Friday, July 31, 2009

Family Night: Team!

One of my goals over this summer was to put together and implement some kind of chore system around here! I've spent a lot of time thinking and praying through this and my Mom suggested presenting it as a family night, this is what we did!

First, I set up the table - I'll share what I did to set up as we go, I think it will make more sense!

Then, I rang the dinner bell indicating dinner was ready and it was time to come to the table. However, when everyone got to the table, they found that dinner was unusual! I planned to make pizza - but put one ingredient at each plate. Daddy got the dough for the crust, I had the sauce, etc...

This was a perfect opportunity to begin our evening by explaining that we each had part of what we needed for dinner - but we needed to work together to make it happen and each use our ingredient!

While we made the pizza together, we talked about what team is. I simplified it very much by just saying it is a group of people who work together on something. Our family is a team. We talked about other kinds of teams - baseball, Emily's ballet class, etc...

Next, we popped the pizza in the oven and proceeded while it was baking. I said something like this, "There is a Bible story about working together - do you want to hear it?"

There was a man named Nehemiah. He had heard that the walls of Jerusalem were all broken down. See? Just like this city on our table.

Walls were very important around a city in those days because they helped keep the people who lived there safe.

Nehemiah asked the king if he could go to Jerusalem and help fix the walls and the king said yes.

It was very hard work, because some people didn't want them to fix the wall. But, they asked God for help and they worked together.

And, do you know what? They finished fixing the wall - because they asked God for help and then worked together as a team!

Let's rebuild this wall right here! Daddy reminded us that each person repaired the part right in front of them, so that is what we did.

Next, we rebuilt the "walls" of our city! And, then put some puzzles together. I passed out a few pieces to each person and said again that each of us does not have all the pieces, we have to work together to complete it.

We worked puzzles until our food was ready. If you have older children - you could do a three-legged race, obstacle course or other kind of game to demonstrate working together.

Next, I introduced our new chore charts. I had seen this idea in an organizing magazine at my Mom's house and I liked how child-friendly it was in terms of using it for non-readers.

So, I made charts for each girl (Samuel's will come later!) and mounted them on the wall in the kitchen. I made a set of photos of the chores and glued them to popsicle sticks. They were so excited, they wanted me to assign chores that night! So, we did and got a lot done!

Each day when they are finished with their chores, they get a happy face in their chart and this has been motivational to them to achieve the happy face on their chart.

I'll post next week about how to make the charts and what chores I included.

Of course, the first team we want to be on is God's - and after that family is our next team! How do you work together as a family?

23 comments:

Stephanie said...

Hi Monica, what a great idea! We have used the idea of team in our house for a while. (Hence the name of my blog)We can't get things done unless we work together. But I love the examples you use to bring understanding of the concept to your younger children. My kids are a little older...I wish I would have thought of this years ago. As school is getting ready to start I think I'll do a "refresher coarse" and we'll go over the story of Nehemiah. Thanks for the idea. :)

Josie said...

Hi Monica! I love the ways you introduced the "team" concept to your littles. I've done chore charts with my kids for years and have learned that getting them enthusiastic about it is the best way to go. You are on the right track. Enjoy the extra help!

Grace said...

What a great way to present the concept of teamwork! Once again you never cease to amaze me friend!! I can't wait to hear more about what chores you have assigned.

Tracey said...

I love the charts you made!

Mary Ann said...

Have I told you lately how amazing I think you are?!! This is such a wonderful idea and I love how you tied in the Bible story and included each person.

Nancy Jacobs Basketmaster said...

That was just beautiful. We have always done chores together and now that my kiddos are teenagers, they do some of them without even being asked!
One chore they do as a group and I know this will sound silly with three teenagers unloading the dishwasher, but it works and everyone is happy. One unloads and puts away the silverware, one unloads the dishes and the third puts away the dishes. Since it is such a tiny chore for each person they do it quite willingly and it is great teamwork.
Blessings,
Nancy

Michelle said...

Wow, what a great idea! We need to tweak how chores go around here as well, so I will be referring back to this post for ideas! :)

Anonymous said...

What an awesome illustration for young children!! You are so talented. I am going to use this for my girls, thanks for the idea!

Wendi said...

I love the way your presented the chores as teamwork! Megan has just been introduced to chores. I plan to post on it next week if my internet is back up.

Erica said...

That's such a great idea! Thanks for sharing it!

My kids are older - 8 & 5, plus I am not nearly as organized as you are! But we use the "team" concept often. If there is a big job and we all need to pitch in I'll gather them together, hubby too if he's there, & put our hands in the middle like a sports team. I give a pep talk then break down what needs to be done. Then we yell "Team Ventura! We can do it!" and give a whoop and we're off!

It sounds ridiculously cheesy I know but it works!

Amy said...

Brilliant!

Davonne said...

I love how you approached the chore concept with your family! My husband and I have been talking about assigning our four year old certain chores, but I haven't been sure how to go about it. She helps clean when I clean, but doesn't have assigned chores. I'll check back soon for your other chore ideas so I can use some :-)

Elise said...

That is such a great idea!! One I definitely need to implement. I love how intentional you are with raising and teaching your children.
Elise

Jason and Danielle said...

I love them and have been searching for something to work for my little ones. I can't wait to see how you made it so then I can try it out for my family as well

Lura said...

Love it all! Thanks for the inspiration. I especially love the pizza idea to introduce it!

Angelia in TX said...

This is one of my devo favorites. Love How you made the night learning and super fun. Smiles, Angelia

Chrisi said...

What a wonderful way to teach the lesson of working together.

Marie said...

This summer has been crazy for our family. We moved, had a baby (3 weeks after our move), flew my Mom out to help, crazy schedules etc. During the school year we are so much better about being on a routine. Something about getting to the bus on time! lol! But with a little one in the house again, I really have relied on my older kids. So I think it would be a really great idea to talk about being a team. They all love Legos, and so I can use the same concept. I love this idea, thanks for sharing!

Our Lives said...

Hi Monica,
Reading your entry flooded me with memories on my older son and daughter's chore training period. I remember having so much fun making the chore charts. We've tried so many different methods but I have to say I really like yours, especially for the young, not yet readers and the linking to the Bible story. My older son is married now and although home chores are no longer his main duty, he does help out and share the chores with his young wife. He knows first hand what chores are consist of. My daughter, who completely embraces the activity, is kepping her room clean daily. My younger son, who wants to compete with his sister, has also become very organized. I only have one more to go. We are teaching our 16 months old to put things away (not throwing them around) and he is learning the "please" signing right now. It is wonderful to see the fruit of labor. Praise be to God, though.

Zebu said...

This is so awesome, Monica! I used to do those as well and would switch charts from time to time to keep things fun. Great work--You and Heavenly Father. :0)

...they call me mommy... said...

What a great idea! LOVE THE CHORE CHARTS! :-)

Jennie F. said...

I have been wondering lately how to introduce chores to my young children and this is just perfect. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas! I can't wait to see the details :)

Mom said...

Great ideas and presentation! The chore charts turned out very cute -- as usual! I'm glad the girls responded positively and hope this is a long-term success! :) Good job! Love you, Mom