* Children and Chores
* A Time of Refreshment and Renewal: June 10-11
* Links I've Been Enjoying
* What's Happening in My House
* Devotional: One Thought at a Time
CHILDREN AND CHORES
When I was a kid, I remember telling my mom once, "You just had
us so you'd have servants!" Now that I'm a mother of four, I think
… well, yep, that sounds about right. Those kids make great
servants! Plus, they're cute to look at while they
But the biggest reason to teach them while they are little is NOT so
you can get out of the work yourself, but because if you don't
teach them, adulthood will be that much harder.
I have a friend who was pampered and not taught to do any cleaning
or cooking. She is now the mother of four preschoolers and has the
hardest time keeping her home. My friend recently had to call her
mother to ask what she could do with the flour she found in her
cupboard. Her mother had left it after visiting one day. My friend
had recipes, but didn't even know how to follow one! Guess what
her mama said?
"I'm so sorry I never taught you those things you need to know."
Don't you wait until your child is an adult to teach him or her!
Teaching can begin today.
Here are some ideas of chores for children, based on age:
1-2 year-old walkers can…:
• Load the clothes' dryer as you hand over the items one by
one. Say the names of the colors of the clothes as you hand them to
her, so she'll learn her colors at the same time.
• Empty the silverware container from the dishwasher. My 2-
year-old dumps the silverware into the drawer, so we have to
straighten it, but at least it is in there!
• Take the silverware to the table for setting it
• Sit on the counter as you make cookies and dump the cups of
ingredients as you hand them to her.
• Clear her items off the table after she eats
• Fill the dog or cat dish with the food that you give her
• Pick up floors
3-5 year-olds can….
• Do all of the above, plus…
• Pick up an assigned floor (our little guy is in charge of
making sure the living room and the library room floors are clear
all day long)
• Dust low areas
• Sort socks (call it the "Matching Game")
• Wind up the vacuum cleaner cord after you vacuum
• Use the mini-broom and dustpan after you sweep the floors
into a pile
• Clear the table after meals
• Empty the clothes' dryer into a basket
• Get the mail (if your mailbox is in a safe area, of course!)
Elementary kids can….
• Do all of the above, plus…
• Drill the preschoolers on numbers, colors, and letters. We
keep flashcards, chalk, a Leap Pad, and dry-erase boards for this
• Fold the clothes from the dryer (Start them out with just
towels, then shirts, socks, and finally Daddy's looooong pants.
Nobody folds anyone's underwear! Those just get :::eww!:::
tossed into the owner's pile)
• Clear and wipe the table after meals (our 9yo Brenden does
this at supper; 7yo Brittany does this for lunch)
• Sweep the kitchen floor after meals (Brenden's job at
lunch; Brittany's job at supper)
• Vacuum a room or two
• Be in charge of keeping the floors of two rooms clear all
day long (Brenden does the boys' room, foyer, and hallway; Brittany
does the girls' room and kitchen)
• Window clean
• Give the baby her bath (I'd wait until she is well old
enough to sit, and your elementary-age child has to be trustworthy
enough to do this!)
• Clean the bathtub after the younger ones use it
• Make a basic recipe (our 7yo can make French toast if I
assemble the ingredients first. She also makes cinnamon toast; our
9yo can follow the directions on a box)
• Fill the cereal bowls of the younger children in the morning
• Fill the baby's sippy cups or bottles, or the preschoolers
cups, as needed (our 9yo doesn't always want to do this for his
5yo brother, but I always say, " I was filling your cup when you
were his age, so you're going to do it for someone else now!")
• Open and close the window blinds/curtains each day.
There are many more chores I could list, especially for the
elementary-aged children. But I hope I've given you a few ideas.
Sometimes we don't realize how much they can do until we ask them
to do it!
Do you see by my list how helpful the children can be?
The kids don't need to add to our burden! They can be little
helpers! Don't dustpan the floor after you sweep, get your 5yo
to do it! Don't wind the vacuum cord after you vacuum! Call him in,
tell him it's a race track and he gets to drive the cord around
the track, winding it up.
You will enjoy the little breaks that you receive and you'll be
less stressed. Think of yourself as a manager. You are delegating
the small stuff so you can work on the big stuff.
Your children will be filled with pride. But their real reward is
later. When they grow into adults they will know how to take care
A TIME OF REFRESHMENT AND RENEWAL
If you are going to be near North Alabama (or can travel!), on June
10th and 11th, you'd probably love going to the following seminar.
I listened to Cindy Rushton speak at a recent online ball hosted by
Christian Internet Moms. Cindy spoke on homeschooling and from her
one little talk, I could feel huge burdens falling off of me. Her
approach to homeschooling is more natural and more relaxed than I
had tried to be. I've tried several of her ideas in the past
couple of weeks and not only do I love homeschooling again, but our
9 year-old said, "I don't know why, but we're having more fun
Even if you don't homeschool, this seminar will appeal to you
because half of the topics are on home business. See below for the
list of topics.
Here is the webpage for more information:
Here is a list of topics:
Session 1 Workshops--
Help! I am SO Tired and Weary--Cindy Rushton
Getting Started Homeschooling on the Right Track--Kerry Beck
What About a Family Business?--Steve Beck and the Beck Children
Commitments of a Homeschool Teen--Matthew Rushton
Session 2 Workshops--
Let's Talk About Debt--Steve Beck
10 Fun and Easy Ideas for Making Homeschooling Great--Cindy Rushton
Start Selling On Ebay Tonight?--Kerry Beck
Session 3 Workshops--
Dad and the Big Picture (Dad's Only with Steve Beck)
Romancing the Principle--101 Ways to Ignite the Home Fires (Mom's
Only with Cindy Rushton)
Purity the ONLY Way (Students with Matthew Rushton and all of the
Session 1 Workshops--
Winning the War for Our Culture--Steve Beck
Leadership Education...Not a Conveyor-Belt Education--Kerry Beck
So...You Want to be a Writer--Cindy Rushton
How to Begin and Run Your OWN Business (AND Call it School!)--
Session 2 Workshops--
The Importance of Teaching Life Skills to Your Children--Steve Beck
Planning Fun and Easy Lessons--Cindy Rushton
Top Secret Business Tips--Harold Rushton
Session 3 Workshops--
Organization 911! Help for the Messy Mom--Cindy Rushton
Let's Brainstorm Ideas for YOUR Business--Steve Beck
Reaching the Reluctant Writer--by Kerry Beck
Session 4 Workshops--
Ministering to the Heart of Your Child (and Teen!)--Cindy Rushton
So, What About College???--Kerry and Ashley Beck
Make Money Online Tonight--Steve Beck
A Challenge to My Fellow Homeschoolers--Matthew Rushton
LINKS I'VE BEEN ENJOYING
1. I mentioned the "Time of Refreshment and Renewal" above.
The creator of that seminar is Cindy Rushton, who has a site full of
help to mothers and homeschooling mothers. I have two of her ebooks
and love them! Here is her site: http://www.cindyrushton.com
2. I've been recently introduced to Internet radio, a very cool
thing where you can listen to radio shows on topics that you love
while surfing the `net. Or, you can download your favorite show
and listen to it on your morning job (well, okay, during your
morning sit-down with your morning latte). Here is the Work at Home
Moms radio show: http://www.wahmtalkradio.com/
3. Here is the Women by Grace radio show:
4. If you think you might like to try your hand at jewelry-making,
here is a great site: http://www.wigjig.com/index.html . There are
lots and lots of free patterns and tutorials at that site!
I love finding new sites that help me out! If you have any
suggestions of sites to look at, let me know and I'll include
them in this newsletter.
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY HOUSE
• Chores are happening in my house, as you already know from
the first part of this newsletter! That's how I am able to even
have the time to sit down and write to you. I keep my
little "servants" very busy! (they are so "busy" that they are this
minute enjoying a chocolate chip cookie after an afternoon nap).
• Our rooster, Princess, was within seconds of death – I
thought – just two days ago. He'd been hurt while trying to
rescue his girls from our neighbor's dog (the same dog who is
responsible for the death of 7 chickens at this point). Princess
(we thought he was a girl when our then-6yo named him and when we
heard him crow 3 months later, it was just too late to change his
name!)….anyway, Princess couldn't walk, was breathing heavily, and
had his eyes closed when I found him. Our 7yo and I shed a few
tears over the old boy and said how we'd sure miss him strutting
about the yard, and how we were so sad that he'd just crowed his
Today, he is not only doing perfectly well, but is feisty again.
He flapped his wings and shook his head at me when I fed his girls
• Our bunny shares a pen with the "baby" chickens, who
are now naughty teenagers. They don't stay in their pen during the
day (which is why the neighbor's dog has gotten a few of them) and
the bunny actually misses them! Last night, I caught Bunny chasing
two chicks round and round the pen. Being nocturnal, she wanted to
play, but they wanted only to sleep.
• We visited some Indiana friends of ours on Ft. Morgan beach
last week (they rented a beach house there, a few miles from our
home). While there, we saw over 20 dolphins come by at once. One
of them waved his/her fin as if trained by Sea World to
say `hello.' The highlight of the show was when a mama
flipped her baby into the air for us to see.
• I am reading "Created to be His Helpmeet" by Debi
Pearl. In the near future, I'll probably write a book review for
you, but right now I am just overwhelmed with all that I have been
learning in this book! If you are married, get this book! It has
been an amazing book to me, as I come to realize what the
SCRIPTURES – not the world! – tell me to be to my husband. My
Indiana friend (above) had her copy of the book laying out on the
coffee table of their beach house. Once we discovered each other
was reading the book, we spent the rest of our time together,
discussing what we were learning.
ONE THOUGHT AT A TIME
We have been in a hard time, but it was a very, very hard from
August 26th to November 3rd when we just seemed to be "in the fire"
on a daily basis. Our trials during that time included losing our
sole income when Tim lost his job senselessly and unexpectedly and
Hurricane Ivan hitting our area hard.
During that time, and even now when I get scared because we lost our
insurance policies with the job and when I worry about future money,
I remember something that I read a long time ago: We can only have
one thought at a time.
That seems impossible for us multi-tasking moms, but it is true.
You can only think ONE thought at a time. That means I can either
dwell on our hard times, or thank God for what I can find that is
It has helped me to remember that. Sometimes I find my thoughts
going toward the negatives, or toward the "what ifs". Then I
myself that I can only think one thought at a time, so I DECIDE to
think something positive. Before long, I feel more upbeat and happy.
~ as posted on my blog, Keeping the Home, December 16, 2004
Thank you for reading!
Take care of you! God bless,
Write me when you get the chance.