Yes, I am still here in Little House mode, LOL. When I was growing up, “Farmer Boy” was my absolute least favorite in the series of books about the Ingalls/Wilder family. In fact, I think I mainly skipped it when I was younger. Well, I just went back and re-read it and boy, was it interesting to me! What a wonderful coming –of- age story about Almanzo and his increasing responsibility within the family farm as he approaches age nine.
Have you ever thought about chores in relation to your own children? This is a pretty classic Waldorf article you may have already read regarding chores:
Here are a few back posts on chores and homemaking and housecleaning:http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/12/08/children-chores-housecleaning-and-homeschooling/ and here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/05/11/housecleaning-and-homeschooling/
I find many mothers I meet come from one of two camps: one where they were responsible for caring for younger siblings and many responsibilities were dumped on them at an early age or that no responsibility was given to them at all. This makes it very difficult for mothers to figure out how they feel about chores and how to present this to their children!
I believe children do need consistent chores. They should be contributing to the welfare of the family, there should be something that they do that is bigger than themselves, and there should be increasing responsibility as they mature.
For those of you with children under the age of nine: I remark here that rhythm in the practical work of the home and working TOGETHER in joy is what lays the foundation of wholly independent work beginning around the nine-year-change. IMITATION is also another way to help children learn about chores when they are young. What do you do every day that involves more than just pushing a button that they can imitate? What can you “de-mechanize” in your home so your child can take part in what you are doing?
Children around the age of 9 can certainly take on chores for the family; many mothers start with cooking for both boys and girls.
Next post up will include a list of possible chores by season and/or age to get your creative juices going regarding this important subject.
More to come,