In January my oldest son began working on a Character Project, a school assignment that involved a few different steps and commitments, character developments really, over the course of several weeks. It was a delightful project to watch unfold. He first chose a character trait that he (or, rather, his mama) wanted to work on implementing more into daily life. And then, we set to work. We developed a chore chart to help him with the trait of dependability. And, despite the fact that we used the age-old and very non-creative idea of a chore chart, it actually worked. I began seeing changes in my six year old that were encouraging and beautiful.
(A moment of hilarity–– we arrived on the last day of school, our buttons bursting with pride at his character board, and dropped it off at the presentation hall. I had that sneaking suspicion a few days before the project's due date that I might've gotten his character trait mixed-up. I mean, January was a terribly long time ago. But I fought off the feelings valiantly and he wrote in large Sharpied letters across the top of his presentation board–– D E P E N D A B I L I T Y. And then, I saw it. There it was, printed out underneath his name, sitting on the table in front of us, the word obedience. I felt terrible. Really, the two work so well together. They're kind of the same thing. Right? I gently tucked the bottom piece of the paper under so that only his name showed. And then his teacher and I had a good laugh over my terrible mistake. He passed with flying colors, still. Thankfully.)
A few months after we began using the chore chart we also implemented an allowance system that a friend of mine shared with me. Our boys receive money each month that matches their age. The boys seem to understand the principles of this system and how we've broken it down into three typical categories–– give, save, spend.
Last week, after a few months of receiving allowance, our boys made their first purchases from their spending jar: nerf guns. It was so delightful to watch this process. Somehow, I knew Job would end up going to bed that night with zero darts left, but, to my surprise, he kept one. It looks like their next spending purchase might be for replacement darts.
I've only lost two picture frames so far.....
The top photo is Graeme's presentation board. I am so proud of him. I loved his cut-out illustrations and his handwriting has come so far this year. The second photo is a nerf gun war in action. And dirty feet. (wink)