May 9, 2009

Do-It Door Addendum

Since writing about Our Do-It Door a few weeks ago, I've received quite a bit of feedback from readers who really like the idea and would like to try it with their own families. I'm very humbled by that response! And now - after a particularly busy couple of weeks - I've finally found some time to post an addendum to address a few of the most frequently-asked questions:

1. Can I provide a larger image of the chart so the specific items we have on it are more visible?
Unfortunately, I haven't found a way to do that, but here is a list of what our chart includes:


Come downstairs by 7:30.
Eat breakfast.
Clear the breakfast dishes.
Get dressed. Put away pajamas and unders.
Make your bed.
Brush your teeth.
Brush your hair.
Do your assigned chore.
Be ready for school by 8:45.

Straighten the living room.
Straighten the dining room.
Do your assigned chore.
Change into your pajamas. Put your clothes down the chute.
Brush and floss your teeth.
Choose a bedtime story.

You may wonder about the Do your assigned chore. task on both lists. That was my way to make a spot for the various chores the girls can already do or are in the process of learning - currently things such as feeding our cats, wiping out the bathroom sink, helping to load or unload the dishwasher, putting away their folded clothes, and cleaning their playroom. Of course, those tasks change from day to day, and it seemed much simpler to put a generic notation than to try to get specific. Since taking the original picture, I've added a mini dry-erase board (a very reasonably-priced item I found at our local school supply store) to the blank space under the evening chore list on each child's chart; on it, I list the assigned chores for the upcoming day. I've found that my girls delight each morning in seeing what they're supposed to do and - as with taking off the X's - enjoy erasing the notes when the jobs are done.

2. Where did I get the clipart pictures?
They're from a website to which my graphic artist husband has free access through his employer (one of many perks to having an artist in the family!). Ordinarily, there is a subscription fee to the site. But, if you're unable or unwilling to pay for clip art, I know there are many free clip art sites available on the internet.

3. What are those things below the actual charts? The flowered pouches are small gift bags I purchased at Target to hold all the little velcro X's as they come off the chart - the most efficient way I could think of to avoid losing them all! And the other items - the library pockets and the number strips - are actually components of Sue Patrick's Workbox System, the wonderful homeschool organizational tool that gave me the inspiration for the Do-It Door; if you purchase Sue's book, you will learn all about how to use those and the other components of the system...which I highly recommend you consider implementing in your home. For my testimonial about how the workboxes have worked for us, click here.

4. What if you don't have a suitable door?
Just adapt the concept to your situation. Perhaps you can have a "Work-It Wall" instead. :^)

This system has continued throughout the past month to work as well for us as it did in the first few days. My girls do not need to be reminded about any of their daily routines or chores anymore; they simply check the chart and get to work on the necessary tasks. In fact, they happily zip through their jobs, and they haven't complained once in the last four weeks about anything the chart has "asked" them to do. As a result, our home has been much more peaceful and relaxed.

If you decide to implement a similar system in your home, I hope it works as well for you. Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions about what we've done here.


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