Photo credit: John-Morgan / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) We all know that children who read in their free time tend to do well academically. However, encouraging a love of reading in the time of tablets and televisions is no easy task. With summer reading programs just around the corner, ChoreMonster has compiled a list of our most-loved books your kids will appreciate reading either with you or on their own time. Not A Box by Antoinette Portis Age Range: Up to Grade 1 Not A Box is the simple story of a Rabbit and his imagination. People keep asking Rabbit why he is playing in a box, but Rabbit replies that it is not a box, but a racecar, or a rocket ship, or a hot air balloon. I actually read this while teaching Art to first graders. After we finished reading, I gave …

 

Photo credit: woodleywonderworks / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) We recently talked about Spring Cleaning in this post outlining how you can get rid of the stuff in your house, make a buck or help the needy. And all the while, make it fun using ChoreMonster. Today, it’s time to go over the outdoor chores that spring demands. We hope that these five important tasks are worth adding to ChoreMonster for your kids, but as always, keep things age appropriate. 1) Clean Out The Garage: If your family is like mine, the garage gets neglected for the majority of the cold weather months. Kids run in and drop their gloves, hats, and track in countless items from the outdoors and we usually don’t do a great job of cleaning things up until the weather breaks. This is probably a multi-kid job, but is an essential …

 

Here on our blog, we’ve recently posted a series of great success stories from ChoreMonster parents. It’s great to hear about how ChoreMonster is working for them, and making a change in their households. Now, we want to hear from you. If you want to be featured here on the ChoreMonster blog, just answer these questions, attach a photo of your family and we will be happy to do a blog post here telling your story. How did you find ChoreMonster? How does your family use ChoreMonster? What do you love most about ChoreMonster? How has ChoreMonster saved the day? What are your kids favorite monsters? Do you have a recommendation for other parents using ChoreMonster? So send us your answers to joe at choremonster dot com and we will pick the best ones for future blog posts.

 

Meet the McDowells: Beth, Rich, Brooke, Nate and Caleb! How did you find ChoreMonster? I found ChoreMonster when our last chore management program wasn’t working. I searched Google for kid friendly chore charts and found something better! How does your family use ChoreMonster? The kids are assigned their daily, weekly, and extra chores. We make sure to have the little things like “brushing your teeth”, just to remind them with our busy schedule. I add extra bonus chores that pop up for them to be more helpful to the family. We use pictures for chores for our younger children who can’t read yet. What do you love most about ChoreMonster? This is the best question! I love how I can customize the chores for each child’s abilities. This is helping my children work together and communicate with each other. One child will have part of a large job, and another …

 

Meet the Harris family: Maria, Rob, Grace, Paige, and Reese! How did you find ChoreMonster? Chris and Paul (the founders of ChoreMonster) were working on my husband’s business website and told him about it while it was in an early testing phase. How does your family use ChoreMonster? The older two girls use it to log their daily chores, including chores around the house, homework, and reading. What do you love most about ChoreMonster? I like that it takes some of the pressures off of me as a stay-at-home mom. I don’t feel like I constantly have to remind the girls to do things. It can be tiresome being the one constantly telling the kids to do this, and do that. ChoreMonster encourages the kids to take responsibility around the house and makes it fun for them. Who are your daughters favorite monsters? The girls don’t really have favorites… They …

 

Meet the Rudes: Kathy, Rob, and Brandon! How did you find out about ChoreMonster? I read an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer about ChoreMonster being launched and helped by the local startup community. I thought it sounded like a great idea, so I looked at the website and decided to give it a try. How does your family use ChoreMonster? We use it for our 5 year old son, Brandon, and it is a part of his bedtime routine. He earns points for doing his chores and specific behaviors, such as not whining, apologizing to someone (or not needing to apologize), and following directions. He loves earning points, spinning the wheel, and earning monsters. He’ll then read about all the silly things that the monsters do. What do you love most about ChoreMonster? It’s always accessible. If bedtime is at Grandma’s house, we can still get to Choremonster. If we’re …

 

We’ve brought our monsters to life, added lots of features that you’ve been requesting, made it even easier for you to reward your kids, and now ChoreMonster is 100%, completely, absolutely free! ChoreMonster 2.0 is available now on our website, iPhone and now iPad. We’re also excited that we’ll be adding support for Windows 8, Android smartphones and tablets, and Kindle Fire in early May. SET IT FREE: The Monster Carnival is now available for everyone – no more subscriptions required! Every kid can earn a ticket after they complete a chore, then spin the carnival wheel and win a monster! THEY’RE ALIVE: All of the collected monsters are animated. Just touch them and watch what fun things they do. WE’RE LISTENING: We’ve added tons of new features that you, the parents, have been requesting to make ChoreMonster even better for you and your family. Here are just a few …

 

Photo credit: herzogbr / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA The weather outside is changing, especially for most of us in climates that get cold weather. The change of seasons always means change for our habits as well, and one thing that usually springs up around this time of year is Spring Cleaning. What do you know about Spring Cleaning other than it’s a common US expression? Here is a fun fact. During the 19th century in America, prior to the advent of the vacuum cleaner, March was often the best time for dusting because it was getting warm enough to open windows and doors (but not warm enough for insects to be a problem), and the high winds could carry the dust out of the house. For the same reason, modern rural households often use the month of March for cleaning projects involving the use of chemical products which generate fumes. …

 

Photo credit: Xavier Donat / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND This week, The Atlantic published a very interesting story titled “The Overprotected Kid.” The story talks about how we, as parents, protect our kids in ways that were unheard of with previous generations, and is even foreign to how most of us grew up. It’s hard to absorb how much childhood norms have shifted in just one generation. Actions that would have been considered paranoid in the ’70s—walking third-graders to school, forbidding your kid to play ball in the street, going down the slide with your child in your lap—are now routine. In fact, they are the markers of good, responsible parenting. This is true. I can remember spending hours outside during the summer with no cell phone or even regular check in times, (and I thought my parents were strict.) Now, if my kids are gone longer than I expect, …

 

Photo credit: MichaelLaMartin / Foter / CC BY-SA Parenting is really tough. I mean really tough. But the truth is, it’s tougher for some parents than it is for others. This is for a wide variety of reasons, some that the parents could avoid, and others that have to be dealt with in a very different way. I recently was recommended a book from a friend who knows my kids, and knows our parenting struggles. We have a very difficult time with my middle son, whose personality can be described at best as tough, and at worst as explosive. It feels like he’s in trouble all the time, bending or breaking rules, acting up in school, fighting with his brothers and basically making peace in my home nearly impossible. We have blamed ourselves, we have blamed him, we have blamed my wife’s divorce and we have blamed plenty of other …