Sunday, February 5, 2017

Chores For Kids

It's official.

I am a mom of a large family.

I guess it depends on who you ask when you try to judge whether you have a large family or not.

I go by whether or not my whole family can fit in a four-door sedan.
That ended when baby number four entered the picture.

Of course, if I could have found a sedan with three seats in the front instead of a goofy cup holder in the middle...
they just don't make cars like they used to.

Once the sedan was out, we could choose between a van or one of those really cool Volvo station wagons with the seats in the trunk that fold up and face backwards. Super fun, but impractical when it comes to grocery shopping or packing for family vacations to the beach.

So, here we are. A family of six with another on the way so when planning ahead I need to remember we will be a family of seven!

Considering I grew up with only one sibling, in my mind, yes, we are a large family.

I am reminded of this constantly in several areas of my life but two seem to stand out above the rest.

1- When I am Shopping. For food. Or clothes for the kids. Or anything really.

2- When Doing Laundry. Especially when I am pregnant. Sick and exhausted and the piles pretty much reach the ceiling!

Since these two chores, shopping and laundry, seem to stress me out more than the rest, I learned to have these chores set as first priority with not only myself, but the children.

Each week a child has a different "zone" or section of the home that they are responsible for. If it is the "kitchen zone" then they are in charge of loading and unloading the dishwasher once a day, putting away the leftovers and wiping down the counters. This teaches them responsibility while not putting the entire load on them. Sometimes we need to run the dishwasher more than once a day so they aren't responsible for every single load. They also aren't expected to scrub the pots and pans. This system works well for us and helps things run smoothly in our home.

Another zone is the "laundry zone." When a child has this job they are responsible for putting a load in the wash and dryer once a day. I do the folding and wash delicate items and cloth diapers but my three older children (ages 6-10) all know how to run a washer and dryer. The laundry has already been separated into lights, darks and towels and they have learned which setting each load needs to be washed on.  

If you are wondering what jobs your child can handle, you are asking yourself the wrong question. Ask what needs to be done and figure out how they can help in that area. They might not be able to deep clean a bathroom but they can wipe down the sink. Be creative and give them responsibilities they can feel good about. Ones that will make them feel like they are a part of the family and helping the good of the whole. The younger you start them out, the less complaining you'll see as they get older!

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Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Rainbow Resource Center.
Image courtesy of Tuomas_Lehtinen at

Friday, January 6, 2017

Travel The World Through Literature

Some people are addicted to their smart phones. Others, it's video games. Some, it's binge watching their favorite shows online. Me? I'll admit it, my addiction is traveling. Maybe not so much anymore but there certainly was a time where I had the bug, to go, go, go. After I had traveled once, I was hooked, and wanted more. By the time I had graduated High School I had already crossed the pond three times to visit Europe, once I hit college it was several more. Needless to say, once I was out of school any chance that I had to travel, I took it.

As a homeschool mom, it is my desire to instill this love for other cultures and people within my children. Yes, America is a wonderful and blessed nation and I am thankful for American citizenship and what that means but I never want me or my family to be so self-centered that we think that because we are American we are better than anyone else. Having that mentality is harmful when reaching out to anyone, especially those in cultures that you might not understand.

Sharing literature with my children that highlight other nations and cultures is a powerful way to open up a whole new world to them. It allows them to see the world through someone else's eyes. It helps them to see that there are both similarities and differences between the children on these cultures and their own lives.

Here is a list of some books that you can introduce to your children that will get them excited about other cultures!

Tales From Africa
Mary Slessor: Courage in Africa
Answering The Call
Beduins Gazelle
With Kitchener in the Soudan

Penguins and Antarctica (Magic Tree House Guide)
Arctic and Antarctica
Antarctica (Rookie Read-About Geography)

Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes
Hidden Army: Clay Soldiers of Ancient China
Echoes of the White Giraffe


Switherby Pilgrims: Tale of the Australian Bush
Battle Order 204
Red Sand, Blue Sky

The Wheel on the School
St. George for England
The Glorious Flight

Great Kapok Tree: Instructional Guides for Literature
Out of Many Waters
A Way Beyond Death
Adventures of Don Quixote

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by The Rainbow Resource Center. All thoughts expressed here are my own.