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Children & Chores (The Kellar Way!)

Someone was interested so I thought I would share our newly devised chore system. We have two daughters (Ages 5 & 3) and have recently begun a new system for getting things done around the house. Except it accomplishes so much more. It certainly is not perfect and we revise it nearly weekly. For now it works for us to accomplish some goals we have for our family. Before I describe the system, here are some of the things its getting done BESIDES helping our house look abnormally clean.

  • Confidence – We have noticed HUGE changes in our daughters’ assurance in their own abilities to accomplish tasks.
  • Money – Yes, allowance is associated with part of our system. They are learning at an early age how to manage it.
  • Bonding – Nothing brings a dad closer to his daughters like being able to encourage them, dote on them, show them grace, and challenge them to raise their own standards.
  • Routine – There’s never any guessing what is expected and when. There is a rhythm to our day and the whole family is better for it.
  • Me time – I have more time to do things on MY list because I am no longer doing things THEY can do!

So… How does our system work? The key to our system is adaptability. We needed to be able to make small changes to our system without it messing up the routines the girls desperately need. So each day the girls have seven chores they need to do. They are supposed to do these chores every day. We chose seven for the simple reason that the chore charts Krista found at Target had seven spots. Each day at chore time, they go down the list and after each chore is completed they get to put a sticker on the chart.

A few words about chores and age-appropriateness. Our daughter’s chore charts each have different chores on them. At 3 years old, our younger daughter is working on basic tasks – making her bed, getting dressed, picking up her toys, etc. These are on her chore chart because she is still learning to do them. Eventually, they will become things that she is just required to do without any compensation. Our 5 year old has a “first things” routine every morning. When her alarm clock goes off (yes, we set an alarm clock for her) she is to make her bed, get dressed and say a good morning prayer. She does these and doesn’t get a sticker. As adults there are things we have to do around the house that we do not get paid for and as children they must learn that certain things we do because we are members of the family and other things we do because its our job and we get paid.  Our 5 year old waters plants, washes windows, and empties bathroom trash cans among other things. These are sticker chores. She is old enough that when we tell her its time to do chores, she is able to complete them with little oversight from us, freeing us up to supervise and help our younger daughter.

So what happens if your child’s bed looks like it was made by a preschooler? Well… if your child is a preschooler, CONGRATS! She did it perfectly! Give lots of hugs and encouragement and tell her how proud of her you are. Jump down the hall together and put a sticker on the board! Doing age-appropriate chores is lots of fun when you hype it up like this. It’s easy to sacrifice having an immaculate home when you are focused on giving a boost to your kids’ self-concept. Don’t rob this from them by going back behind them and re-doing the job. If it bothers you that much get tags to put around the house that say “Cleaned with pride by an incredible 5-year old!” or “I dressed myself today!” All your house guests will get the idea!

At the end of the week we take the charts of the fridge and sit down to dish out allowance.  Our older daughter gets 1 dime for each sticker on her chart. Our younger gets 1 nickel for each sticker. On their turn we hand them a handful of dimes or nickels and they get to cover up each sticker with the coin. This helps them know that they are getting paid for the work they have done. Once all of the stickers are covered up we have them count out ten coins from the chart. 1 out of every ten goes into their church bank, 1 out of ten goes into their “bank” bank and the other 8 they get to do with as they please. They could put the rest in their “spend” bank but most weeks they decide to evenly disperse the money between all three. We continue to do this counting out 10 coins and separating them out until all the coins are off the chart. We then remove the stickers and start the week over!

Feel free to comment with what has worked for you in your house! I love to hear new ideas about getting kids to become more responsible!

~JK

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Homeschool Curriculum Shopping!

This morning we hit up our second homeschool curriculum sale.  We went to this same one last year at Clearview Baptist Church in Franklin and were able to find most of our resources we needed for kindergarten.  This year we have a larger book list and I am hoping that if we get there early enough we will be able to find most of our curriculum. We have not settled in on a literature guide yet so I’m hoping I may find one at the sale I like. The list of supplements we have are books that are recommended for further reading that we can live without. If I find them on a good deal, I will snatch them up!

I created several wish lists on Amazon to help organize what I am looking for. I have printed these off and am bringing them to the sale as my shopping list.  This will not only help me to refrain from buying things I do not need but each list also contains Amazon’s price so I can compare!

I thought I would post links to the lists here.  I know homeschool families are always interested in what others are using.  I basically created the lists from the suggestions of two books that are forming the curriculum strategy of our homeschool. The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise-Bauer and The Core by Leigh Bortins. We are using a classical education model and the resources chosen for next year tie in with the content we will be learning with our Classical Conversations co-op.

So here are the lists! Wish us luck!

First Grade Core Curriculum Texts

First Grade History Supplements

First Grade Biography Supplements

First Grade Science Supplements

Learning the Old Testament books with my daughter!

My daughter and I made a video of her singing the books of the Old Testament.  When she was little we would have about 25 minutes everyday as I drove her to her mother’s day out program.  I started singing the books of the Old Testament to the tune of “10 Little Indians.” I would sing it a couple times and then do the New Testament song.  Over time I noticed she would start singing along with me.  Once she was able to sing along with me to the whole song, I would ask her if she wanted to do “every other.” This means I would sing one book then she would sing the next and we would alternate until the song was done.  We would switch who would start and do it again.  By the time she was just 4 years old, she could sing both the old and new testaments.  We made this video to help the Bible class I teach at church to learn the books of the Old Testament.

Choosing a Bible With Your Kids!

I’ve been teaching the 2nd & 3rd graders at Wellspring for almost two months.  I am always encouraged and delighted when I see how excited they get about hearing new Bible stories told in exciting ways.  This morning we had a dance party to honor God for what he has done.  We did it just like King David in 2 Samuel 6 (except we were wearing more than linen ephods, of course!) to help us to not be ashamed to honor God in front of others.  Equally encouraging was seeing how interested many of these kids are in learning the books of the Bible and being able to find the scriptures for each lesson in their Bibles.  Part of every Bible class I teach is actually getting the kids to open their Bibles up and guiding them to find the verses using the Table of Contents in the front.  I have noticed that when kids get in the practice of actually finding where the story is found, they take more interest in bringing their own Bibles.  Kids are so proud to walk into Bible class with their brand new Bible and show it off to their teachers.

On occasion I have parents ask me if I have any suggstions for what Bible to get their kids!  Did you know that Bible translations are written at certain reading levels?  Many children find reading the Bible too hard.  This may be due to them having a Bible at a reading level too advanced.  Some kids find Bible reading boring.  They may need a Bible that is for children a bit older than what they have.  Below are my top picks for children’s Bibles.  Click the picture to go to Amazon.com listing and look into the different versions available and then go to Lifeway or some other Christian bookstore and help your kids pick out one that you think would be age appropriate for them.  Below are some of my thoughts for you to consider when choosing a Bible with your kids!

For Preschool Aged Kids
The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes, by Kenneth Taylor.

This is the Bible we use with our little girls.  It contains Bible Stories that are in the same order as regular Bibles.  They are re-written for preschool aged kids.  The author Kenneth N. Taylor interprets the Bible story and writes it in a way that makes the application point clear.  Every story is followed by questions for parents to ask the children and a prayer that gets at the heart of what the Bible story is about!  Each story also has an excellent picture on the same page!

The Jesus Story Book Bible, by Sally Lloyd-Jones

This is a new favorite of mine.  Every story not only retells what happened in the Bible but it connects that story to the big picture God has in mind for his people.  The subtitle “Every story wispers His name” is true in that Sally Lloyd-Jones (author) has woven the purpose of Jesus coming to earth into every retelling. This Bible would also be great for adults that are trying to understand what the rest of the Bible has to do with Jesus.

 

For Early Readers (Kindergarten – 3rd Grade) 

The Adventure Bible for Early Readers, by Zondervan. Once kids get into Kindergarten, I recommend they get a full-text Bible with Chapters and Verses.  The timing is perfect since they are learning to read to begin with a Bible designed for early readers.  This Bible does just that.  It takes the New International Version and simplifies some of the more difficult words and also breaks up the longer sentences making it easier for kids to understand.  The Adventure Bible also has lots of helps on every page that makes Bible reading more fun.  In addition the publisher’s website www.zonderkidz.com has many other useful tools and games for parents and kids that ties right in what the Adventure Bible.

For Older Readers (4th & 5th Grade)

The Adventure Bible, by Zondervan. Once kids reach 4th & 5th grade they should be reading and memorizing from a Bible translation that they can use the rest of their life.  The New International Version is very readible and written at a 5th grade reading level.  The Adventure Bible by Zondervan contains many age-appropriate insights that make reading the Bible more enjoyable.  I believe they have boy and girl versions but the one pictured above is good for both. Be sure to check out Zondervan’s kidz website www.zonderkidz.com for other useful tools.

~JK

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