I am often late to the party, but it’s never too late to make a change for the better as they say. I have been reading for more than a year on various teacher blogs about bucket filling. I try to foster this type of environment in our homeschool and in our home, but I will admit the last 21 months and if I’m being completely honest even before that, the Prez and I have often been surviving and picking up the pieces instead of laying down a solid foundation.
After several very tough battles within our family, various children in various therapies, and just a general feeling of hopelessness mixed with sadness over all that’s been lost, the Prez and I are determined to foster a much more positive vibe in our home. One of the ways we are doing that is with a bucket system.
In addition to bucket filling, we are also incorporating a few more things:
• Sunday afternoon family meetings, which we used to hold weekly many years ago
• Posted Family Rules
• Brag Books (not your Grandma’s average brag book!)
On Sunday, July 5, we held our first family meeting. The Prez explained our new approaches to foster a positive environment in our home and we as a family of 8 worked together on choosing 5 Family Rules. Each one is based on Scripture and is worded hopefully simply enough for even our youngest Team member to grasp.
I made up this chart below temporarily, but I have plans to make one with some old barn wood we have in our barn and some paint! I have the perfect place to hang it in our den, so we can reference it as needed. The best part of our Family Rules, which we had before we moved, was that it got to the point where one of us could say to another, “Mommy, #5” and I would know I was not abiding by that rule.
We are all excited to have posted rules in place again, and all the kids truly helped participate in naming the rules and sharing why they thought each one was important. We agreed to keep it to 5 rules and we were able to combine some suggestions and narrow them down to cover all of the bases we saw as non-negotiable.
Now, I’m most excited about the Brag Books! It seems simple enough, but the Prez and I are already seeing huge dividends from these little acts of kindness and positivity. At least 3 times a week, that is our goal, the Prez and I are writing simple notes with profound and positive thoughts for each of our children in a spiral notebook.
We don’t both write notes each day, but we are aiming to write at least 3 a week combined. The children love to read the notes when they find their notebook on the kitchen table, and my heart has been filled to overwhelming to see their smiles and hear them thank me or the Prez for these words of affirmation.
On the first page of each notebook, I put our children’s names in block letters and the Prez and I came up with adjectives to describe each of them using the letters in their names. The Prez also chose a Bible verse for each child, which I wrote at the bottom of that first page. We’re hopeful this can be something they will treasure and look back upon especially in those times when they may question their worth.
As for the buckets, I picked up some simple containers at the Dollar#Tree for now. I may use something else eventually, but these are doing the job for now. We are using glass stones I already had. I won’t into great detail on the Bucket Filling system, because there are many sites that explain it better.
We are reading this book as a family and have begun the system already by explaining the basic premise at our first family meeting. Everyone is adding to others’ buckets on a daily basis, and the positivity is overflowing with this. I’m hopeful we can keep the momentum going for the benefit of our beautiful family!