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    Childrearing #11

    September 20, 2006 by Brandy Vencel

    Use a tally sheet to focus a young child on a sermon.

    I think I got this idea from the DHM, though I may have modified it. Awhile back, she gave out a bunch of suggestions on church with children, and I latched onto this idea.

    Basically, when it becomes sermon time at church, Si gets out a little card and writes down three or four words that he knows will come up a lot based on the passage the sermon will be covering. He tries to pick words that E. can easily read himself.

    All that is required of E. is that he listen hard enough to complete a tally sheet. Every time he hears the pastor say one of the words on the list, he makes a little mark next to it. When the sermon is over, he and Si count up and see how many times he heard each word. If he gets to make a lot of marks next to a word, he is very excited.

    The reason we chose this is because though E. was sitting still, he wasn’t really trying to listen to the preaching. He kicked his feet and drew pictures. Neither of these things is bad, but we were looking for a way to challenge him a little in the direction of paying more attention. With his current interest in reading and growing desire to write things down, this activity was a good fit for him.

    Little Sister is still learning to keep her mouth closed. She is a louder sort of child. Lucky us, her voice carries nicely.


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  • Reply Ms. Slama September 20, 2006 at 5:19 pm

    What a great idea! I never heard it before. Since I’m the nanny I don’t bring kids to church but I do try to pass along ideas to parents. Parents I don’t even work for are usually asking for advice! In general, I try to involve kids in whatever is happening, whether its groceries or dish washing, and to involve them in something as “passive” as listening is a challenge. I love this way of handling this situation 🙂

  • Reply Kimbrah September 20, 2006 at 4:15 am

    We use a very similar idea with Karlos who is only 3. We give him just one word to listen for during the songs, prayer time and sermon and everytime he hears one he is supposed to tap our arm. I like the tally idea, too, but with younger kids, fewer words and just an arm tap works really well. At least that is what we have found. And I think Bobby and A. would have a lot to “talk” about if they could get together on any given Sunday morning. He’s quite noisy as well, we’re working on it.

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