Friday, January 21, 2011

Read that Bible!

Several years ago, I read through the whole Bible in one year. I attempted it another time, but didn't quite finish. Still, it was immensely rewarding to read the entire book as a whole, not to mention being in the Word on a daily basis. This year, I'm not attempting the entire Bible in one year. I'm involved in two different Bible studies, both of which use the Bible as the only text and require quite a bit of reading. Still, it's good accountability for me to have a plan and to be reading on my own--as opposed to the more academic "homework" I have for my two studies. So, I'm going to try the 5 x 5 x 5 approach listed on the Navigators' website (the Navigators are a ministry committed to the Word--terrific Bible study guides like their LifeChange series, Bible memory aids, etc.). There are three different Bible-reading plans for the year on their website--check them out and see if one fits your need this year! (There are also many, many other plans out there on the web that will take you through the Bible in various orders/methods in a year; the important thing is to be reading it!).

Do you have a plan in mind that you'd like to share or link to?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chores, Children, and Chimes

One of my New Year's Goals this year is to be a little more systematic in training my children to do their chores. Let's see... others? Most of them revolved around continuing things we've already started or already enjoy doing. What in the world does the dinner bell/triangle picture have to do with any of this? I'm working hard at creating a peaceful home; one of the ways in which I do not contribute to that is being frustrated when we sit down to dinner. What is frustrating me? Having to yell at my family (after speaking moderately several times) to get them to all come to the table. We have a large home and sometimes kids are outside, upstairs, hubby's in the basement, etc. So, now, I will ring my triangle and then sit down! The kids are very into it right now.

So far, so good on our NYG: the hubby and I have been on a great date, I bought some much needed clothes, the kids and I and the dog have been for walks at least twice a week even in the snow/ice, and my first Hebrews discussion with my friend is tonight! I realize it is only mid-January, but getting off to a good start makes it that much easier to continue.

The biggest "goal" on the list that isn't already in the works is a more systematic approach to chores. There are a million resources out there for coaching families through systems for chores. You know what? This isn't rocket science folks. Kids are born into a family and that family has needs: they get to help meet the family's needs. Period. You have to figure out what your own family needs to get done, who is capable of doing it, and how that works into your family's routine. In our family, our three kids are all within 18 months of each other. That means that they're all pretty much capable of the same chores. So, rather than have one child have a particular chore every week, we just sort of all do it all.

I decided to make a chore chart for each kid and divide up our chores a bit (and everyone pretty much as the same chart). I didn't put anything on there (yet) that they don't already do; most of the "chores" are even things they like doing. I figure this will help us work toward better organization. My goal is to be able to turn some of these chores over the kids entirely without my constant supervision. What are our chores?

My 5-year-old daughter's:
  • Clean up room (we're going to work on doing this daily.... ahem...)
  • Feed dog (2 mornings/week)
  • Set table (2 days/week)
  • Empty dishwasher (2 days/week)
  • Put up her clean clothes on laundry day
all of the above she already does when asked and w/o supervision; new ones/ones we're working on doing w/o supervision:
  • Bathrooms (helping Mommy)
  • Floors (mostly picking up objects but learning to sweep/Swiff)
  • Trash (emptying smaller cans into bigger bag)
  • Miscellaneous (we're calling these "zone" chores in honor of the Fly Lady since we'll work on a different area each week--dusting, mopping, wiping cabinets, etc.)

3-Year-old Twin Boys' Chores (they need more supervision, but can do all of these without assistance):
  • Clean up room (we're going to work on doing this daily.... ahem...)
  • Feed dog (2 mornings/week)
  • Set table (2 days/week)
  • Empty dishwasher (2 days/week)
  • Put up their clean clothes on laundry day
  • Bathrooms (helping Mommy)
  • Floors (mostly picking up objects)
  • Trash (emptying smaller cans into bigger bag)
  • Bringing the big outdoor trash cans back to the house after they're empty (they LOVE doing this)
Even Mommy and Daddy get chore charts! And, what fun are charts without stickers??!!
Basically, the week looks like this:

  • Daily: clean rooms, 1 child feeds dog in the morning, 1 child sets table, and 1 child helps unload dishwasher, Daddy feeds dog every night
  • Monday: Everyone puts up their clean laundry and helps Mommy with floors
  • Monday: each child each week helps Mommy empty 1 indoor trash can
  • Monday: Daddy gets KP duty since Mommy has class tonight!
  • Tuesday: Daddy takes trash to curb; each child helps Mommy with 1 bathroom (we have three)
  • Wednesday: daughter helps Mommy with miscellaneous chores; boys help bring big trashcans back from curb
  • Thursday: nothing extra
  • Friday: All help with floors, general pick-up
  • Saturday: Nothing extra
  • Sunday: Nothing at all except Mommy and Daddy feed the dog! We're even taking a break from cleaning our rooms....