Part 3 - Notes from Homekeeping & Homeschooling Book

Chapter 4 - Teaching Children Life Skills

It's easier to do the chores ourselves than take twice as long to teach a child again to do it.  You teach your children's minds, but you train their will, which is more difficult.

  • It Begins with You - If you have weaknesses in homemaking skills, diligently continue to improve those areas.  Children learn discipline when they see you exhibit discipline in your life.  Focus shouldn't be more on the chore but on the character that mastering and completing the chore builds into their lives.  Your children will quickly catch your attitudes.
  • Life Skills - If I don't teach ____, will the lack of that knowledge be harmful or a hindrance to them later in life?  How can learning this skill be a vehicle to teaching a greater character lesson?
  • Functional Neatness - It is worth the investment of time to teach children chores.  When children do simple chores, they learn to think in an orderly way.  Not only praise them for the good job, praise them also for the character trait they display.
  • Simple Rules - Simple rules are more effective and are easier to maintain while teaching a skill or habit to children.  Make a few simple and enforceable rules necessary to operate your home.  Give a penalty for violating a rule.
  • Gaining Cooperation - The difficult part is sticking to the rules.  Follow-up to see if child did chore and did it correctly.  Work time/Study time/Play time.  Give child good instruction on how to do a job.
  • Your Child's Room - Simple and enforceable rules also apply for child's room.  Clearly define a clean for them.  List the things you plan to inspect and post in their room.  A chore chart provides accountability for children.
  • The Makeover - Apply clutter principles to child's room.  Use a box to store excess toys and rotate every few months.  Makeover the child's room.
  • Dads Can Help
  • Maintenance Training - Continue to teach good habits.  Establish pickups and cleanups as a part of your child's regular routine.
  • Time & Priorities - Include children in discussions of family priorities.  Help them understand that changing goals occasionally is normal.  Experience teaches your children a great deal about priorities and about life.  Allow them room to make poor choices about time and priorities and then let them suffer the consequences.
  • Record-Keeping and Finances - Give child a calendar to record lesson times and dates, music practice, appointments, etc.
  • Precept Upon Precept - You must teach over and over.

Chapter 5 - Paper By the Pile

  • Under the Pile - The more you assign convenient places for your paper and other things, the less you will pile those things.
  • Types of Paper - Don't view paper as one category, view its as different categories.
  • Paper Questions - 1.  What do I really need?  2.  Why do I need it?  3.  Who else needs it?
  • Paper Guidelines - Clutter principles apply to paper as well.
  1. Retrieve It - If you aren't able to retrieve paper, it is of no value to you.
  2. Deal With Mail - Open mail daily near a trash can, paper shredder or paper recycling bin.  Use a designated box or container for mail.
  3. Create a Central Center for Paper - create a work center for most of your paper.
  4. File It.  Don't Pile It - The quicker you deal with papers, the less digging out you will have to do.
  5. Control Paper - Be cautious about ways you produce or receive more paper.  Make deliberate choices about what to keep and what you can replace later.
  • F Sharp Paper Routing System - this is a temporary routing system.
F - File It
S - Send It
H - Hold It
A - Answer It
R - Read It
P - Pay It
  1. F-File It - papers you must file or store.
  2. S-Send It - items you need to send or give to someone outside of your home.
  3. H-Hold It - papers like invoices that need to be held temporarily and then filed or discarded.
  4. A-Answer It - items that need your response or requires action.
  5. R-Read It - items that you need to read; keep a container by a chair with these items and/or read-a-louds.  Clean out every 3-4 months.
  6. P-Pay It - bills to pay
  • Personalizing the System - Have easy access to your file system.  You can color-code each category.  Don't complicate system, keep it simple and you will more likely use it.  Make an action or hot folder for urgent things.  If you make a lot of calls, have a special calls folder.  You can have a different folder for each member of the family.
  • Consistency & Persistence - Set a goal of 10-15 minutes a day to deal with paper.  Gain control of incoming paper and gradually deal with accumulated papers.

Related: Part 1, Part 2