Monday, January 07, 2013

Sticker Charts

Sticker charts really work for me. I have used them to help myself accomplish daily tasks and goals on and off for most of my life. I've used them to encourage myself to eat, to read my scriptures regularly, and to keep up on small daily self improvement activities.

However, I've noticed that it is harder to use sticker charts when you have to make them by hand every week instead of print them. We haven't had a printer in over a year and my use of sticker charts has dropped significantly during that period of time.

Sometimes though, you just really need a sticker chart. Today, after thinking about it for weeks, I finally I posted some much needed sticker charts.

Family Home Evening Goal Sheet for 2013

I usually do some FHE* planning in December and January. Lost Boy and I have discovered that we do better at having regular family time and spiritual lessons if we establish a theme for our lessons. But I also discovered that over-planning (i.e. trying to plan out which lesson to do each week for the whole year) doesn't work very well.

Click here to download a copy.
So this year I made a pretty simple sticker chart with each week listed (our target FHE date) and a place to record which lesson we did and who taught (so we'll know what we already did). We have been working our way through the Nursery Lesson Manual and that seems to work really well for both us and 2Flowers. We also try to review the Articles of Faith each year. I told Lost Boy that I wouldn't mind if our Article of Faith lessons were a little deeper than toddler level. I decided I didn't mind if a few lessons went over her head and attention span so that Lost Boy and I could have a few more cerebral spiritual discussions like we used to.

Medicine Sticker Chart

Every year since I moved back to the valley, I have a terrible time in January and February. Breathing is hazardous! I have allergies all year, but the cold winter months are the worst. In order to have any hope of surviving the season I have to take tons of medication, which is not my favorite thing to do. I should start my winter medicine regimen in November or December, but I always put it off until I think I'm going to die from asthma attacks and such. During this time of year I have such a hard time keeping track of whether I took each medicine every day! This year I am also struggling to remember to take multi-vitamins and iron and stuff for my pregnancy. Sticker chart to the rescue!

I've only listed six of the meds/vitamins I need to take. One of them I have to take twice a day, all the others are once a day. I didn't include any places for my emergency inhaler or over-the-counter allergy meds because I have to take them so often it would be ridiculous. Hopefully, if I am diligent about taking my meds and getting stickers onto my chart I'll be able to take the emergency meds less often.

I have the FHE and Med Charts taped to the wall by the bathroom sink. I've noticed that I spend enough time there brushing my teeth (and 2Flower's teeth) and washing my hands, and other things that I notice what is (or isn't) on the walls. The bathroom sink is my information headquarters away from my desk. Though, 2Flowers can now reach just about everything on the counter, so I had to find a place to hide the stickers.

Feed the Fish Sticker Chart

Lost Boy got 2Flowers and me a fish for Christmas. 2Flowers was talking about it for a week before Christmas "Fish for Mommy!" We got a Beta, thinking it would be low maintenance so I wouldn't have to obsess over it (I have a thing for fish), but it is a bit of a challenge to keep track of whether the fish has been fed by 2Flowers (with a grown-up's supervision). Also, I want to make sure we do partial water changes regularly (I am not obsessed... yet.) So I made a sticker chart.

2Flowers hasn't named many of her dolls or stuffed animals yet. Her bear is named Bear. Her rocking horse is named Mommy Horse (her My Little Pony is the baby horse). So when we asked her what the fish's name was and she said "Sweetie Pie," we were surprised. She has consistently maintained that his name is Sweetie Pie over the past two weeks since Christmas without prompts from us. So it is official, our Beta is named Sweetie Pie.

So, those are my current sticker charts. Though I have been thinking about making one for my Primary Class (I teach Sunday School to the nine year olds at church) to encourage them to bring their scriptures to church.  The scriptures are such an important and valuable tool to help us through life. People like Martin Luther sacrificed their lives so that we could personally have access to the word of God! I want the kids to see that the things I teach them are backed up in the scriptures, and that they can learn spiritual truths for themselves. Most of my kids remember to bring their scriptures each week. But I really want them to know that the scriptures are important, and to learn how to navigate and use them.

...anyways, I've been thinking about it a lot lately, and we just started a new year so it is the perfect time to challenge them to bring their scriptures every week, right? Lost Boy suggested an incentive, like a pizza party at our house or something, since not everyone achieves a huge amount of satisfaction from putting a sticker in a square like I do.

*Family Home Evening (FHE): My church encourages families to take one night a week to gather as a family and have a gospel lesson and fun activity. No church activities or meetings are scheduled on Monday nights so that families may be guaranteed a time when all family members are free from church obligations, however, some families have FHE at different times depending on their family schedule. Here are some articles on Family Home Evening: