Children’s Schedule

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I had several emails after posting my schedule, asking what our chidren’s days look like.  Here’s their schedule.  There are little things that are changed each day, but for the most part, this is how their days flow.

Daily Schedule
6:15 am – wake up, get dressed
6:30 am – Bible and prayers
6:45 am – breakfast
7:15 am – morning chores

a) wash face
b) brush teeth
c) make beds
d) put laundry away
e) household chores
1) sweeping – Pat
2) vacuuming – Jake
3) laundry – Liz

7:45 am – station play
a) Jake – piano practice 15 mins
9:00 am – schooltime
10:30 am – morning snack
10:50 am – morning chores check
11:00 am – outside playtime
11:50 am – clean up, prepare for lunch
12:00 pm – lunch
12:45 pm – storytime
1:00 pm – quiet time
2:00 pm – wake up
2:15 pm – afternoon chores

a) make beds
b) put laundry away
c) behavior practice

3:00 pm – afternoon snack
3:20 pm – chore check
3:30 pm – outside playtime
4:00 pm – outdoor chores

a) sweeping walkways
b) weeding flowerbeds
c) garden work
1) weeding
2) watering
3) harvesting
d) empty compost
e) animal care
1) feed/water
2) collect eggs
3) clean pens

4:45 pm – clean up, prepare for dinner
5:00 pm – dinner
5:40 pm – evening chores
a) put laundry away
b) put toys/books away
c) set out clothes for next day

6:00 pm – bathtime
6:20 pm – bedtime preparation
6:30 pm – evening worship
7:00 pm – bedtime

Granted, as with all things children, chaos can ensue quickly. 😉  However, having a schedule in place can help get things back on track very quickly.  If we don’t take the time to put clothes away in the evening (say, if we had a surprise visitor for dinner), we have the opportunity to put them away the next morning, without too much piling up too quickly. This has been a Godsend in keeping the house picked up – with 6 people living in 850 square feet, it can be crazy quickly! 🙂  If a day gets away from you, keep in mind that you can always start anew the next day (or even in the next hour!  Stay the course – you WILL see a benefit.

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Hidden Pathways to Healing: Chamomile Calme

I love holidays.
But sometimes the hustle and bustle can begin to wear us down,
even when our motives are good!

This is one of my favorite recipes for a moment of calm in the midst of chaos!

Chamomile Calm
4 parts chamomile flowers
2 parts lemon myrtle (or lemon balm)
1 part licorice root
1/2 part spearmint
1/4 part orange peel
1/8 part stevia leaf

Use 1 T herbs per 1 cup of boiling water.  Let steep for 15-20 minutes covered.
Sweeten with honey, if desired.
But definitely add cream if you have it. 🙂
This can make you very relaxed, even sleepy… just so you know!

 

Disclaimer:
There are fantastic, licensed herbalists out there – I am not one of them.
Please take the advice of your doctor, or health practitioner into account before using ANY of these preparations.

Helping Children Eat Healthy – Managing the “Picky Eater”

A recent commenter asked how we managed to eat such a wide variety of foods in our diet without running into the picky eater demands…

It’s fairly easy.
“Here’s what we’re eating. Eat. Or don’t eat. It’ll be here when you’re hungry.”

We don’t play the game of demands.
There is one meal served, and it is eaten.

Granted, we used to play it. Often. And not well.  Our oldest used to get all kinds of special treatment for his food wants.
But now that we have more children, more demands on our food budget, and less time for me to be in the kitchen,
we don’t.

Here’s how meals usually go:
We are seated at the table, grace is said.
Food is placed on plates – and I don’t load them up.
We start small.  The general rule is 1 tablespoon of each food for every year of their age.
If they don’t like the food, they only have to finish what they have.
If they like it, they may have seconds of it after everything is eaten off their plate.
They don’t get anything else other than what is on the menu,
and they finish their plates before leaving the table.
We used to re-serve the food to them the next meal, but I wouldn’t want to eat cold food, and the goal is for my children to enjoy eating…
We switched to serving smaller portions, and they are required to finish.
If it turns into a battle, we serve smaller portions the next time, and work our way back up.
But that usually means smaller portions of something they like…
so they find that eating a few bites of something “icky” is worth it for more of my sweet potato fries. 🙂

I’ve found this is the best way to make sure they are getting “enough” of a good thing,
while not making every single bite a battle.
Not to mention, this also takes a LOT of waste out of the equation.
I’ve seen so many parents load the plates up, and then complain that their child “didn’t eat anything!

There’s no reason we should expect toddlers to eat a full size, or even half of an adult sized portion.  Tiny tummies make for tiny meals.
We utilize snack time in our house to help keep tummies from rumbling, as well as making sure to add more nutrition to their diet,
but our mealtimes truly are where children should be obtaining most of their food intake.
(Snacks are limited in their portion sizes, so it doesn’t stress their digestive system out, working all day.)

Our oldest son went a day and a half without eating anything, before he ate what was placed in front of him without complaint.
That’s 36 hours, in case you were wondering!
It’s very disconcerting as a parent to feel like you’re “starving” this baby (he was 2, not an infant… no worries)
who will somehow never be happy again if you don’t fix him
a peanut butter and honey sandwich
RIGHT NOW.

Whew.
But here we are almost 3 years later, and he’s still thriving.
He still likes his peanut butter and honey sandwiches,
but he only gets them at Gramma and Papa’s house, thus avoiding the fight in the future.

Here are some other resources for helping your child eat well:

How to Get Your Kids to Eat Anything, from Cheeseslave’s blog – take a look at the comments, too. Lots of good stuff.
Healthy Foods to Tantalize Toddlers, from the Weston A. Price Foundation
How to Help Family Members Adapt to Real Food, from Passionate Homemaking
Taking the “ICKY” Out of Picky Eaters, from the Weston A. Price Foundation

Titus 2 Thursday: “Fair” is where they sell pigs.

This morning’s post was written by Rina, a wife and mother of five children, ages 7, 5, 4, 2, and 11 months. She is a Torah-observant, charismatic Christian who believes in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Salvation by grace through faith, and obedience to the commandments of God as an expression of her love for Him. She blogs at Into Still Waters and Laundry and Laughter.

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I’m sitting here watching my children play a game of domino’s. They play with their pieces face-up where the other players can see them, and my four year old watches closely to see what pieces her sisters have in their possession. She doesn’t do this to her own advantage. Instead, she carefully considers what the other players have in order to play the pieces that will help them to win. Sometimes, she’ll even help her sisters beat her, telling them which pieces to play so that they have the advantage. The amazing thing is that she genuinely wants her sisters to beat her. She takes tremendous satisfaction in each victory they obtain and never feels the need to win against them.

I’m in awe of this kind of behavior coming from my four year old, but not necessarily surprised. We have tried to teach our children to be happy when something good happens to their siblings and not to them, and we have never tried to be “fair” with our children.

Read more here.

Join me each Thursday as I share a devotional that has encouraged me in my walk as a wife and mother.

Titus 2 Thursday: Respecting Sons

This week’s post was written by Mrs. Julie Fink.  She is the wife of a pastor, and a ladies ministry coordinator.  She teaches the Ladies Sunday School class at the Grace Baptist Church in Lockport, Illinois.  You can find more of her insightful lessons at Lessons for Ladies.

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Let us remember that the whole goal of child training is to bring up our children to maturity. It should be our desire to see them reach their full potential physically, spiritually and socially. The only way we will be able to achieve this is to depend upon God to strengthen us and enable us with the wisdom, endurance and love that we will need for this whole children rearing process.

Psalm 144:12, “That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth.”

Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Sons are different than daughters. God has created our sons to grow up and become leaders and providers. Because of this, it is very important that we treat them in a way that is respectful so that he will have the confidence that he needs to do the many courageous things that God will call him to do.

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Read more here.

Join me each Thursday as I share a devotional that has encouraged me in my walk as a wife and mother.