A Wunderful Week 06.18.12

What a week!  First, congratulations to my wife, siblings ,and friends for finishing the Wasatch Back Ragnar Run!  It’s a bittersweet weekend for me ~ the kids and I survived 48 hours without mommy (I should put that as our week’s accomplishment)  but one of my goals over the past year was to run Ragnar.

I was on track until I blew my knee and still haven’t attempted to run since my injury.  Hoping to run in 2013!  Second, to all you dad’s out there ~ hope you had a fantastic Father’s Day!  Third, I got two blog award nominations but to properly thank the wonderful people who nominated me, I’ll wait until my next post since this is a busy post!

Wasatch Back Ragnar 2012 - It's a Wunderful Life Blog

My wife, brother, sister, sister in law, brother in law, and bunch of friends who finished Ragnar! WAY TO GO!

Fourth, it was my wife’s birthday earlier in the week.  The boys have been very excited to celebrate her birthday and were talking all week about cake, ice cream, presents, and candles!  Happy bday to my awesome wife!

Bday party - it's a wunderful life

Happy Birthday!

Accomplishments: We’ll recognize Twin B this week.  We had an end of year assessment with his teacher and it’s been amazing to see the progress he has made ~ a special recognition to his teacher and her amazing team that we will miss tremendously and have done so much for Twin B.  For example, his pre-writing testing showed an improvement from a 1yr 10mo level in September of last year to 4 yrs 3 mo level currently! I don’t think we can ever thank his teacher and all of these great individuals who do so much for our kids and our family.

Angry Bird Chart on It's a Wunderful Life

Congrats Twin B on your Chart Party!

A second accomplishment was his chart completion and his Chart Party Reward!  In a previous post, I put a picture of him at the beginning of this chart and we’re so happy to see he’s finished it!  He was SO EXCITED as he got closer and closer to completion.

Finally, we had a city carnival this weekend.  Crowds aren’t our favorite so we thought we’d try the carnival out early Friday afternoon.  We were one of the first 20 people in and were even able to stay over 4 hours!  I was impressed the boys did so well waiting in line, dealing with crowds, and even going on a number of the rides!  They were in heaven and I’m glad we took a chance at the carnival!  Slideshow below has all the previous pics + Carnival ones mashed up.

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Tip of the Week: OK, so this chart idea has been great for us ~ both boys use it currently at school and I noticed one in each class at their new school.  I wasn’t using the chart correctly but we got some guidance so hopefully, this makes sense and I’m explaining it right:

  • A “chart move” is earned and usually discussed with the child beforehand.  For example, “Twin B, we can do a chart move if you empty your lunch box in the sink”
  • We praise our twin that is doing the task towards the move versus using ‘negative reminders’ or threats to remove the chart move from the one not doing the task.  i.e “Great job Twin B at working to your chart move, we’re almost done!”
  • Again, don’t use the chart move as a threat.  I did that a few times before really understanding it and noticed that when we didn’t award the chart move, we had massive breakdowns
  • If you can’t reward the chart move, don’t make a big deal about it.  Simply say something to the extent of, “we didn’t do that very well so we won’t do a chart move” and move on.  My problem was I was focusing on it as a result of their behavior, which escalated the problem
  • Use intermediate rewards on their chart sporadically, say every 5 moves, as a short term motivator
  • If you have twins, don’t leave permanent markers by the chart. . . . there’s a good chance one will grab it and draw all over the other’s chart.  Grrrr . . .  . . . . .

Hope that helps!  We have Angry Bird (go figure) charts in our kitchen for them and since they use it at school, it works well ~ I think the structure and task / goal focus really helps the twins focus on things.  A bit of a longer post than usual (I try to say under 550 words) but it was a busy week!  Have a good one!

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8 comments
  1. Do you have an earlier explanation of what and how to work charts…beginner here! I keep reading about them but just don’t really understand how to make them or what to put on them. Grandson is only 4 and I have had one therapist say to just put up a paper and put the next goal on it…say a picture of him eating breakfast, when he accomplishes that, put the next move up. I don’t really understand the point of that, he understands my words when I say time for breakfast. Is that something I should do…or is there more to this charting? Thanks again for sharing your beautiful family and the many accomplishments!

    • Thanks for the comment! I think there are different variations on the chart. I wondered the same thing because the chart wasn’t towards a specific goal. Rather, the teachers at the school use it to encourage certain activity say ~ finishing a certain goal in a session or being able to take something to the office and deliver a message. When the student completes it, they achieve the chart move. I try to use it at home to encourage certain behaviors. For example, on Tuesday I’ll use it when I have piano students over. I’ll tell the boys that if they can paint say three angry bird pictures while I have piano, they can get a chart move.

      I think you were asking about breakfast and doing steps for him to accomplish something? I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for him in that sense as well if you were focusing on specific behaviors. I’m going to work with the full ‘morning routine’ by themselves once their summer officially starts. When we do that, I’ll preempt their morning routing by setting the expectation that if they can do certain parts of that (put on shirt by themselves, then maybe shirt and pants, then do a clothes and brushing teeth) then they get a chart move. I’d start simple and then work up to it. Our chart is numbered 1-30, the school was 1-100 so I think frequency is key to getting them to enjoy it and see the progress they are making.

      • I still don’t fully understand how to use wordpress and only found your answer today! Thank you for the advice. I am going to make a very small chart…just a train with a few goals for now. Connor may not even understand it for awhile! Thanks for the ideas! I love the days that I have time to read your blog!

  2. I think this might work with my son Ceth when he “loses focus” on his school homework after about 30 minutes. Did you make the chart on your own, or were you able to download from somewhere? THANK-YOU!

    • I made the chart on my own using powerpoint and clipart. If you’d like, send me your email at raywunder@gmail.com and I can send you what we used. Hope it helps. See my next post, it really helped calm our kids down during their bath time when they knew there was a ‘chart move’ at stake. 🙂

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