MOTIVATING a small child to complete a sequence of events such as the jobs to get ready for school – eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, brush hair, get school bag ready – can be difficult. I’ve found a tool that helps with that quest.
MyChart.com.au is a god-send for kids who just need a nudge to get organised.
My daughter, Matilda, is very organised and very strong-willed. She likes to do things in her own time and at her own pace. So the daily struggle to get her to get dressed according to my schedule, so she’s ready in time for the school‘s schedule, is never ending.
MyChart.com.au is a system that helps those children who want more control over their morning routine. It also helps those kids who need to see, in a tangible way, all the jobs they have to do and all the jobs they’ve done.
MyChart.com.au is simple!
The way it works is simple. Two rows of hooks with a set of cards hanging on the hooks, one card per hook. Each card represents a job. Get out of bed, or make the bed if your child is old enough for that, is represented by a picture of the bed. For younger children it works well because without even really doing anything (except getting out of bed) they can already get the satisfaction of one job done, and flipping a card over, just by getting out of bed! This motivates them to move onto the next job.
It’s insanely easy to operate – child’s play, really.
Why MyChart.com.au works
What Matilda really loves about it is that she gets the satisfaction of crossing things off her list by flipping over the card associated with the job she’s already done. Other kids will be motivated differently. If your child is a reward-oriented child, then by all means give them a reward when all the jobs are done. It’s flexible enough and malleable enough to work for all families and all households. Different kids can use it in different ways.
There are five different sets you can choose from depending on age and stage of the kids, including a toilet training kit with 10 toilets. Every time your child goes to the toilet turn it over to reveal the smiley face.
By the time you leave for kindy or daycare or school, your child should be able to see a whole row of smiley faces hanging.
There are five different sets of cards for different age groups, representing different jobs that need to be done.
Why it works for Matilda is that she can see, in a clear, visual way, what she’s done and what she has left to do. She has a feeling of control over her morning routine. Instead of being told to hurry up and move onto the next job, at the whim of the evil overlord known as Mum, she can move onto the next task seamlessly and is in charge of her own action. Matilda loves being in charge of her own activity. Matilda loves being in charge!
How MyChart.com.au started
MyChart.com.au is the brainchild of Brisbane mum Kylie West, who wanted a system that would help her daughter get ready for school.
“My son, who’s 12, had the routine part of our mornings down pat. He’s always been super organised. Whereas Olivia is a bit of a floating fairy,” she said.
“With her it doesn’t matter how many times you say, ‘Time to get ready’, because she’s in her own little world.”
Kylie wanted to make something that her daughter could use to keep her on track in the mornings with something that represented all the jobs Olivia needed to do before going to school.
“So I just drew stick figures on cards. It was really bad! I don’t know how she picked up what they were,” Kylie said.
Kylie is an early childhood educator and knew from her experience working with kindy and prep kids that they love a visual.
“I spent a weekend making a chart with little pegs and pics that I laminated. Then neighbours asked for it,”she said.
That was in February and Kylie quickly began researching how she could get her chart made in commercial volumes for sale. By early August Kylie was ready to launch My Chart.
“I thought getting My Chart set up would be the hard part and marketing it would be easy. It’s not that way. I need a marketing budget,” she said.
“And I need to be smart about how I’m going to spend my tiny bit of marketing,” she said.
Selling the first chart was a big thrill, but Kylie said the biggest thrill so far has come from selling to a complete stranger.
“It was exhilarating,” she said.
Reviewed by: Felicity Moore on October 25, 2013.
Her rating: 7 out of 10.
For more information visit: Mychart.com.au.
Cost: $32.95 for one board + 10 cards.