Get Your Planning On! Chores and Movement: Where Do They Fit?

A few posts back, I  shared the daily planning form that I am going to use this year.  Several folks wondered about that all important movement that children need and that I keep talking about, and also about chores.  So here are some of the ideas that work for me personally, and maybe some of it will resonate with you.  Take what works for your family!

MOVEMENT: 

  • Playing outside before school starts is just a natural way to start the day, especially since in the climate in which we live we can eat meals outside most of the time.
  • Our gathering time and main lesson time always has movement.  If our toddler needs a playmate during school, you can bet the children are running around the yard. We also take a good number of movement breaks.  Movement breaks enhance learning!
  • I put our major walk/eating picnic at the park in at lunchtime, because for my children, it is always easier to not have  a major long outside playtime or walk before we start school, simply because we need to get a few things done in the morning.  This is mainly because I have a toddler who needs to nap around noon and I would like some rest and time for myself during at least part of his nap.  If I didn’t have a toddler, I might put in the movement first, then school, then more movement or a walk, then lunch and then quiet time.  Please do consider the ages of your children and the needs of your family.
  • After “school” we have a whole afternoon (so at least three hours) of movement, and sometimes sports activities for our oldest around the dinner hour.
  • We often don’t walk after dinner since my children still go to bed early, but a walk after dinner is always lovely.
  • There are many days we ditch school and go to the lake, the river, or hiking.  So sometimes we have whole days of moving outside, which is wonderful.  Don’t let your schedule be a noose around your neck!

CHORES:

I have written before about my love of Flylady:  www.flylady.net.  I know it doesn’t work for every family, but it sure has helped me to integrate that into our homeschooling rhythm.  We do many of our chores first thing in the morning whilst we are getting ready for school and after eating breakfast (like I tend to start a load of laundry almost every morning during the school week).  Some chores fall in naturally when you are doing something functional in that space:  why not clean the bathroom whilst your toddler is in the tub?  Here is a back post on homeschooling and housecleaning from 2009:  http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/05/11/housecleaning-and-homeschooling/

Be sure to work with your children to help them perform tasks well.  You cannot expect your ten-year-old to clean a bathroom if you have never demonstrated and the never followed up by working consistently with that child, then having your child perform the chores with you available and checking their work right then (not three hours after they finished!)  Chores are really important to work on with children!

I think the other thing is to have a major de-clutter time over the summer, and get as organized as you can. This really helps the most with cleaning during the school year!

Please share your ideas and what works for your family – your answer may be just what another family needs to help solve their challenges!

Many blessings,

Carrie

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4 thoughts on “Get Your Planning On! Chores and Movement: Where Do They Fit?

  1. I’m a big fan of doing chores together. It’s the way our youngest naturally pitch in to help, learn, and feel useful. It’s also a way to keep teens involved. On ordinary days I try to model (and yes, remind) that we take care of our responsibilities along with whatever we’re doing. That usually means wiping up or picking up, doing barn chores, helping with meals, and most importantly, springing up when someone needs help with the same promptness we’d give an elderly person struggling to pick up a heavy package. It has to do with building patterns of reciprocity that feel natural as breathing and just as satisfying.

    If anyone is interested, I found some interesting research on how chores benefit our kids now and into adulthood. http://www.wired.com/geekmom/2012/06/chores-benefit-kids/ Applying this in our family has resulted in kids who are remarkably capable and helpful, even if their rooms don’t always pass the Firefighter Test…..

  2. right now it’s the middle of winter here and lots of icy cold wet days so getting outside is a major marathon with four children BUT the six year old has discovered a bunch of silly song cds and has been putting them on once the chores are done and she and the smallest dance all over the living room while I’m finishing the dishes and having a shower. Her idea entirely, it’s great.

  3. Hi Carrie, thank you so much for your insightful posts. I have a two year old and two month old and I am trying to get a rhythm going. Both my kids are currently home with me and I am wondering what activities you would suggest I do with them during the day, as well as how I could squeeze in chores cooking and errands. Please let me know if my question is somewhat vague. I could provide more info. Thanks so much! Hila

    • Hila –
      There are many posts on here about that. Try the posts about the one and two year old in the Waldorf home, and also the post titled, “Meaningful Work For Toddlers”. I also ran a whole series on rhythm not too long ago, so if you type “rhythm” into the search engine, terms will come up. Work around the home is something your two year old can participate in, so it is important to de-mechanize your home as much as possible and do that real work. Errands can be stretched out – take time at the farmer’s markets to sniff the produce, touch it, talk to the farmers…Why hurry home? Outside time, sleep, rest, meal preparation and clean up, play is the foundation of every small person’s rhythmic day.
      Try the book “Heaven On Earth” by Sharifa Oppenheimer for more information, along with “You Are Your Child’s FIrst Teacher” by Rahima Baldwin Dancy.
      Many blessings,
      Carrie

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