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The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that kids log into this reward-based task tracker site through their desktop or a mobile app with their username and password. Adults are supposed to register first and then add kids by entering a name, username, and password for each child Parents can also upload a photo to their profile -- but kids can't. Parents can also opt to receive activity alerts via e-mail once a day or in real-time.
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What's it about?
ChoreMonster is a virtual tool designed to help kids age 4 to 12 identify and complete chores, while letting parents monitor kids' progress. Adults enter specific tasks and point values; the system tracks kids' work, and parents approve it when chores are done. The site includes a few nifty motivators to get kids excited to help out around the house. Parents enter points for each task and identify rewards kids can earn when they accrue a certain amount; kids also get to spin the Monster Carnival wheel on the site when they finish a task to win a virtual monster or zany consolation prize. Kids can use points they've earned for TV time, ice cream, and other pre-determined rewards.
Is it any good?
CHOREMONSTER gives both kids and parents a fun model for improving motivation and getting things done in a timely manner. You can currently choose chores from a list or enter your own, select a point value, enter instructions, and choose a deadline (or no deadline). While not everything is customizable, parents still have a lot of options: you can opt for chores to be automatically approved and can add extra points for any you feel were done particularly well. You also pick the potential rewards kids can redeem -- adding something Amazon sells or a prize that doesn't cost anything, like video game time or a hug.
The system is well-planned: Kids and parents see totally different screens, and kids' profiles clearly list completed chores and points they've earned. Parents can also receive weekly chore and reward stats, if they'd like to. Kids can't, however, seem to easily see chores that are due tomorrow or later in the week, which could hinder the amount of planning and time management skills they can learn. Kids also can't really comment on chores, which might help them convey how they got things done for parents to provide improvement tips and encouragement. Adding more correspondence capabilities and long-term chore charts would help kids utilize more skills. However, if you're looking for a way to trigger and track kids' household, homework, and other responsibilities, ChoreMonster still packs a solid punch.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can discuss how creating a schedule can help you complete tasks. What steps should you take to make a plan?
Ask your child to identify a project or chore and describe how to get it done. Are there any aspects that could be changed or eliminated to make the process more efficient?
Talk to your kid about the importance of asking questions to clarify instructions. If directions were unclear, how would your child get clarification?
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