   You can choose the time of day the chore is to be done, the room it is done in, and how much $$$ the chore is worth.

Click "My Schedule" and it will schedule out when each chore needs to be done and who needs to do the chores.  You will notice that some days one person seems to have far less than somebody else, but if you add up their chore total points for the week - it all comes out at the asked for %% when you entered that person.  So if one person has 2 or 3 chores set at 14 points to do on Saturday, they might not have so many chores to do during the week.

You can click a setting to make the chores more random, but my kids prefer more structure and predictability.

ChoreWars  -

We tried this program out last year.  It plays somewhat like a computer game - and I think for a larger group of people, it could be a huge motivator.

In this program, you choose a character and a character name - things like wizards and ogres.  Then you set up quests, with fights and prizes.  It is almost more fun to set up the game, because it is difficult to find your chores after you enter them if you get very creative.  You assign XP to each task, and work your way up through the ranks.  Just like a computer game.

Here is one of our adventures.

Cave Spelunking

low strengthlow dexteritylow intelligencelow wisdom
  • between 5 and 25 gold pieces
  • 50% chance of stackable treasure (1c,5c,10c,2c,ABC gum,dust bunny,pet spider,big smile,big hug,kiss,a song)
  • 50% chance of a wandering monster (dust bunny,wooden spoon,lost toy,lazy shadow,growler,bad attitude,)
For 15 minutes, clean out from under furniture and cabinets and tables. Then put everything you find where it needs to go

and here is another one

Potty train the Baby hobbit

low constitutionmedium dexteritymedium charismamedium wisdom
  • between 10 and 50 gold pieces
  • 100% chance of stackable treasure (chocolate chip,big hug,baby smile,high 5,MnM,boogy woogy hug,Golden High 5,big kiss,1c,2c,3c,4c,5c,5 min free)
  • 70% chance of a wandering monster (pile o poop,soggy britches,drippy socks,wet drawers,piddle puddle,brown mess,diaper rash,sensitive stomach,floppy moppy,dry wet wipe,clogged toilet,dropped TP)
Take Sunshine to the potty, and clean up accident or potty chair.

Story and Song will play this for 2 - 5 weeks, and then loose interest.  They keep inviting their cousins to join them, but so far, nobody wants to challenge with them.

Goalforit!  -

Scholar calls this his golf game, because the first time he saw it, he mistook the words as golf it.

In this program, you set up chore and behavior charts for the kids, they get computer stickers for their efforts and point.  The points can be cashed in for surprises.  The parent sets it all up.

It seems to be some sort of social portal, where you can chat with other parents.  There are also tools for the parents, such as lists, and goals.  We've only been using this for a few weeks, and only the sticker chart for Scholar - so I cannot comment on the rest of it.

Some programs that I haven't tried yet that might be worth looking at ...    ---  I've seen excellent reviews of this one.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...