Monday, March 3, 2014

Motivated Moms {Crew Review}

 

Our family has experienced significant employment and academic changes that have affected the rhythm of our house.  We are entering that phase when everyone has somewhere to be and ‘homeschooling’ is more outside the home than inside – at least, it feels that way!  I admit, I am easily distracted by all the things we need to do and there are (embarrassed moment here) areas of my home that are not as tidy as I’d like them to be.

Routines and systems that worked so well in the past have been left behind.  Intentions for new systems and schedules have been discussed and promised. I have to admit, I have been all talk with nothing to fill the gap. 

Motivated Moms (http://www.MotivatedMoms.com) has recently filled the lack-of-a-plan family chore system for me.  I was given a one year Motivated Moms Ebooks ($8) to download and give it a try.

Motivated Moms has taken the guess work out of scheduling chores.  They have taken lists of daily, weekly, monthly and periodic chores and scheduled them all out for you. All you need to do is print it out, and check it off.  {Yes, boxes to check for those of us who love and need the thrill of checking something off!}

The ebooks come in a variety of styles:

  • half page or full page
  • with Bible reading or without;
  • Daily or weekly chore list
  • colored border (the purple and blue) or black and white

For this review, I chose the colored, daily, half-page chore list with Bible reading.  You can see samples of all the varieties at the Motivated Mom website.

Our course, you’ll need to download the product using a PDF viewer (such as Adobe).  The only other tool you might want is a binder for keeping it all together.  I ran down to Staples and chose a pretty one that would certainly be noticed and not ignored in a house full of males:

2014-02-25 15.33.50

 

How This Product Worked For Us:

Pros:

  1. The variety of chores is just awesome.  Everything from vacuuming, dusting, and wiping. Cleaning down appliances, light fixtures (honestly, who remembers to do that on a regular basis?), clipping children’s nails, and – best of all – pamper yourself. 
  2. I loved the extra place to write down dinner plans. I don’t always use it (because sometimes there isn’t a plan!), but having the place is making me think more intentionally about meal planning a few days out.
  3. I appreciated that Saturdays and Sundays were not full of chores.  This is the problem in my life – I tend to put off the little jobs until the weekend, then feel cheated out of down-time and family time.  Using this system has helped me to see this flaw in my system and appreciate following a different schedule.
  4. I liked being able to see “daily” versus “periodic” chores.  It has helped me to think about how to share all these jobs with the boys so that we can work efficiently.
  5. I like that the schedule is already customized to the dates of 2014. I don’t have to sit down and write out dates on the top of a generic schedule. This means I cannot reuse the system in 2015, but I can work $8 into our budget each year.
  6. I love that I have a pretty binder to put the pages in.  It brightens my kitchen (and mood) a bit while in the doldrums of winter! (I know the binder is a personal choice and not part of the Motivated Moms purchase, but it was fun to HAVE to buy it and add some pop to the counter.)

Cons:

  1. Testing printing my daily half-sheet planner revealed that I could not print it out two sided. I wish this could be an option to save trees!   Also, the binder I purchased at staples (the 8.5x 5” size) has just a one-inch binder ring in it, so only about half of the year fits into the binder because I could only print out pages on one side.  Just an FYI.
  2. The font is really small on the half-page size sheet; I’m guessing it is about a 9pt font.  Even though I printed out a test page from the Motived Moms website, I didn’t realize how small this would be to view on a daily basis.
  3. I do not use a printed-out day planner, so I realize now that a week-at-a glance might have been a better choice.  Since I like to give the boys a bit of chore-consistency through the week, the week at a glance might make my job of chore planning a little easier – I could do it all at once on one sheet of paper for an entire week – and definitely same some trees.

Here’s an example from a recent day:

2014-02-25 15.40.47

Each of my boys knows their color, so I circle or dot  chores by their color (blue/ green/ orange).    It has become easy for them to see their color and do their job.  On this particular day (above) I went in a filled in our daily schedule – it was a vacation day, so much of this information wasn’t on our Google calendar, which is my main go-to for scheduling and reminders. 

Here is a larger sample of a day and how I use it in general:

Capture MoMom

Overall, this is a system that we are working into our day and routine.  It is helping me get us all back into the routines we had well established over the past year and a half. I am even attempting cleaning tasks that are not normally part of my routine (like cleaning lights).  I love that the lists are already made out for me, and I get to experience the joy of checking off boxes. I’m not sure I’ve found the exact style that works for my family, and I am tempted to try out the iPad/ iPhone app as well as the weekly planner.

Remember also that if an electronic version might work better for you, Motivated Moms offers an Android and Apple app ($7.99/12 month subscription).

Mo Mo picmonkey

Connect with Motivated Moms:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/motivated.moms
Twitter: https://twitter.com/momoplanner

 Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew

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All prices are accurate as of blog posting. 


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