Last Friday and Saturday, Ella and I attended the Texas Home School Coalition annual convention and family conference. It was awesome! Ella participated in their children's program while I went to workshops and shopped in the Exhibit Hall for her first grade curriculum. Ella had a great time and said that she really enjoyed her class - they learned songs, Bible verses, did crafts and played games. I learned a lot from the workshops that I attended and am now pumped for this upcoming school year!
I was especially excited to purchase Ella's curriculum. I am using My Father's World again for her core curriculum (which includes phonics/reading, history, science focusing on nature and Bible) and I am supplementing science with Real Science-4-Kids and math with RightStart Mathmatics and handwriting with A Reason for Handwriting. I'll go into depth about my choices in another 'Back to Homeschool' post, but for now you can click the links to learn more about them.
Today, I want to share with you a helpful resource I found a couple years ago called Doorposts. They have created Bible-based parenting and character training materials that would be helpful for any parent, whether they homeschool or not. I first learned about Doorposts when I attended my first homeschool conference a couple years ago. Since then, I have frequented their website and downloaded all the freebies I could find. They had a booth at this year's conference and I finally purchased two items that I have been looking at on their website for the past year.
First up is the 'If-Then Chart'.
"This chart is designed to help you be more consistent in disciplining your children. When they disobey, it will help you know what you need to do, and it will help them know what to expect." Which is exactly what we needed! The chart has three columns: the first lists areas of misbehavior with a simple illustration (great for preschoolers who are not reading yet), the second column lists a Bible verse related to the offense and the third column is left blank for you to fill in a consequence for the action. The back of the chart lists suggestions on possible consequences. When the child misbehaves, take him to the chart, show him his offense, read the scripture and let the child know what his consequence will be.
The chart helps with:
- Teasing/picking fights/causing trouble
- Stealing toys, books, or other items from someone else
- Defiance/rebellion against authority
- Name calling/foolish or evil speech
- Disrespect/rude behavior/poor manners
- Irreverent behavior at church
My 3 year old son discovered the chart after I hung it up on our family bulletin board in the kitchen. At lunch today, he asked me about the chart and I went through it with him - he was very intrigued and even asked me, "what does the Bible say 'bout hitting?" He stood in front of that chart and talked about it for 20 minutes! He later threw a fit because he wanted water so I took him to the chart, showed him the picture of his offense, read the scripture and showed him that the consequence for whining was 'loss of a privilege' and told him that he would not get what he wanted. He understood and quit whining shortly afterward. Let's hope it continues to work that way!
Not wanting to have all negatives and no positives, I also purchased 'The Blessing Chart' to balance bad behavior with the good. This chart is fun because it rewards good behavior.
The first column lists good character qualities, the second lists Bible verses explaining God's blessing when those qualities are present in our lives and the third column is left blank for you to fill in the reward. And, like the other chart, there are suggestions for rewards listed on the back. God blesses us when we are faithful and obedient and as parents we can bless our children when they are faithful and obedient to us!
The Blessing Chart encourages the following Godly character qualities:
- Submission to authority/honoring
- Pleasant words/wise speech
- Reverence in church
- Kindness, gentleness, mercy
It's best if the charts are placed in a common area of the house and at a level that the kid's can read it. I have a large bulletin board in my kitchen and thought it would be the perfect place to hang mine.
My one and only complaint about the charts is that the Bible verses are from the King-James Version (think thee, thou, doeth, Shakespeareth-style words). It would be nice to have the verses written in a more modern translation, such as the New International Version. Oh, well. It's still the Bible and I can explain the meaning of the verse if my kids look at me with a blank expression.
This just might be the tool to help us be more consistent with the kids. Plus, the kids will know what to expect if they misbehave - not only that, but the scriptures will help them to see the WHY behind having appropriate behavior. No longer is my word the standard - God's word is now the standard and you can't argue with Him :o)