Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Banker & Kumbya (Back-to-School Edition)

 After our first week of Camp Connelly's Chore & More Charts (in which the kids earn five badges a day toward an allowance), the banker came out Saturday to do the books.  Gotta love the glasses!
 Gryffy doesn't quite get the concept of an allowance yet, so he gets to play along earning tokens and badges, but it won't really count until he goes into kindergarten.  The kid gets mad if he earns five badges: "No, not five! I wan free!" (Translated: Gryffin only wants to earn three, because he's three years old).
Lorelei, however, was totally all over earning badges and counting up her tokens at week's end. She thrives on this stuff.
 She picked out her own bank book to keep the accounting in from the dollar bin at Target.  We use this to record deposits and withdrawals.
Next, we read a story about saving money and having a plan for how to spend it. The story's about Goob Bear and Jumper Rabbit. Goob Bear has a plan and gets to do everything he wants with his money (buy a bug collecting kit, movie tickets, and his favorite honey treat) but Jumper Rabbit spends his immediately on tons of little things, and by the end of the week, can't even remember what he'd spent it on.
 The story's from the book, The 7 Habits of Happy Kids.  We've read it more than once, and the kids love the stories. I love that they come with questions and discussions at the end of each tale--perfect for these family nights.  Lorelei has decided that she wants to save her money for a big Rapunzel she saw in a window.  At first I had no idea what she was talking about, until I remembered the giant cardboard one at Party City. It's $35, so Lorelei's plan is to save up for 7 weeks (she has to earn $5 per week, which is all her tokens, so it's a lofty goal, but I know she can do it with her determined spirit).
 Then on Sunday, for Kumbya, we took a week off of our Prayer Pot ingredients and instead focused on an important Back-to-School lesson about meeting new friends. I got the idea off the Mix of Six blog when I googled back to school family night ideas, and I knew it would be a big hit. But first, we began with family business to go over the week ahead.  Kindergarten's only THREE days away!
Next, I printed descriptions (based on outer appearance and characteristics) of four make-believe classmates Lorelei might meet in kindergarten, Carlos, June, Nancy and Cydney, each represented by a balloon face.  On a really small piece of paper, I printed what they were really like on the inside and stuffed these descriptions into the balloons before blowing them up.

The lesson idea is that we can only know so much about someone from the way they act on the outside.  It's only by really getting to know them--ASKING QUESTIONS and LISTENING--that we begin to glimpse what they're really like on the inside.  God sees past what's on the outside and knows people's hearts and true feelings, and we need to try to do this, too.
After we read the outside description, I'd ask the kids what we might learn from this new friend, and how we could get to know them better (ASK QUESTIONS and LISTEN). Then the kids popped the balloons (hence my wincing face) and read the description on the inside. They were enthralled by this lesson--a great one for this time of year.
Here's one character, Cydney.
OUTSIDE: Cydney only likes to play with her two best friends and won't let you play with them. She leaves other kids out too, and sometimes she can be mean and bossy. Cydney teases other kids a lot.
INSIDE: Cydney doesn't know how to love others well because she doesn't get a lot of love at home. Her parents are too busy for her, and deep inside, Cydney is hurting. She doesn't know how much God loves her, either. Cydney doesn't make a good friend to play with because she doesn't treat you or others with kindness. You don't have to be good friends, but you do have a responsibility: God put you in Cydney's classroom because you can teach her what kindness means by your example.
And of course, what's a Kumbya without our signature s'mores?

1 comment:

  1. Wendy - I'm in awe, yet again. Your ideas are just so awesome. I am confident that your kids are going to be just as thoughtful and welcoming as you are with these lessons. Bravo, Supermom!