Weekend Links

I hope the sun is shining wherever you are. Have a wonderful weekend!

Being An Example: Helping Our Kids Get Organized By Modeling It For Them

The following is a guest post by Mandi Ehman of Organizing Your Way and the soon to be launched Life … Your Way network. This originally ran in April 2010, but I felt the topic of helping kids get organized is timely after some of your comments on my post earlier in the week on kids and practical life skills.

Ithink we’d all agree that teaching our children to organize their belongings and the space around them is a valuable life skill. Unfortunately, it’s not a skill that always comes naturally for us, even as parents. As with any value or habit we want to pass on to our children, however, it’s important to not just teach our children the what, why and how of organizing but also to model it for them in our own lives.

As much as we’d like to teach them to “do as I say and not as I do,” children are much more likely to replicate the behaviors they see than the instructions we give them.

Today I’m sharing three behaviors we can model and teach our children to give them the tools they need to be organized:


For parents:

  • Make a conscious decision to declutter. While there is a wide gray area between minimalism and hoarding, being able to sort through our stuff and only keep those things that we truly need or truly love is an important part of getting organized. Even the most organized person will fall under the weight of too much stuff.
  • Clear out the storage. I’m not saying you have to get rid of all the sentimental or seasonal items you’re currently storing in your basement or attic, but it is important to ask yourself how much something really means to you if it’s hidden away in storage.

[Read more…]

Practical Life Skills: Letting Your Young Children Help With Household Tasks

Note: there are affiliate links in this post. Thanks!

“Can I help?” my two year old wants to know.  I’m folding laundry and, for a moment, I hesitate to say yes.  One the one hand, I think it is darling that she wants to help me. On the other hand, it is going to take much longer if she “helps” than if I just do the job myself. But, the benefits to both of us when I let her help me are too great to ignore.

All of my children have household tasks that they are responsible for, even if it means that things are done imperfectly or slowly.  In working alongside my children, I am forced to slow down and do my household work at a child’s pace. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

I have found that teaching my children how to care for our home also helps me to keep my own attitude about these chores in check.  I am caring for my family home and teaching those skills to my children.

“The tasks we do with our young child by hand will be the ones they know by heart when they are grown.” – Sharifa Oppenheimer, Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children

Ages and Stages

My children are two, four, and almost nine.  At their young ages, they do require some supervision from me in their work around the home.  Each child, however, needs a different level of input from me. [Read more…]

Weekend Link Love

Yesterday my family and I visited the Indy Zoo. We fed giraffes some breakfast, raced a few cheetahs, watched a dolphin show, rode ponies, and got to see a demonstration on snakes (and a few of us were even brave enough to touch a snake).

Today we’re hoping to have a quiet day, hanging out in the backyard and getting in some swing-set time.  It is a sunny day here in Indiana.  I hope the sun is shining where you are, too.

Link Love:

Thank you all for your helpful suggestions on my post about our overdue library books.  You were very generous with your tips and I think that even those of us whose libraries aren’t yet utilizing an online reminder system can find some helpful advice in the comments.

It was nice to know we aren’t the only family prone to sky-high library fines (and sweet to see that we all agree libraries are a great resource to support!)

Enjoy your Sunday, everyone! ~ Kara

Creating an easy rhythm and adding simple routines to your home.

Simple rhythm and routines |SimpleKids.net

P redictable rhythms are important for kids, giving them anchor points in their days and weeks. Odds are that you already have some sort of rhythm in your life. Even something as simple as bath time, pajamas, brushing teeth, story time is a bedtime routine that children can come to know and count on.

Perhaps you go to the library on Thursdays or you bake together on the weekends. Anything that you do on a regular basis is your routine.

Creating a family routine from scratch, adding new elements to an established routine, or altering schedules when life situations change can be a bit intimidating. Being consistent with your schedule helps establish rhythm, but it doesn’t come naturally to everyone.

Here are five tips to keep in mind when creating routines and establishing a rhythm in your home:

1. Keep it Simple

Pick one element to add in to your routine and work on getting that woven into your rhythm before you add another. Decide what your top priority is and focus only on that.

Maybe you want to start incorporating a crafting day into your week or a daily story time. Focus on blending that one addition into your schedule before you move on to adding in another layer.

[Read more…]