how it works

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10 minutes of prayer and meditation each day
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20 minutes of reading each day
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30 minutes of responsibilities/chores each day

the Rules

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10 minutes of prayer and meditation each day


"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests." - Ephesians 6:18 (NAB)

A central part of the 10-20-30GO! system is requiring children to spend 10 minutes each day in prayer and meditation. This part of the accountability system has been the most rewarding for us as parents. Our goal as Christian parents is to continually draw our kids closer to God and a primary way of doing this is by encouraging prayer and reflection. Prayer - the raising of one's mind and heart to God - keeps us mindful that God is watching over us, and reminds us that we can depend on Him during our trials.

To help your kids with the daily 10 minutes of prayer and reflection, 10-20-30GO! has included two tools. One is a prayer board that can be affixed to your refrigerator or another location in your home where all family members will see it frequently. The prayer board is used to record your family's prayer intentions. Next, each child is given an accountability card. The front of the card is used as they complete each portion of the system, while the other side has a word with virtue and value based themes.

When talking with your children about prayer, keep in mind that there are many different ways to pray and that prayer is a relationship with God -- what may work for one person may not work for another. Exploring and experiencing different forms of prayer can greatly enrich our spiritual life.

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20 minutes of reading each day


"Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him." - Maya Angelou

Reading is the foundation for ALL learning and it needs to be developed in your children. Education and learning is something that we never stop doing even into our adult lives. Reading is one habit that will equip your children for the future, no matter what they choose to do.

Reading is an integral part of the 10-20-30GO! system, with children reading a minimum of 20 minutes each day. We believe this is a manageable amount, and it does not have to be accomplished all at once. They can read a little in the morning before school, and a little in the evening. During school they will have several opportunities throughout the day.

Summer is an important time to make sure children read daily. Most teachers and many schools request that children read during the summer and often even provide a reading list. Many libraries have summer reading systems as well. These opportunities work nicely with our system and now you have a way to motivate your children to see that it gets done.

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30 minutes of responsibilities/ chores each day


"Train a child in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not turn from it." - Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

This part of the system came about because we needed help! A houseful of six kids cannot be run by mom alone. For years we had tried various ways to get the kids to pitch in, but merely asking did not seem to get the results we desired. We would have to follow up on their progress, or ask several times just to get one task completed. It seemed that when they were in the mood to help, we were short on ideas...and when we had ideas, they were short on mood!

With the 10-20-30GO! system, every child spends 30 minutes each day doing assigned chores. Tasks for each child are determined at the beginning of each week and are clearly spelled out on a job chart. We feel strongly that the jobs should be rotated from week-toweek. No one child should get stuck doing the same chore every week. Everyone needs to learn how to do all of the household jobs.

So here's what we do. We start a chart with a column for each child in the household. Affix a piece of dry erase static paper to the top of each column and write each child's name. Determine the jobs that best fit your needs and that are age appropriate. Assign the jobs to the children by choosing the tasks from the chore stickers and use these stickers to fill in the columns. These are their responsibilities for that week. Then the next week, erase the names and rotate them to new columns. Don't get too caught up on filling an entire 30 minutes every day. Some kids work faster than others and some jobs take longer than others. The object is to develop habits. A job chart may stay in affect for several weeks or months....or sometimes even for an entire season. Then when we find we need help with other tasks, or jobs change because of the weather, we will change some of the jobs on the chart.

the Rules


1. The children are responsible for getting their cards signed by mom or dad every day. They must bring you their card and provide a pen. We do understand that our kids' lives are busy with practices and homework so we allow one day grace period if they need it....but never more than one day. For example, if they have practice after school and then a big test the next day, we will let them do two days worth the work the following day. DON'T let them abuse this privilege though. We do expect them to use their time wisely and maybe encourage them to do a days' work in ADVANCE. There is really never an excuse to miss the prayer time though; but it does happen.

2. The children must ask the parents before they go outside, go to a friend's house, stay the night with someone, etc. The children must communicate with the parents!

3. Cards must be CURRENT before parents say yes. If it's Friday and the majority of the days are completed, we will say yes- use your best judgment on effort.

4. At the end of each week, complete and current cards have value.

5. Parents should give weekly commission/reward if possible. If funds aren't available, the card can be used as an IOU. When we researched an appropriate amount for this commission, we found that they should receive one dollar per week per year of their age (10 years old = $10/week). At the time, we were tight on cash so we took this at 80%....do what you can as long as they receive something for their efforts. And keep in mind if you do pay them a commission, they are required to use this money for extra things they want. Ex. Movies, video games, treats, social outings with friends, arcades, etc.

Your kids are going to be questioning the system and wonder how it will affect them. That is why the system follows the PICNIC (Positive Immediate Certain, Negative Immediate Certain) principles for behavior- based performance management. The commission is a positive reward that is immediately given upon completion and they can count on receiving it. While not getting to go to a social event is a negative occurrence, that is immediately given if their card is not up to date, and is certain to happen if you stick to your guns!

To make this system work, parents must find the pain point or motivational point for each child in order to encourage them to follow the rules and be rewarded. They each have at least one!

So now that we have introduced the system and explained the rules, we challenge you to GO! implement it in your household. We also pray that you experience all that it has to offer and that the end result is a family 'Functioning Faithfully!'
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