In case you're just joining us, Part 1 of this series covered House Rules, Part 2 covered the Daily Consequence Chart, and both can be found on this blog. Today is the fun part...well, at least the only part that involves any fun for the kiddos: the 5 STARS CHART!
As my children grew, I started to see that they had developed a belief that a normal day was one spent playing and that work was an annoying distraction. They saw it as perfectly normal to watch me WORK while they PLAYED. I felt genuine conviction that they needed to reverse their thinking: Work is normal, play is optional.
After reading the book by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, called The Duggars: 20 and Counting!, I became intrigued by chore packs. These are name badge holders that contain personalized chore cards (sounds really simple, but it isn't, and the kit from titus2.com provides everything you need to get started). Each child attaches the chore pack to their clothes and performs the tasks independently and in order. I ordered the kit and created the simplest of chore packs for each child. One day I hope to implement the full program, but, in the meantime, I've found an alternative method that's working for us.
One day, after we'd arrived home from school and work, I interrupted their sprint to their toys and asked them to do a chore. Of course this request was met with a bit of resistance, but I told them, "Work is normal and good! Once you do some work, you'll earn some play time!" Unconvinced, they begrudgingly set off to do their task. When they returned to report their accomplishments, I put a star sticker on a sheet of paper beside their names. I told them that they would receive 30 minutes playtime after completing 5 chores.
After using the 5 STARS chart (click here for ours) for over a year, I've found that it works really well, most of the time. Sometimes the tasks come from the chore packs. At other times, it's whatever seems most urgent at that moment. Sometimes I have to help them along by setting a timer, and if the task isn't finished in that time, they get no star and are sent to another task. If they earn a writing consequence from the Daily Consequence Chart, I note that on the 5 Stars Chart, in the column labeled "Plus," to indicate that they have to write that verse or House Rule before they get their free time. I don't interrupt their chore time to have them write.
I can imagine that reading about the House Rules, the Daily Consequence Chart, and the 5 Stars Chart is overwhelming. It was a bit overwhelming just to describe it! I would encourage you to give them a try, though. They have made a huge difference in the stress level of our family, and I hope they bless you too!