Sunday, March 14, 2010

Accountable Kids Review

A few months ago, I stumbled upon a family blog that used a program called Accountable Kids.  I’m always interested in things that other moms have used and recommend and so I studied their website and decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did!
I will attempt to give a simple review of the program, but please visit their website at http://www.accountablekids.com/ for a more complete description of the program.

Accountable kids is in my opinion, a wonderful program to teach kids accountability, work ethic, and positive values. It is more than a chore chart; it is a comprehensive 4 step program where children learn exactly what to expect from their day, and are rewarded for their compliance. Being a former teacher, I was initially skeptical of the “rewards”, but soon found out that the rewards were just things that Garrett was already doing (like videos, etc) but now he has to earn that privilege. Goodbye entitlement!

Here are the tools that you get with your order. The AK progress board is the central part of the program. You can order it personalized or you can choose to personalize it yourself.

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The responsibility reminder cards hang on the first knob. For example, here are the responsibilities that I want Garrett to do in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Notice the color coding.

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As you can see, these “chores” are really things that he already does, but now instead of me reminding him to do it, he just has to look at the board and then it’s HIS idea. There are a ton of cards to choose from. Since Garrett is only 3, we are doing a VERY simplified version of the program. The great thing is that the program will grow with him. It’s designed for kids ages 3-14. Obviously, the older he gets the more responsibilities he will have.
Here is how the cards hang on the board…also notice the “tickets” hanging on the center hook.

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When Garrett completes ALL of his morning, afternoon, or evening responsibilities, he will earn a ticket.  You as the parent would decide which activities are ticketed. Generally, they recommend ticketing activities that you wish to limit, such as t.v., computer, etc.  We are doing it a little differently, just because I felt like I needed to modify to make it work for our family. For example, Garrett watches 1 30 minute video every afternoon, and so if he does a good job during quiet time (stays in his room and is quiet) and then picks up his room, he earns a ticket. He then turns in that ticket to watch his video. He knows that if he doesn’t stay quiet or stay in his room, no video. In the morning, he uses that ticket for special time with mommy. It usually ends up being a game that he loves, an art project, etc.

Now onto the part that I really love about the program. We use the 1-2-3 magic system for discipline, which has worked wonderfully with him. I sometimes feel though that time-outs are losing their effectiveness. And when he gets 3-4 in one day (which has happened) it seems like they don’t affect him anymore. You can use the tickets for discipline. Just as easily as he earns them, they can be taken away.

For example, maybe he completed his morning responsibilities and earned a ticket, but shortly thereafter, he hurt his brother or was sassy to me. I would then quietly go over to his board and take away a ticket. Then in an hour when he asks if we can play his favorite game, I ask him to hand me a ticket. He will then notice that he doesn’t have a ticket. Bummer!

This is only step 1 of the program. There are actually 4 steps and there is MUCH more to the program. Like I said, we’re only doing the simplified version.

One thing  really like is that there are “date cards”. You can see them hanging below.

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If he completes all of his responsibilities for the day, he would earn a star on the card. After 10 stars he can cash it in for “date night” with mom, dad, grandma, whomever. It teaches delayed gratification and also strengthens the family by giving him some 1 on 1 time. Examples are going to a movie, going out to dinner, going to the museum, etc.

Overall-I give it a 5 out of 5 rating. It’s a great way to teach your kids accountability while at the same time, strengthening your family. Thank you Accountable Kids!

4 comments:

  1. Oooo, interesting. I'm going to have to look into this!!! =0)

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  2. Hi there Amy!
    I'm visiting via the TOS Crew. You have a lovely blog. ☺
    We use Accountable Kids too! The first time we set it up, my son arose very early, just so he could do his chores and turn the cards. One of his morning chores was to feed the chickens, but he was very disappointed to find that they weren't up yet (yes, I did say he arose VERY early, lol!)
    Looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future.
    Catherine, Australia (aka alecat)

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  3. Hi Amy!

    You blog is so cute!! I love it. :) I'm so glad I visited and saw your information about the Accountable Kids. It looks really neat. I plan to take a look at their website and see if they have anything for kids who are a little older. If not, perhaps I can use some of their ideas to help me think of a way to teach my teens to be a little more accountable and careful about chores, etc.

    I hope you enjoy your Crew year! This is my second year (my first year as a First Mate), and I'm excited to get started.

    Blessings,

    FM Wendy

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  4. Funny, another thing in common. We LOVE Accountable Kids!

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