Archives

Chore Cards: Completing Housework

imgres

Chores can be a negative word in a child’s mind, okay, in an adult’s mind too! So, how do you get housework done around the house without a lot of nagging and threatening? I wish I had the cure to share with you because I would be a wealthy woman selling my solution!  It is a matter of discipline for all involved. You have to be disciplined in seeing that the work gets done and your family members have to be disciplined in doing the work.

One of the biggest frustrations I found with my sons was that work was “half done” or not done to my satisfaction. Do you call a bathroom clean when the mirror still has toothpaste on it? hmmm… I found myself having to go and round up the one whose chore it was and be right there while the job was completed correctly.

By creating a simple checklist, chores  were done correctly. Laminating an index card with a list of things to be done for each chore worked well. I first demonstrated each step on the chore card and watched a few times to be sure the steps were done properly. If you decide to do this, the time invested in the beginning will give you huge dividends in the long run.  I kept the chore card in the room which was being cleaned, but they can also all be kept in a central location.

Chore cards can be different colors for different rooms for easy reference. It is frustrating when you have a system in place and it gets derailed because of a small detail. You can type and duplicate the directions for each chore card in case it gets lost.   Here is an example for cleaning the living room:

Living Room

Supplies Needed: Dust rag, furniture polish, vacuum cleaner

Directions:

  1. Pick up any toys/items that do not belong  and put them in their proper place.
  2. Using the dust rag, wipe off the lamp shade and the baseboards.
  3. Lightly spray the wooden table with the furniture polish and use the dust rag to rub in the polish.
  4. Vacuum the rug, making sure you move the furniture.
  5. Replace the furniture and the vacuum to their original spot.
  6. Put away furniture polish and throw dust rag in the laundry.
  7. Return the chore card to its proper place.

I realize everyone’s house and standard of clean is different, but hopefully this gives you ideas and saves you time. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Safety and Manners Books

51TsXHfXeaL._AA160_I found these darling books for you to read to your early elementary students. The first one by author Margery Cuyler is called Please Play Safe! The book first gives a scenario of the wrong way to act and then takes the scenario and gives the right way to act. It not only includes safety, but also ways to treat others. This can lead to great discussions to have with your child about the playground and being a good neighbor while there.

51wH13KI7QL._UX160_Another book in the series is called Please say Please! Here Penguin has guests over for dinner  and his friends need some help in using etiquette. Just as the other book has a poor behavior scenario and a proper behavior scenario to follow, so does this book. This is a great book to use before going to Grandma’s for dinner!

Homeschool Magazines

stack-of-magazinesTo me, there is just something about reading magazine articles that I find inspiring and invigorating. The articles have proven to be the extra boost that I have needed when I have been “stuck” on a particular issue, whether that was helping a late-blooming reader or helping me raise sons. I would return to articles that I had read in the past and gain new insights or affirmation that I was on the “right track”. Here are several well established magazines or magalogs that have helped me over the years.  Some are free and some cost money, but I have found the money to be well spent!

Homeschooling Today has several free online articles that you can read to see if you would like to subscribe to their publication. This is a quarterly magazine and will be delivered to you in the mail and as a digital subscription. This magazine has articles about parenting, science,  art studies, and special needs, to name a few. Wouldn’t it be nice to get something in the mail that you actually want and is beneficial? ($29.99 yearly)

Practical Homeschooling is published five times a year by Mary Pride, a homeschool veteran and bestselling homeschool author.  Some articles that are listed are ideas for help with teaching when you have a newborn and character studies for preschoolers. ($17.95 yearly)

The Classical Teacher is a Christian Classical Education magalog; a magazine and catalog in one.  It’s free and is published quarterly. While they do discuss and address issues from a Classical perspective, they have excellent articles that will help you homeschool. There is an articles tab up at the top of the page or scroll down to the bottom of the page to see them.

 Schoolhouse Publishing has a magalog that is produced quarterly. This year’s catalog features an article about homeschooling boys, and believe me, Susie Kemmerer knows since she has nine sons! This is primarily a catalog, they do have short articles and helpful book reviews throughout.

Have a great week!

~Lisa

Morning Knowledge Nuggets

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 6.38.22 AMAngela sent me these wonderful ideas after she read last week’s guest blog post that Suzanne wrote on Character. This was too good to keep to myself so I asked her if I could share this with you and she said, “Yes”! I have included links for the resources that she has mentioned.

My “Morning Knowledge Nuggets” (a title the kids and I came up with last year when we started homeschooling) is my chance to “start the day in the right way” and get in some “tidbit” lessons that I might not get a chance to otherwise.

We begin with our prayers and a daily devotion/bible verse.  Then we do our “Character Connection” with a lesson or activity for the character trait of the month.  I also include an Etiquette lesson (the kids love the book from the Etiquette Factory) and an “Ethics” lesson where we try to tie it all in and talk about morals and values (I discovered at the end of this year that the kids loved hearing Aesop’s Fables and trying to guess the moral of the story…great discussions).

Sometimes I’ll throw in a “Sticky Situation” from a book I have by the same title that is a devotional.  It depends on what day it is, as we do each of these things on one day of the week (or take more as a situation presents itself).  There is also a second book, Sticky Situations 2

After “Character Connections,” we do our “Grammar Game.”  This is something short to reiterate grammar basics.  Sometimes we take a sentence for the week and  do something different with it each day, like Monday-label parts of speech, Tuesday-label sentence parts, Wednesday-label sentence type, Thursday-talk about capitalization, punctuation, and review the week, and Friday-“quiz”-apply what we’ve learned to a new sentence of the same type.  (btw, this all came out of a need to desperately improve our grammar fundamentals!!)

Other weeks, I’ll do something short and “fun” (although the kids don’t always think so!) to reiterate a difficult concept, what we’re learning that week, or something new that isn’t quite covered in our lessons.  Then we do a bit of German and end with our journal writing!  Sometimes we are done in a half or less, other times it takes an hour for all of it.  But I always feel like our day is a lot more complete when I can get in these “other” important things!  🙂

Working on Character

nature-wallpaper-8I recently had a conversation with my homeschool support group leader and friend, Suzanne. She and I were talking about the importance of building character. What she had to say was insightful and encouraging so I asked her to share what was on her heart. Thanks, Suzanne!

Character

As homeschoolers, we decide to embark on this journey for all sorts of reasons; one that comes to mind is to instill Godly character in our kids.  Character has been on my heart lately.  We can all agree that academics are important, but without good character it’s all irrelevant.

So what does good and Godly character look like, and how do we go about passing it on to our kids? First, let’s look at what it means to have good character.  Our true character is how we act or react when no one is watching.  The definition of character is moral or ethical quality.  You can have all the smarts in the world, but without quality character it’s likely you won’t have close friends, or will have strained relationships, and we all desire to be accepted by others.  The Bible uses the words wisdom, righteous, and integrity when speaking of good character, and has quite a bit  to say about it.  Proverbs 10:9 says, “The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.” When one of my kids has a character issue, I stop everything to redirect them, even if it means math takes a backseat for the day.  I try to keep it light and fun, sometimes we act out the right and the wrong way to act.  In the end we’re all laughing, but my point has been made.

Now that we know what good and Godly character looks like, how do we get it and instill it in our kids?  Well, you don’t just get good character, because we are all born sinners.  Character has to be modeled, and taught; this usually starts in the home with mom and dad.  Kids model their behaviors after us; they are watching all the time.  Now I know we are not, and never will be perfect beings, but if our children see us model ourselves after Jesus, and acknowledge when our behavior is poor, it will become clear to them.  If I teach and give Godly instruction, but don’t model this behavior, then I’m nothing more than a hypocrite, and they will see it.

One last thing, without love, it is all done for nothing.  Let us instruct and redirect with love.  Love=acceptance and peace, and kids want to be accepted.

Colossians 3:14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.