Tag Archives: kathy h lee

Chores, chores, chores!

27 Mar

by Kathy H. Lee

doing chores

In our house of nine, it seems the chores never end. I am always asking someone to clean the kitty litter, start their laundry, pick up their shoes, or unload the dishwasher. Many times I just want to do the chore myself to save time or avoid a pout or complaint. However, I have always believed that teaching children to help around the house will pay off.  And this week, it has!

A few days ago I hurt my back, and I have been unable to manage daily “mom” tasks since then. My children have had to carry a heavier load—literally!  I am happy to say that even though I have been unable to help, dinner has been cooked, the kitchen has been cleaned, the laundry has been washed, and the kitty litter has been emptied. As I am typing this blog post, my oldest son is mopping our wood floors. Woohoo!

If I am being honest, chores can be incredibly frustrating to me. I have a hard time understanding why my children do not automatically complete their chores without asking (yeah… I know; that is not even rational!). Over the years, we have tried different chore charts and chore methods, and we are always tweaking our system. Even though our method is not perfect, we have discovered some tricks that help get those chores accomplished.

Mopping races!

  1. Turn on some music and sing along.  Just today, two of my children sang the theme song from Tangled as they cleaned the kitchen.
  2. Make a game of it. Mopping races get a floor clean in no time.
  3. Encourage working together. Many hands make light work!
  4. Divide and conquer.  Make sure everyone has a job to do, no matter how small. Some of our younger kids dust, replace toilet paper, and wash tables. The older ones help with cooking, washing the dishes, taking out the trash, cleaning their bathrooms, and more.
  5. Set a timer. Our children love the challenge of finishing a chore in a certain time. Celebrate a clean house by playing a family game or making a special treat together.

klblog2

The bottom line is, chores can be a burden or an opportunity to make memories with our children.  Let’s make memories (and enjoy a cleaner house).

This post was contributed by Kathy H. Lee. Kathy facilitates the training of early childhood teachers, administrators, and parents worldwide and is the Executive Director at Early Childhood Resources in Canton, Georgia. She is the mother of seven children (biological and adopted) and home schools them all. Kathy is the author of two Gryphon House favorites, 101 Easy, Wacky, Crazy Activities for Young Children and Solutions for Early Childhood Directors. Her newest title, The Homegrown Preschooler (co-authored with Lesli Richards) is available for pre-order now on the Gryphon House website. Connect with Kathy online and via Facebook and Twitter.

Do You Have Time for Your Children?

19 Dec

By Kathy H. Lee

Cooking together

A few weeks ago, my family and I had the opportunity to head to the movies!  While we were all together on this special outing, I was reminded of an important life lesson during the film. In one scene, Santa attempts to calm a small child without much success. His friend, Jack Frost, asks if he has ever played with children before, and Santa replies, “I am too busy bringing joy to children to have time for children!” A friend sitting next to me said, “I have to remember that!” I nodded in complete agreement. My friend and I left the movie theater with a challenge. Try not to be so busy teaching and caring for our children that we don’t have time for them. I have been guilty of this on more than one occasion, have you?

As the holiday season approaches and schedules get busier, let’s not lose sight of the children. Implement some of the following ideas to ensure that you are spending quality time with your children:

  1. Share meals together. Take turns sharing one thing each of you is thankful for.
  2. Gather together. Read a book, sing songs or tell stories (kids love to hear stories about their parent’s childhood).
  3. Volunteer together.  There are many opportunities for volunteering this time of year.
  4. Make a gingerbread house together. You can make a large one together and have each child make their own smaller one.
  5. Bake together and have a tea party.
  6. Play games together. Word Bingo is a great game for preschoolers.
  7. Rake leaves together and play in the pile when you are finished.
  8. Take turns telling jokes. LAUGH together.
  9. Have a campfire and eat s’mores together.
  10. Watch a parade together.
  11. Visit those who don’t have a family.
  12. Shop together and give to those who need help.
  13. Make homemade pizzas and watch a movie together.
  14. Make homemade cards together and send them to family and friends.
  15. Build tents in your family room and sleep together.
Blanket Tent

Our own blanket tent!

Don’t be too busy taking care of your children, that you have no time for your children. Make some memories with your child today!

This post was contributed by Kathy H. Lee. Kathy facilitates the training of early childhood teachers, administrators, and parents worldwide and is the Executive Director at Early Childhood Resources in Canton, Georgia. She is the mother of seven children (biological and adopted) and home schools them all. Kathy is the author of two Gryphon House favorites, 101 Easy, Wacky, Crazy Activities for Young Children and Solutions for Early Childhood Directors. Her newest title, The Homegrown Preschooler (co-authored with Lesli Richards) will be released by Gryphon House in Spring 2013. Connect with Kathy online and via Facebook and Twitter.

Going for Gold at Home

9 Aug

By Kathy H. Lee

Our family has been very fascinated with the Olympics. We have watched volleyball, gymnastics, rowing, shot put, swimming, soccer, track, water polo and more! As we approach the beginning of the school year, I plan on incorporating the Olympics into our first day celebration.

I always try and make the first day of school special for the children. This year, we will start school with a breakfast for champions, complete with red, white, and blue table decorations.  Next, I will meet with the children and encourage them to set goals for the year. Each child will make a goal poster (I will provide paper, magazines, and other art supplies). We will discuss the hard work that goes into accomplishing a goal and how hard the Olympic athletes worked to make it to the 2012 London Games. I will ask each child to come up with a quote, Bible verse, or other encouraging words to add to their goal poster. These will hang in our school room to encourage the children throughout the year.

After we have completed our goal posters, I will read to them the history of the Olympic Games and why we still hold them today. The children will then be asked to journal about the Olympics and their favorite moment of the games. The younger children will draw a picture and share their story as I write.  The older children will write and illustrate their own story. To finish the morning, we will make our own Olympic Rings for a treat. I will provide sugar cookies and different colored icing and sprinkles for the children to create their Olympic Rings. We will drink hot tea (in honor of London) with our cookies. As we are enjoying our tea and cookies, the children will take turns sharing their stories about the Olympics.  As our morning concludes, I will encourage the children to go for gold this year in all they do, especially their school work!

This post was contributed by Kathy H. Lee. Kathy facilitates the training of early childhood teachers, administrators, and parents worldwide and is the Executive Director at Early Childhood Resources in Canton, Georgia. She is the  mother of seven children (biological and adopted) and home schools them all. Kathy is the author of two Gryphon House favorites, 101 Easy, Wacky, Crazy Activities for Young Children and Solutions for Early Childhood Directors. Connect with Kathy online and via Facebook and Twitter.

Flowers, Frogs, and Fireflies! Oh My!

17 Jul

By Kathy H. LeeImage

The summer season is full of beautiful things for our eyes to enjoy! Help your child remember these beautiful things by creating a nature journal together. While we were building our home, the kids and I would take field trips to our new property. We would usually take a picnic and our nature journals.  Some weeks, the children would draw the house being framed or the roof going on. Other weeks, the children would draw the trees or the creek.

I will never forget the day we discovered the pair of owls that lived on our property. The pair soared across the sky as we watched in amazement. Immediately, one of the children grabbed their journal and began sketching. I was so thankful that she had her journal so she could record this special time. We continue to nature journal at our house. We have taken our journals on walks to see the horses and goats. We have taken our journals into the woods, into our garden, and onto our front porch. There is so much to see in nature, your child might need a new nature journal each season. If you are like me, you will decide that you need your own journal too.

ImageGetting Started:

  • Buy or make a nature journal. Larger pages work best because they provide adequate space for your child to sketch.
  • Provide a variety of colored pencils.
  • Keep binoculars handy so your child can get a better look at birds and other animals from a distance.
  • Purchase bird and flower identifying books. We like The National Geographic My First Pocket Guide to Garden Birds and The National Geographic My First Pocket Guide to Wildflowers.
  • Assist your child when they want to learn more about things they see in nature. Recently, we saw several snakes on a camping trip and now my youngest son is obsessed with knowing everything about snakes. He has recently learned that the most poisonous snake in the world is the Inland Taipan and the fastest snake in the world is the Black Mamba.
  • Ask your child if they would like to tell you a story that goes with their drawing. Write their story down word for word. This makes this science activity a great language arts activity too.

You Don’t Have to be Superwoman to Home School Your Children

24 May

By Kathy H. Lee

Recently, I was interviewed by our local newspaper for Mother’s Day. The reporter wanted to interview moms who homeschooled lots of children.  I definitely qualified for that job – I home school and I have lots of children, seven to be exact!

The reporter asked lots of questions. She wanted to know what I liked about homeschooling, what I disliked. She asked if I ever wanted to put the children in school and what I thought was the toughest part of being a mom and teacher.

These questions made me think about the general public’s view of homeschooling parents. I think most people believe that homeschooling moms have it all together, we don’t. I bet most of these people even believe that we never get frustrated or never want to give up, we do. Believe me, there are days that I wish the yellow bus would stop and take my kids to school for someone else to teach.

On those days I must stop and remember why I chose this life. I think about all of the “a-ha” moments I would miss if someone else taught my children. I shared with this reporter the magical feeling of witnessing your child learning. For example, my oldest son began telling stories when he was a preschooler.  I documented these stories every chance I got. At the age of five, he “wrote” his first book, entitled Blackie. I was fascinated at his ability to tell a story at such a young age.  I would have hated to miss that memory with him. Just this morning as I was freshening up my flower arrangement from Mother’s Day, my seven-year-old saw pollen on the counter and began telling me how pollen is necessary for bees and butterflies. She was so excited to share her knowledge with me.  Priceless.

Honestly, I cannot imagine not homeschooling my children. Of course there are days when no one seems to remember their math facts or know anything about the book they just read. Those are the challenging times. When the reporter asked me the toughest part of being a homeschooling mom to 7 children, I said “Balancing it all.” I desire to be a great wife, mom, teacher, and friend, but it is difficult. I mentioned to the reporter how I long for a superwoman cape to help me do it all. So far no cape has appeared. At the end of the day, I know that I am far from perfect, but I am confident that I am perfect for this job of homeschooling! You can do it too!

~~~

This post was contributed by Kathy H. Lee.

Kathy facilitates the training of early childhood teachers, administrators, and parents worldwide and is the Executive Director at Early Childhood Resources in Canton, Georgia. She is the  mother of seven children (biological and adopted) and home schools them all. Kathy is the author of two Gryphon House favorites, 101 Easy, Wacky, Crazy Activities for Young Children and Solutions for Early Childhood Directors. Connect with Kathy online and via Facebook and Twitter.


Life Lessons Learned From Lucky

19 Apr

By Kathy H. Lee

Teaching your young child about life and death can be challenging. Recently, our family experienced this first hand. Our journey began when we found a baby duckling in our yard; we believe he had hatched the very day we found him.

My son rescued the duckling from the claws of our cat.  We all screamed with excitement over this new life that had entered our world. We named our new friend Lucky and prepared a home for him. The children couldn’t get enough of this little friend.  We decided that we would be his family until he was big enough to be released at a nearby animal rescue farm. For the next three days this little duck brought such joy into the lives of my seven children (and their mommy). From the youngest to the oldest, everyone wanted a chance to show Lucky some love! I did not realize how quickly joy could turn to sadness.

As I was standing in the checkout line at the farmer’s market, I received a phone call from a hysterical child saying that Lucky was dead. All of the children were crying and I was 45 minutes away from them. My heart sank and I began to sob too. How could we all cry so much because of a tiny animal we had known for only 72 hours? My husband calmed the children, while I composed myself enough to drive home. The children buried little Lucky in our backyard near the garden. They had a service for him and everyone said goodbye. Our hearts were sad, many tears flowed.

As difficult as this was on all of us, it was a good life lesson. Afterwards, I had these thoughts:

  1. Caring for such a helpless animal is a good thing. This teaches children empathy for others. It helps them understand how difficult it is for a mom to care for her babies, thus teaching the young children responsibility.
  2. It is good to talk with young children about their feelings. Initially, our children thought their cat had killed the duckling and they were very angry.  However, when they realized that it wasn’t anything that we had done that killed their little friend, their anger turned to sadness.
  3. It is helpful for children to say good-bye and express their sadness. As soon as I arrived home, my children ran into my arms and we all cried together. We shared our favorite thing about Lucky and agreed that we were thankful for the time he was in our life.
  4. Time makes it easier. One of my children recently asked, “How long does it take to get over death?” I told him that I didn’t have an exact answer, but I did know that over time the sadness does fade and the happy memories remain. He agreed and ran off to play.

If you find yourself in this situation, I want to encourage you not to miss the opportunity to love and care for a helpless animal because you fear the outcome will be the same as ours. I know that if we have the chance to rescue another baby duckling, we will do it all over again.

This post was contributed by Kathy H. Lee.

Kathy facilitates the training of early childhood teachers, administrators, and parents worldwide and is the Executive Director at Early Childhood Resources in Canton, Georgia. She is the  mother of seven children (biological and adopted) and home schools them all. Kathy is the author of two Gryphon House favorites, 101 Easy, Wacky, Crazy Activities for Young Children and Solutions for Early Childhood Directors. Connect with Kathy online and via Facebook and Twitter.

 

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