Saturday, March 9, 2013

Daily rhythms

Waldorf has such nice ideas about rhythm and routine for children. When kids know how and when things are going to happen, they can spend their energy growing, rather than worrying what's coming next, the theory goes. From a Montessori perspective, a chart can allow a child to become more independent. And I would have to think there are mathematical benefits to learning a one-to-one correspondence between the task item on the board and the task you have to do—and not to mention language arts benefits about sequencing and storytelling: first, next, last.

I love this idea of simple rhythms, but have been too undisciplined so far to really follow it. Even though I know Starboy really would benefit. So, to get started, I decided to try a daily chore chart. I got inspiration from Play at Home MomHomeschool Harmony, A Kid's Day, Playful Learning, and more. If you don't feel crafty enough to create your own chart, check these out (and Google more), as some of them are downloadable or for sale.

Morning tasks: Brush teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast (pic is of eggs), potty

I wanted to make this interactive using magnetic morning birds and evening stars, but the chart was becoming too big. I'd have to find a place to store all five birds (I have to add "take vitamins"), and seven stars at the bottom of the wood board, before moving them into place when the task was completed, and I couldn't make it work on this small board. So I decided not to let "perfect" be the enemy of "good." They all are glued in place.

Evening tasks: Put dirty clothes in hamper, set out clean clothes for tomorrow, take a bath

The stars are wooden and the birds are chipboard. All have scrapbooking "stacks" paper glued on with white glue/water, and are shellacked with the same glue. The drawings were done with a fine Sharpie. The board is a wooden craft board with scrapbook paper glued on and shellacked with white glue/water. A string handle allows us to hang the chart on his bedroom door.

Right after I hung the chart up, I remembered I was going to make a vertical tree, so that the chart would not stick out the side of the door. So. Consider yourself warned, you non-planners.

Evening tasks: Put on PJs, brush teeth, potty, bedtime stories and songs

Now when we talk about getting ready in the morning, I ask Starboy, "Have you done all of your birds? We can't leave until we do all the birds." At night, we "do our stars." Sounds so much better than "chores," or "grooming." And it is helping a little with getting out the door.


  1. Here is another beautiful chart:

  2. Still another great chart -- with a free printable!