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FSM 139: SPECIAL CHILDCARE EDITION!              (FN 248) DO
Copyright: August 1989 By Family Services, Zurich, Switzerland

Tidiness & Organisation!
Compiled from Classes Given at the Heavenly City School!

Clean-Up Campaign--Get the Vision!

       Good organisation saves time in every area. If you get everything neat, clean, scheduled, & in place, you'll have more time to enjoy life, more time to really spend with your children, teaching them, playing with them & giving them your time & attention.
       We should erase all our previous ideas on the way it always happens, or "That's a good idea, but it always ends up like this..." or "Ever since I've been in the Family we've always ended up with messy closets..." & "I've tried it a thousand times & it never works...". We need to erase those concepts. We need to have the faith that it can be done! If in each department we don't really get organised & tidy, it can be a tremendous hindrance to our spiritual training. That's covered very thoroughly in the Word, "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much." I know it's easier said than done, but if you see the fruits overall & the reasons why & realise that it's a hindrance of the Enemy, then you can go on the attack against it. It's just like a big rock in the road, the Enemy blows it up to where it controls you & it's a hindrance of the Enemy, you see?
       If there's anything to learn in your Childcare leadership training, it's that you cannot just co-exist with problems, you must fight & get the victory over them.--That's the worst thing you can do, to compromise your convictions when it comes to childcare, because we are stewards of these children's souls, we are stewards of their health & their lives & their safety, their revolutionary training & their whole outlook on things! So whatever you do, don't just learn to live with it, don't let it slip, don't accept it if it's not right. Nothing short of right is right! It takes time & it takes a little investment, just like it does to teach a child to tie his shoes, but in the long run it's a time-saver!
       That's the kind of training that we need in our childcare departments in the Family--that if there's a problem or a need, you've got to do something about it, & it can be done right now! Sometimes it takes a little time & investment & a little campaign. But one of our problems in all of these things is, (1) We leave it up to somebody else, or (2) We don't "see the mess". We need to ask the Lord to give us the eyes of the Spirit to see a mess, to see a problem & to have the initiative to do something about it!
       Another really good vision to catch is that it's an extremely important sample to the children of what kind of physical deacons we are. It's not in the child's capability to change things. If the clothes cupboards are just mumble-jumble all the time, that's the way the children will take care of things. And if they can't find their coat or their underwear or their pajamas & you say, "Oh, you can't find your coat? Here, use this one." Or their shoes are all torn & you say, "Oh, just put your shoes on & quick get out the door." You're teaching them the wrong way & your sample in the physical can actually be a detriment to their training. We need to realise the influence that we have on these children fulltime, not just in conversation & spirit, but in our overall physical standard, as not only does our sample make an impression on them now, but it affects them for the rest of their lives!

Where Do Things Go?

       God is not the author of confusion!--The solution to that is the little Grandpa motto: "A place for everything & everything in its place."--Designate for every category its own properly-labeled-understood-by-everyone place to go. If you think about our routine & necessities, they can basically be divided into the categories of: Toiletries & towel, bed & bedding, schoolbooks, toys, coats & clothing, & shoes, luggage & I think that's about everything, basically that's all we own. In every department there's the problem or question of, "Well, where do you put this?" "Where do you put that?" & if it doesn't have a specific place it ends up getting strewn all over the room, hanging & draping or misplaced & not in place. But if we put the flee bags here, & the bed rolls there, & the toothbrushes here, & the hang-ups over there, then you're organised & everything's together in its proper place. It teaches the children decency & order. When it's time to brush their teeth they all go to the toothbrush place. When it's time to bathe they all go to the same towel area. This teaches them organisation & it saves you so much time from them having to ask questions all the time, "Where's my towel? Where's my toothbrush? Where's my hairbrush? Can you find my hair clips?"
       This way if anything ends up lying around, it means it doesn't have a place. If it's something you're using, you need to give it a place, but if it's something you don't use, perhaps you should get rid of it & try to cut down to what you need at the time. Or if it doesn't work & if it's broken, we should fix it or get rid of it. If the kids don't use it or like it or aren't interested in something, then maybe you should just pass it on to "giveaway". It's difficult enough to clean shelves & areas without having to reorganise all the things you don't use every month. Once you've put all that effort & organisation into cleaning something up & you want to keep it that way, you have to think ahead, "Is this going to grow? Is this colouring drawer going to grow? Yes, colouring drawers always grow." So maybe you need to throw away 90% of the pictures already coloured & only put colouring materials in the colouring drawers, not the reading cards or the science books, but all similar objects in one place.
       Think ahead for long-term solutions. If you find a little hair bauble, don't put it in the arts & crafts drawer. Put the baubles in the toiletry or hair-care drawer. Once you've designated proper places to put things, you've worked so hard organising it all, you're glad to know just where to put things, & clean-up is soooo much faster & easier!
       Sometimes rooms lack places to put things & everything ends up on the floor, so maybe you just need to put up a shelf to use your space better, or hang bars to hang up clothes on. That may take some handy-man work. We need a place in every room for every item that's being used. Once that's all designated, then you make a little tour with your kids & you go from place to place & show & tell them. For example, "This is where all the shoes go. Everybody find their own shoes here. Find your own labeled shelf, & every day this is where you put your shoes. Next, here's where all our Get-Out clothes hang. Each of you have one hanger labelled with your name, for the one set of Get-Out clothes you'll use till it needs washing. Next, your nice clothing hangs here." etc.

What's in a Day?

       Stop & evaluate each step of your day. Try to look ahead & foresee the crises. Stop & think about your day & your week--where does the trouble hit? Try to make things work in a routine manner & make things loop together in a routine style so that everything is sure to be taken care of. Just look at your room or department & see what needs to be done. Discuss what jobs need to be done on a daily basis, or a weekly basis, & determine what order those jobs go in.
       There are certain pitfalls or blockades that happen throughout the day that can mess things up & one of them seems to be Get-Out. It can be a problem with all those kids & jackets & boots. So stop & pray about how you can save time & cut corners & make it a nicer, more organised occasion. The coats may hang so high that they can't reach them, or they're not labelled or they're shared so much that the kids don't know their own coat, so maybe you need to lower the bar so they can reach them & also label all the coats & show them their own coats. Also hang them in the same place every day & teach the kids to hang their coats.
       Laundry day is another time-consumer. You know that you've sent away your laundry in the morning so a whole big pile is going to come back in the afternoon, & if it's unlabelled, you're in a mess. If you don't have someone scheduled & expecting the laundry to come & time alloted in the schedule to put the laundry away, then it's not going to get done.
       You know you have so many changes or routines in the day, so it's all got to be organised. You as an overseer have to have the oversight. You have to see over the problems & see over the flock & see the whole bird's-eye view. An overseer is seeing the whole situation & thinking ahead to foresee the crises. "I foresee that it's a quarter to 12. Lunch is at 12 & we have a big mess in our room right now. So I need to stop the activities & give the children a little warning--`Okay, in three minutes we're going to stop class & clean up.'" Set an alarm to help you foresee this daily. Also, instead of changing clothes too often for Get-Out, naps, visitors, etc. can you eat in Get-Out clothes to spare soiling nice clothes? Or can even the 2-5's wear big bibs to save on messing up clothes? Whatever the problem areas are, let's pray in the solutions & do something about it!

A Physical Deacon--Job Cards

       Besides the teacher in each department, you need a physical deacon who knows every day that in the morning between breakfast & lunch they have, for example, four jobs to do, & after lunch during the rest of the day they have maybe six jobs to do. Maybe that's ten jobs a day the physical deacon is responsible for, routinely every day.
       So let's talk about the physical deacon. Remember our 5 W's & an H? Grandpa says they are very important & helpful in teaching. It's the most thorough method of teaching & explaining anything, so even when it comes to organising your room, your physical duties & your routine, if you're going to train your physical deacon (say, a teen), you have to know who's going to do the job, what the job is, when do I want the job done, where is he going to do the job, & where do you want him to go & where don't you want him to go, why & how does he do the job?
       Okay, now it's time to schedule each duty. To make it easy for the physical deacon, I'm going to put everything on "job cards" or a checklist. I have 10 cards here that can be given to the physical deacon throughout their scheduled clean-up time. "Okay, here's Job Card #1. It's a checklist for cleaning the potties in the potty area. It has 4 points on how to do the job."
       Let's say I'm training Philly, & I give him Job Card #1: Potty Clean-Up: 1) Empty potties. 2) Disinfect potties. 3) Mop the area. 4) Empty the potty trash. Perhaps you can give a proposed deadline on the card. "This job should take 15 minutes. In 15 minutes please come back for Job Card #2." Why do I want him to come back in 15 minutes? Because I'm training him. I want to see what kind of job he did. I want to see if he did it in his deadline & I want to check his work according to the job list.
       "Great job, Philly! GBY! Here's Job Card #2: Making the Beds." It has 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 points. It even has a little notation at the top: "Don't forget to look under the beds." Or "Smell the sheets before making the beds to be sure there weren't any pee-pee accidents." You go on this way with all the Job Cards--maybe up to 10-15 job cards throughout the day for your physical deacon helpers, perhaps five morning jobs & five afternoon jobs, or whatever.
       Whenever your physical deacon has to leave the room as part of their job, you really want to make his time pay, right? You have to teach him how to redeem the time. So you take the wet sheets just to the door, & put the bags of trash by the door, & before he leaves the room, make sure he has his arms full so he can drop things off on his way. Now what if all of a sudden he has to go to the dentist one day & another helper comes in to replace him? They're not going to have to ask, "What do I do? How do I make the beds? Where do I put the dirty sheets?" You see, it's all listed in order right here on the Job Cards.--Regimented, & there's no need for asking any questions. At the top of each card you have "Supplies Needed: Disinfectant, sponge, broom, dust pan, garbage bags, etc." & you put the jobs in order of exactly what you want them to do & exactly what you don't want them to do. "Empty the trash, but do not take it out of the room." or "Empty the trash & leave it by the door until you exit." You can even put on your Job Cards, "In the middle of the job you can have a juice, but don't lean against the wall. Take a couple of minutes to drink it & then go back to work." You can put on there anything you want them to know, anything & everything, & they can improve on all these methods as you go.

Take Time to Teach

       Instead of teens always having to clean up after the kids, or you always having to clean up after the kids, it's much better if the children can learn to clean up for themselves. Perhaps you could designate little clean-up teams--the "Stars" clean up books, "Hearts" clean up toys, & "Diamonds" clean up Get-Out clothes area or snack area. It takes time to teach & train them, but that's the kind of investment & good needful training that will save you time in the long run. You might think, "Well, it takes too much time. We want to get onto the next activity." Well, everything will be in such confusion, you're probably not going to dig right into the next activity anyway, especially if you adults end up doing all the straightening up while the kids run free. How much better it would be to teach the children to clean up their own messes. Make it a fun challenge!
       Make Associated Routines: For example, if you brush teeth before each sleep time, then the children always learn to associate sleep time with teeth brushing time. "I'm lying down. Oh, I didn't brush my teeth." If they're going to go into the bathroom anyway after lunch to wash their hands, that's the best time to brush their teeth & go potty. The toothbrushes are kept in the bathroom, & they brush their teeth, go to the toilet, wash their hands, & go to bed. If they have to go to the bathroom & wash their hands & then go upstairs & get their toothbrushes & come back to brush their teeth, it's a waste of time. So if their toothbrushes aren't in the bathroom, maybe you can build a little shelf & put the toothbrushes in the bathroom, & there you have a solution & time-saver, plus you're teaching them the right way to do things & making it easy for them to follow through.
       Whenever there's a problem or need, we just have to arrange things where it can save work & time & cut corners. You can teach children good routines. If they could learn on bath day: 1) Have nails clipped. 2) Undress & put dirty clothes in hamper. 3) Take clean set of clothes & hairbrush & comb to bathroom--wear your robe. 4) Bath & wash hair & hairbrush & comb. 5) Have hair dried while you review new memo work. 6) Get dressed & carry comb, brush & robe back to room. 7) Straighten your clothes & cupboard & drawer. --It's a routine & you've taught them how to physically take care of their body plus get organised on a real good clean-up day.
       For room clean-up, for example, give them a little advance warning. Prepare them mentally for it & be sure you stop in time to inspire & encourage & teach them to clean up. Delegate who's going to clean up all the cut-up paper or put away the books or push in the chairs, erase the blackboard. It's just a matter of organising to save you the headache of having to clean up, you see?
       So never belittle the routine jobs as unimportant or not good training. We must teach the children to take care of them-selves.--To teach them common sense organisation & logical solutions & routines to common daily problems. Make all this part of your teaching & make it fun! GBY!

Childcare Meeting on Stewardship--By Jewel & Childcare Staff, HC School

       In my Bible dictionary, it says that a steward is a "responsible agent". Do any of you teens know some verses about stewards or stewardship? ("It is required of a steward that a man be found faithful.") "Stewards, be faithful!" can be a good slogan! A good reading project would be "Diligence in Business", & "Faithfulness" in both the Mop & the "Good Thots". One verse says, "A faithful man shall abound with blessings." (Prov.28:20) It's convicting, isn't it? TYL!
       There are many things we as adults can do to practice good stewardship, & also there are many ways we can teach the children stewardship. So let's start with how we can teach the children.

Stewardship of Children's Clothes

       We set up a little basket in the Shining Lights Children's room (ages 2 to 4) & if the children find that there's a button missing on their clothes or a little seam is ripped, they put it into the sewing basket, & one of our teens fixes it. We have a sewing kit right in the children's room & there are always little moments where you can just sew on a button or fix something. Any bigger sewing repairs, we pass on to Auntie Lydia, our School seamstress. I think the lesson to learn is: As you see it, do something about it! Take care of it right then & there!
       We put them there dirty, & once they're fixed we put them in the laundry. Because if you put them in the laundry first, it's forgotten, & as you fold the clothes you don't see it. The kids can learn to notice when they have a button missing & they learn to do something about it. It's teaching them that, for example, on a cuff there is supposed to be a button, & it it's not there something is wrong & it also teaches them not to just accept torn or untidy things like that.


       If there are any ripped or torn pages, they can be taped immediately! Bigger repairs such as the spine torn off, we can set aside & make a point to fix it. I saw Joseph repair all the books for his group the other day. That's really good!
       If books belong to certain people it would be a good idea to label them with their names. Especially in a school situation with libraries like this, people need to label their personal books, as well as other belongings, so they can find them if they move on.
       Little Christopher is our book steward, & we taught him, & all the others, that if you ever put a book away, always have the spine showing. Teach them what the spine of the book is. Now he has an eagle eye out for the books & he gets all involved & all excited & he puts them away so well & he does a real nice job, GBH! If you teach the children how to put a book away the right way, then if they look at the bookcase & one book is wrong, they notice it & they do something about it. That's just a simple little matter to teach them.
       But I think kids should get a little swat or get disciplined somehow if they walk across the floor & step on a book that's lying on the floor, or even on toys. If books are on the floor, point it out to them. With some kids, it helps if you act like the book's talking & "hurting", they get all concerned.
       Books are so important! They're such a valuable teaching tool! We've taught the kids that if they see a page that is ripped, bring it right away to be fixed. There's always time to fix it right then if the frosted "magic" tape is always handy. It's a blessing to have the magic tape for that, as it doesn't turn yellow like normal scotch tape does with time.
       But get it done right then & there! Now the kids get all excited when they see something that needs repair & they want to get it fixed, they want to take care of it! That's teaching them to be good stewards!


       We use lined notebook pads for our writing class because they have wide line spaces for our kids who are just learning to write. But because the paper's in a pad & the pages come off real easily, we wanted to prevent loose pages lying around. We wanted to keep them, so we just stapled some paper together to make a little pocket folder for their pages. Then whenever they finish a page, we just save them in this little pocket. It's done simply, but then the kids can look through them & see all the progress they've made. It gives the kids a feeling of the value of their efforts if we save their work.


       Some groups have nice hanging pockets for each child's little hair-brush, which is really nice. It would be a good idea to wash the brushes regularly, & a good time to do it is when the kids wash their hair. A good thing to teach the girls is to learn to take the hair out of their brush when they brush their hair & throw it away in the garbage can & to keep their brush clean.


       This is an area which needs a lot of stewardship. I'll just give the example of the Shining Lights' room (ages 2-4). We have a big square box where we keep tapes. We organised them to find things more easily--we have Word tapes, music tapes, & drama tapes, & we try to keep them in their categories. Whatever you use to keep your tapes in, it's good to have them categorised.
       Also a good tip is if you find a tape that's real old & bad quality, just throw it away!--Because there's no sense in putting a bad tape on for the children & there's also no sense in sticking the bad tape back into the box so that it just takes up space. Sometimes it's good to have a bit of a de-junking, attacking spirit!
       (Lisa: A little lesson I've learned is that if you've had micro tapes for a long time they do go bad & mold. Being a saving Cancer, it's really hard for me to throw things out, but I've learned that bad tapes ruin the heads of the tape recorder, & it's really not worth it to keep them. Usually you can tell when a tape has gone bad because the head of your tape recorder gets dirty after just five or ten minutes & the sound goes down or gets warbly.)
       I remember reading in the Dito story that Mama was always so careful to have the kids listen to good quality tapes. On the other hand, often the sound is not good just because the tape recorder heads are dirty. So it would be good in each group to have a steward over the tape recorder.--Somebody who feels responsible for it, who even has a burden for it, & who cleans the heads regularly. No matter how good the tape is, if the heads are dirty it doesn't sound good.
       Then if the tape recorder gets broken, it's good to find somebody right away who can take care of getting it repaired, rather than storing it so that we end up with three broken tape recorders. Try to do something about it right away, & get it fixed!--That goes for any piece of equipment. Or if it's really broken beyond repair you might have to get rid of it.
       You can schedule it on your weekly schedule--a special Wednesday night or Wednesday morning activity to clean the tape recorder! Put it down & get into a routine of doing it so you're sure it's taken care of!


       A good idea is to have a place for each toy, somewhere where that toy belongs. See-through hang-up pockets are a real big blessing. I've found especially if a lot of kids live together, sometimes toy boxes get very messy. So it's good to have a set time once a week to just go through all the toys, to organise & check them for broken pieces. Of course we teach the kids to put the animals back in this box & put these pieces back into that bag, but it's good for us or for our teen helper to go through them regularly.
       (Aaron CC: Many times with the toddlers we don't have time to put things back in their proper place, so we have a little plastic box where we can put things quickly, & then later on in the evening we have a set time to put things back in the right places.)
       If you have children's colouring sets, the nice boxes with pencil colours or crayon colours, then make sure they're complete. Sometimes you can combine all your colours in one big box, but sometimes it's good to keep the sets separately, then we see how we're keeping up with them, & how we take care of them.
       Cuddly bed toys, which are probably real dear to children & which some children carry around for years, would be good to label with the child's name, so if different caretakers come, everybody knows exactly who is whose. Teach the children to keep bed toys clean and off the floor!
       With any kind of game with pieces, like puzzles, for instance, where it matters whether you have the right amount or not, we always label how many pieces there should be on the back side of the puzzle or toy itself, i.e., on the back of dolly houses label: 1 man, 1 woman, 1 boy, 1 girl, 1 baby, 3 beds, 1 crib, 1 table, etc.


       Flannelgraphs are so valuable! It's different if just one or two people take care of a set of those, compared to a whole big group, but there must be a solution to caring for them in a school such as ours. Maybe together we can find a solution.
       First of all, here are some little tips on how to store them: I have put the Family flannelgraphs together in a box. Our teen helper replaced these uniform-sized large envelopes with new ones half a year ago because the previous envelopes were getting ragged from years & years of use. Some of these are 7 years old!
       We use one envelope for each story & we make a label with the title & the Mag the story is in--"Beauty & the Beast" (Flannelgraph Mag #2).
       With the System flannelgraphs, again, it's real important that these are somehow put in order in a good way so that after you use them you can be sure to put them back. Our teen helper prepared these two different ways. She put all the scenery, which is used for a lot of different stories, in the same envelope. She labelled it, writing how much is in there.--5 trees, 5 rocks, 2 birds in one envelope. Then you know what's supposed to be in there.
       Then for each story she listed the figures on the envelope. She even listed where to find the story in the Bible. So that's a real help! Big envelopes are a blessing because then your pieces don't get bent. For System flannelgraph books, she made a folder on the front inside cover, for a place to store all the pieces.
       Once I've chosen a story & prepared it, sometimes I'll highlight the text or put comments in the margins, or some more Bible references in, which helps me in giving the flannelgraph.
       I have all the Family flannelgraphs & I have a lot of System flannelgraphs, & I think if I were to lend them out, I would have a list saying, "Borrowed--Tina, 30/11", because they are something you just don't want to lose. So it would be good to have somebody who's in charge of the library of flannelgraphs & lends them out & keeps the list to prevent some being lost.
       I've been working with one teen for over a year, & she had a lot to learn about stewardship. I'd sometimes be quite upset about pieces missing or pieces not put away right or all messed up, but she's learned, & she's really come a long way with that. It just takes teaching. Teens often have a lot to learn about taking care of their things. We all do!

Teaching Kids Stewardship--Our Part!

       How else can we try to teach the kids stewardship? It's not only teaching the kids to be faithful, but it's also teaching us big people too. I think it's just a matter of love to respect somebody else's things, especially in a school situation like this. It helps to have someone responsible for the material things. Grandpa says what is everybody's job is nobody's job. But if we have somebody in charge of the tape recorder, or somebody in charge of the flannelgraph set, then they guard it! Because of our taking care of them, we've had some of these things for years & years & years, like the Endtime flannelgraphs. It pays to teach the kids & the teens stewardship, because if something gets lost it's gone forever!
       What are some ways to give the kids a feeling of responsibility & vision? Well, it really helps if the kids' room & environment is tidy & if there's a place for everything. Then we're making it much easier for them, because if the room is untidy or the closet is messy or the toy shelf is messy, the kids don't see any goal or why they should take good care of things. If we just ask them to clean up, but they don't know where things belong, we are not making it easy.
       So by keeping things nice & by having a place for everything, we can teach them to put everything in its place.
       We can label the shelves where things go. Just a little tip about labeling: Often when adults label they use capital letters, but it's good to use lower case letters, because it's easier for the children to read, especially for your ones under six. Also, label on masking tape so it can stick on well and yet peel off later if needed.
       A good point to teach them is to finish one job first before pulling out a new toy. If you have several puzzles out at one time, you could have a mess that could take forever to clean up. Puzzles might be a toy you want to keep up high for the teacher to give to the child to work with, because you want to oversee them a little bit, & watch that they're well taken care of.No new puzzle should be given till the other one is done & put away! Then if a puzzle piece is missing, the kids see it themselves, & soon they'll start getting concerned when something is missing.
       If you have things set up nicely & in an orderly way, then the children see if something is wrong. But if there are puzzles with pieces missing, there's no incentive for the child to want to learn to complete the puzzle or to take care of it.
       The same with other toys. Maybe the boys played with their Lego & now they want to get into Playmobil. The Lego first needs to be put away, back into the bucket, then we pull out something new. If it's a big group & one group plays Playmobil & the other plays Lego, then those two shouldn't mix. We should try to keep toys in their sets.

When to Punish for Breaking Things!

       I have a beautiful set of Playmobil toys which we've gathered over the years. But for awhile, especially when we got some of our new boys, age six, they were really rough with them. Boys are just different from girls, that's something I'm learning! Ha! They're so rough with their toys, & I never knew those Playmobil toys could break until I saw it happen! They're pretty good quality, they never broke before when the girls played with them, but suddenly our horses had tails missing or ears missing. Some kids are really rough & careless with their books & toys, which is really sad. So we just started disciplining for it!--"No Playmobil for a week!"
       Then we taught the kids to report it when they find broken toys. If it's a big thing, we try to find out who did it & punish the child for bad stewardship & rough handling of their things. If parts are missing, we also have the kids report it & then we all try to look for the missing piece, because otherwise the whole toy is of no use. I know the Shining Lights (ages 2 to 3) have a nice scale, but the little weights are missing so the whole toy is useless.
       Sometimes we can repair those things ourselves by replacing parts, but if we point it out to the kids & if we show our concern, we teach the children to be good stewards. But if we just accept it, they just accept it. So when they have carelessly handled toys, we deprive them, we just have the rough child sit out & not play while all the other kids have playtime.
       (Rejoice: We find with our children that they're rough with their Word books, & we've deprived them, during rest time we wouldn't let them read, but we can't do that for too long. Should we just give them a swat if they're rough with the book?)After they've been warned, yes. But you don't want to deprive them of reading for too long. Sometimes maybe even take Get-Out away or take something away they really like, but not their Word time.
       (Lisa: The Word is kind of an exception. If I'm naughty, what I need the most is the Word. So maybe when it comes to being unfaithful with the Word, a swat or some other kind of deprivation is good. With any other kind of book or toy it's good to deprive them of that particular thing for a little while, but with the Word, they could even get a Word assignment on faithfulness or stewardship, as well as discipline or deprivation, depending on the child & age.)

The Children's "Own" Things

       It's important for the children to have some things that are "their own", because some kids take real good care of their things & others don't. I would feel bad if I took good care of my things, & then in my group somebody maybe took my book & was real rough with it. Maybe the child who takes good care of his things will eventually just give up because nothing is done about it, if his things are broken or lost.
       (Lisa: David got a very nice Lego set as a gift, & he's a good steward, he takes good care of things. Then some of the other children started playing with it & losing pieces. He was in tears! He came to me one day crying & said, "Can you please help me take care of the Lego?" So I kept it in my room, & every night he would faithfully come at parent time, pick it up, play with it, & return it after playtime.
       (So maybe we can teach the children to respect other people's things. If each child has a little shoebox with their "treasures", no one else should go in that shoebox without permission or asking, or that child giving it to them & it should be returned as soon as it's no longer being used.)
       It helps sometimes to say, "It's your own", because then you're a better steward over it. It's a good thing to teach children to be concerned about other people's things & to respect that.
       I like the idea about giving each child a shoe box. It would be nice to decorate it, & they can keep their little "treasures" in there, if they have special rocks they gathered or special this or that. Because often they do find special things outside on a walk that they want to keep or they want to give to mommy, & they need a place to put them. If they don't have a place, some kids just give up & think, "There's no use, everything I try to save just gets all lost in the big muddle."
       It's important to teach them to care for things, & to have a specific place where they can keep something which is theirs.
       (Lisa: Sometimes to help Cathy during the time when mommy & daddy leave to go to their Home away from the School, her mommy gives her a little something, a tiny bottle of cologne or something, & says, "You save this one for me. This is Mommy's, but I want you to save it for me till I come back." It's like something to hold on to & it's a promise that mommy will be back.--Almost like the Bible is the promise for us that Jesus will come back & that He's helping us. That little thing is so important to her.
       (I was trying to put myself in her shoes, as a couple of times she has been in tears, trying to be brave, saying, "I don't know where my cologne from Mommy is." But if we could try to understand how they feel, how when they made mommy a promise like that, it's a big emotional thing, that will help us not to be so careless either, but to really see how important these things are. It's not just a bottle of cologne, it's all the principles behind it that are so important to a child.)
       If their box is just the size of a shoe box, they can't gather up too many things. We can help them purge it every so often. We had one shelf previously for each of the kids where they could gather their personal belongings, but it wasn't very big, because the more space there is, the more they gather. They can go through it regularly & purge it or give things away.
       I can imagine mommies giving their girls special hair baubles, but now all their possessions go into the common pot. We do have common pot hairbands, etc. which we buy as "the School", but then if they do get a special gift it would be nice if they could keep those as their own special things & learn to be good stewards of them!
       (Lisa: When mommies & daddies come to visit, if they have given their child a dress or pair of shoes, or baubles, or anything like that, it would be nice to make it a special point to put that on them when they come, because it shows gratitude.I know I blew away my parents when I joined the Family by giving everything away all the time until they said, "Well, we won't give you anything anymore." So now I understand them better.)

Care of Books!

       Books especially contain such wealth, they are such a teaching tool! It would be really good to go on the attack about the care of our books in all the departments. We can even teach the kids themselves how to repair books & puzzle boxes, etc.
       When I was a little girl I loved taking care of my schoolbooks! Plus your books had to last you & your fountain pen had to last you in my day! In System school the 5-year-olds even have their own notebooks. It's just something they have to learn--not to bend pages, & how to take care of them.
       One thing I don't like is for the kids to scribble. They can only write in their book what the teacher tells them to & not their own drawings & their frills, or it just looks messy. If they like to do that they can have a page in the back so if they have spare moments when they're done with their work they can do their frills on one page labelled "My Art Gallery" or something.
       Another point is to follow the order in a workbook page after page after page, & not to open the book just anywhere & start writing. Also it's good to finish a page. Even though yesterday's class ended in the middle of the page, today's class continues where yesterday's ended, & not on a new page.
       (Aaron D.: Yesterday an example of that same thing came up, with doing crafts. I never realised how the kids manhandle things. We stopped the whole class & showed them how to hold their work, how to place it in front of them, where to put their arms so as not to lean all over it. Because what happens if they're not taught, is that the paper becomes useless, they bend the edges & they elbow it & get it dirty.)
       That reminds me of something.--How to carry books! There are two types of books, the one-handed book, which is a small book, & a thick book which should be carried with two hands, at least by a small child. Teach them the right way to hold & carry a book.
       (Lisa: I learned as a child that I was never to touch a book without having washed my hands first. Learning that as a child has made it a habit through all my life, I feel uncomfortable sitting down & starting work without washing my hands first. Maybe we could try to have a little corner in our classrooms with linoleum & a little washbowl & hand towel or use cologne. We could pray about it, as we want it to be practical also. But personally it's been a real good lesson to avoid grease marks all over the paper. You can ruin a whole big piece of paper with fingerprints!)
       (Emima: I also wanted to mention when we're using glue, to make sure the kids don't have any books around. I went to the freestore a few days ago & I found a real nice little Bible, with a really nice leather cover, but on the inside it was all sticky & had glue all over it, & ripped pages.)
       I've found regarding Bibles, that it's almost a shame to give young ones Bibles to care for by themselves. Some of them have nice big Bibles they got from their parents a couple years back, but five or six-year-old boys are too young to handle them because they have such thin paper. Unless they're super careful with their things, it's best to wait till they are older.

Labelling Clearly!

       (Joseph: My Childcare Handbooks have been borrowed a few times & I don't remember who the last person was, & they haven't come back. This happens with the kids' books also. Maybe we need to label things more clearly as belonging to our group. We have been guilty of that our-selves, I know I have. So maybe a better labelling system would help.)
       (Rejoice: We use coloured tape around each of the Brave Pioneers' (ages 8 to 11) library books, so we could spot it right away. For example, if a Brave Pioneer LWG was in the Faithful Followers' room it would be easily noticed. It's coloured electrical tape & it comes off easily.)
       You could do that with not only the Family Lit Library books but with the System reference books too.
       (Aaron CC: As we have more than one Family Lit Library, maybe each one should have a steward, & the person who is borrowing the book needs to go to the steward, but then when he returns it he also needs to give it back to the steward, not just put it in the library.)
       Maybe even within the group we need to have one steward who can keep an eye on each group of things, like tapes or books. He or she can be in charge of the list & he'll see, "Oh, I gave this to Emmy but I didn't get it back yet." So then maybe Emmy can't go for her next Get-Out until she returns the book.
       We can label books belonging to the School, "Heavenly City School", & put the coloured tape around it. We can even decide if certain groups would need two full sets of Family Lit. That way we shouldn't have to borrow a lot of those things. Then maybe we can pool any extra copies to see how many more we need to make a library, go on a search to track them down, & see how many complete sets we can make. Then find out what we are lacking. Make a deadline & send in an order!

Teaching Aids

       One more thing for the teachers: All these math aids & phonics aids, etc. that you see here took time to plasticise & prepare, but then once you've preserved them, you really want to take care of them to keep them. Here's the FC number chart, we plasticised it & it's years old. I found the addition rhymes, but we also plasticised them because often we would hang them up in the bathroom so that when they sit on the potty they can just review them. We often hang up educational posters (from the CCHB) in the bathroom for the children to look at when they brush their teeth, etc. Sometimes System workbooks have pretty good pages like that which you can cover & post on the wall if you can get clear plastic contact paper in your country, or use a clear file folder.
       GBY as you practice good stewardship, & teach your children likewise!

Childcare Comments & Tips from You!

Health Tips!

       Philip & Esther, Pacific--We wanted to pass on a very good cough syrup which has helped our babies who have whooping cough to coat their throat. Simply slice thinly several carrots into a bowl & add an equal amount of dry raw sugar & let it sit over night. The syrup left over from this is very tasty cough syrup which the babies love. PTL!

       Andrew, Comfort & Jason, Europe--For wasp stings: Put an aspirin slightly wet on the centre of the sting (within 1-2 minutes of sting is best) & it takes away the sting leaving no swelling!

       Kristina Goodman, Pacific Area--Here's a tip for loosening the phlegm in the lungs when a child has a cold. I learned this from a sweet doctor who believes in natural healing. It's great for coughs & helps clear up congestion quickly. You lay the child across your knees & with your hands cupped, you lightly pat their back all over the lung area. Then turn them over & do their chest the same way, making sure the head is always a little lower than the body. Do it several times a day. It's a simple natural technique.

Allergy Causes Bedwetting!

       Zech & Hannah, SEA--We were really desperate about our 4-year-old's bedwetting problem. She had never been dry & it seemed she had a weak bladder. However, we were without milk for one week & we noticed that immediately after this she was dry! It turned out that she has a milk allergy which causes her to wet the bed! TYJ! No more wet sheets & diapers!

Volume Control!

       Andrew, Comfort & Jason, Europe--We put into effect a "loud talking ticket" system which has been a great help in controlling the noise at meal times. With 21 children, teens & adults in one room eating, it's been quite difficult to relax & enjoy the meals. So now instead of the adults having to raise their voices above the already noisy room, a certain person is assigned as the noise monitor & gives out a yellow ticket to anyone being "too loud" & if, after warnings, they continue to be noisy, they receive a red one & they have to stand in the corner & memorise the verse that's on the ticket on the subject of quietness! It really works!

Regular Eye Checkups!

       Steven Fighter & Mary, Europe--We recently found out that our daughter (9) has been nearsighted for a few years & needs glasses. The doctor suggested that we check our other children & we found out that our 4-year-old also needed glasses. The doctor said that to be nearsighted is often hereditary, so it's good to check the children's eyes regularly, especially if one of the parents has problems, in order to detect it at an early age before it becomes serious.

       Matthew & Claire, SEA--Our 6-year-old has always been very active & needs a pretty firm hand as far as discipline goes. Recently, we discovered from an eye checkup that she needed glasses. When we got some for her, the change in her personality was quite noticeable & people commented that she seemed quieter & calmer. I remembered my mother, who was a school teacher, telling me that with difficult discipline cases in public schools, one of the first things they do is check their vision & hearing. If kids aren't so aware of what's going on around them, they can become very fast moving & hard to handle. TTL for the answer!

Exercise Time!

       David Reader, India Area--We found that a lot of the children were a little weak in basic calisthenics like jumping jacks, push-ups etc., so in our small Get-Out space we have been doing some of these exercises. The children as a result are growing stronger & getting more active exercise. We found it also helps their coordination. (See CCHBII "Coordination"--Pg.47.) Many adults are benefiting too!

Copyright 1996 The Family