Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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Simplifying Our Daily Lives with the On Track! Responsibility and Behavior System by Kenson Kids

Thank you to Kenson Kids for providing a complimentary product sample for us to base this review upon.  All opinions expressed are my own.

When our oldest son turned 6 years old, he started receiving a small weekly allowance in exchange for completing certain tasks.  Since our twins turned 6 in January, I had been looking for a new system that would allow us to track all 3 children's performances as far as behavior and responsibility goes.  I was referred to the Kenson Kids website by a friend and fellow-parent on Facebook.  She actually uses the "I Can Do It" Reward Chart for her own children who are preschool-aged and younger.  While I was checking out this reward chart, the On Track! Responsibility System caught my eye.

Although the On Track! Responsibility System was designed for tweens, I still thought it was a much better fit for our 6, 6, and 9 year old children.  The reward chart was much too simple.  We needed something more complicated to help simplify our lives . . . if that makes sense.

There are four main components to the On Track! System . . . the Family Rules, the Master Chore List, the Daily Checklists, and the Point Registries.  The system may appear complicated at first, but it turned out to be fairly simple if you follow the included Instructional Guide.

As recommended, we held a family meeting to take suggestions for the Family Rules.  There is even a worksheet in the Instructional Guide to help you with this.  Although we tried to have the children complete the provided sentences, they just ended up brainstorming rules instead.  I wrote all the suggestions down on the worksheet.  Then my husband and I chose which suggestions we should include and added a few more that we thought were missing.  Then I wrote all the rules on the laminated Family Rules sheet with the included dry erase marker.

The next thing we did was to fill in the laminated Master Chore List.  We were very careful to make sure each child received age-appropriate chores, the chores were fairly distributed, and to not have any one child have too much to do in one day.  Some chores we assigned our 6 year old twins were cleaning the table, chairs, and floor after each meal, giving the cats fresh food and water, and sweeping small spaces like the bathrooms.  Some of the chores we assigned to our 9 year old son were emptying the kitchen trash, doing the recycling, and cleaning the bathrooms.

The My Daily Checklist for each child focuses on what the instructional guide calls the Activities of Daily Living (ADL).  Much of the items on each child's list are the same because all 3 children have similar routines.  The main differences are really on the chore list.

The Point Registries are much like a bank book.  I fill this out every night after verifying what has been done and what has not been done.  Also, throughout the day, I make notes on a separate piece of paper about any bonus points or any lost points earned by each child.  My children can earn extra points by doing learning activities above and beyond their homework, being generous and good sharers, and being especially helpful to another member of the family.  They can lose points by breaking any of the house rules and not completing the items on their daily checklists.

At the end of the week, we will see how many points each child has.  They can redeem their points for items in the store (a stash of small toys) or for a monetary allowance ($0.05 per point).  After the children receive their allowances, they will put $0.50 into their donate container, $1.00 in their savings container, and the rest into their spend container.  You can learn more about making allowance cups here.

All four of the above components fit neatly into this wall organizer.  The Master Chore List and the Family Rules are visible all the time.  The My Daily Checklists are kept in the lower pockets.  Surprisingly, the dry erase marker did not wipe off from inserting and removing the charts from the canvas pockets.  I wrote the children's names on the outside of their registries on both edges on the front and on the back so that they could see their names no matter which way they are put into the organizer's pocket.  (Note:  The On Track! Organizer comes with 2 My Daily Checklists, registries, and dry erase markers.  Additional ones can be purchased separately.)

There were other aspects of this responsibility and behavior system that we chose not to use at this time.  Since two of our children are younger, we wanted to make things a little simpler.  For older children, there are other tools, such as banking points, penalties for losing a set amount of points, a Self Reflection Worksheet, and more.

So far, all 3 of our children are doing well with the On Track! System.  They are all excited to have set responsibilities and to be able to earn a monetary allowance.  Having an older child to help the younger ones has been extremely helpful.  Since many of their daily checklist items are the same, the older child reminds the two younger to do the tasks when he does his.

The On Track! Responsibility System is currently selling at a Special Introductory Price of $44.95.   To learn more about this and other Kenson Kids products, visit