Using Keepers As A Family
Using Keepers with your family is easy. It is a wholesome way for families to learn together, build strong family ties, and just have some plain, old-fashioned fun together. Whether your children are part of a formal group or not, there are scores of other topics in the handbooks that are perfect for learning and accomplishing in the family setting. But how do you do that?
Take some time to peruse the entire handbook. Notice the different categories. Notice what topics and skills you already know, or which ones you might like to learn yourself. What ideas could you use to plan family times for serving others, taking a vacation or field trip, helping Grandma, etc? Think about how you can incorporate these into your family’s days, weeks, and years.
- The family could read the Bible together to accomplish a Bible reading goal.
- The family could also memorize Scripture together to accomplish a Bible memory goal.
- The family could do a Bible Study together, or support a missionary as a missionary project.
- Moms could teach daughters a new cooking or baking skill every few months. These might involve the rest of the family by allowing requests from family members.
- Dads could teach sons about tools and how to make or build something. Boys love making or building things.
- Dads could teach sons about finance and moms could teach daughters about food budgets. You would be surprised how interested young people can become in how such things are done.
- Don’t know how to quilt? Take a class together with your girls or you take a class and teach your girls what you have learned.
- Dads, don’t know how to do carpentry or electrical work? Ask a friend who does if he will teach you. Take him out to breakfast and then have him over to show you how to get started.
- Take a family camping trip. Take several. There are ever so many interesting things to learn about the outdoors.
- Learn to play volleyball as a family.
- Take your sons fishing. Again, if you don’t know how, go with someone who does.
If you take the time, with a little planning, you will be surprised in the years to come how much your children have learned and how many life-long memories you have created.
Some families meet one night a week and have a regular club meeting. Others set special times throughout the week to learn new things. Evening devotions make good Bible reading times. Summers provide for camping, fishing, or hiking times. Each year the family can pick out new goals, new skills, and new projects.
These “learning as a family” times become wonderful threads woven into the fabric of family life. And it’s so easy! As parents you desire for your children to learn many things, become competent, love you and each other, and love God too. This is a way of life that fulfills that desire. It is family learning and growing together with God at the center. And the handbooks provide you with a nearly endless source of opportunities.
Because God made us social creatures, it is a natural thing to share our skills and ways with others. Families learning together truly enjoy the process, and like-minded families doing things together give children a safer haven for fellowship, which also makes a Keepers club perfect for a church fellowship. And, if your children belong to a larger fellowship, there is no need to stop Keepers family life, for it will only strengthen your fellowship. For after all, Bible memory, reading, studying, cooking, carpentry, fishing, quilting are done very effectively at home, and there will be plenty of skills left to learn beyond those covered at a larger club fellowship.
So get started. Your family is your treasure. It is your heritage. It is God’s heritage. Begin today! If you have questions, just give us a call or write us. We are so glad to help you in this exciting journey.
Susan for Keepers
How do you use these clubs with your children? At first, some folks are a little daunted at the prospect, but it is actually quite simple. We will start with some helpful answers to the most commonly asked questions. Parents and children can form a group, or a group can be a few families getting together. A group sets a time to learn productive pursuits and practical skills.
- What should we do first? It would be a good idea to read through this Parents’ Guide to obtain an overview of what you will be able to learn and do with your children. You will then be able to choose a general direction in which to proceed. As you read, you will realize that Keepers of the Faith does not legislate to you on how to do things. You are in control, you will make the decisions, and you will choose which course of action is appropriate, according to the specific needs and resources of your family or group.
- How do we begin? First, schedule the crafts or projects to be learned in the first few months. This is quite easy to do. Start with something simple, and something with which you feel comfortable doing and teaching. If you are working with girls, a good beginning project is embroidery. Even if you are not familiar with embroidery, it is easy to learn. It will take at least six sessions for all the girls to become proficient in the stitches and make a good start on an embroidery sampler. If you are teaching boys, tying knots is a good place to begin. The important thing is to choose a skill or project that is not too difficult, and that the children will be able to complete successfully. Allow plenty of time to work on the skill. There is no need to rush. We are focusing on learning a new skill and becoming proficient at it. We are not in a race to see how much we can finish. If a child learns one new skill each fall and each spring, in six years he will have mastered twelve skills.
- When should we meet? Single family groups can be done in many different ways. Some folks choose an evening and call it “club night.” They don club tee shirts, have a meeting, and work on badge projects. This works great, especially for boys. Oftentimes, a dad’s schedule allows him to be present in the evening to direct projects and activities. In other cases, when a dad’s schedule is less accommodating, the mom and children can meet during a morning each week to work on handbook projects, and schedule a special time for those things that just require the dad. Some families, who home school, work on the handbooks a little each day. Scheduling for girls can generally be more flexible because moms are usually more available. Whatever will work best with your family is the way to go! The important thing in a single family setting is to establish a time and stick to it. In small groups of families, it becomes easier to have some dads present at evening activities even if all the dads are not always present. Often, a wonderful time of fellowship among parents results from meeting to teach skills to their children.
- How frequently should we meet? Most families and groups meet once a week. They feel that this develops a certain continuity of learning the particular skills involved. However, there are also some groups that meet every other week, and a few that meet once a month. These groups often require the parents to attend the craft time, as they will be working with their children on that particular skill at home during the intervening weeks. Again, whatever is most effective is the method you will want to use.
- Who can join our group? Once again, this is completely up to you. Many groups started out as a single family. Sometimes this is because the parents feel more comfortable starting something new in a family setting. Some folks limit the club to their own children because they feel that this is the most effective method. Often, a single family, after sharing the results they are having with other Christian parents, find themselves sharing their skills in a small multi-family club. Some open it up to their homeschool group and wind up with quite a large club. Many take it to their local church where it can become a very effective ministry. Some even use it as an outreach ministry to needy children in the neighborhood. The important thing to remember is to limit what you do to what you can handle well.
- Does each child need his/her own handbook? The handbook is a place to keep a progress record of each badge on which the child is working. Each child can easily have a number of badges in partial stages of completion at any given time. The handbook facilitates this record-keeping process. It is also a handy record of completed badges. It would difficult at best for one handbook to accomplish this for several children. We recommend one handbook per child.
- For what ages are the materials designed? There are two Contenders for the Faith handbooks. The first, Little Contenders for the Faith, is designed for ages four through six. The Contenders for the Faith Handbook for Young Men is designed to provide the necessary flexibility to be used by a wide variety of different ages beginning with age seven and finishing up with age fourteen to sixteen, depending on the group’s interest. There are also two Keepers at Home handbooks, which cover a wide age group, from age four through sixteen. Little Keepers at Home is perfect for little girls, ages four to six. Keepers at Home for Young Ladies covers ages seven through age sixteen.
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