I believe it is very important for children to learn basic housekeeping skills at an early age. By participating in the day to day tasks around the house, I believe that children learn self confidence, independent and critical thinking skills and gain a sense of spatial awareness and keen observation skills. So, quite by accident, I've created a course in housekeeping. (Plus, my greatest fears is that they'll bring their laundry home to me after they've gone! If I teach them how to do it now..maybe..I'll be spared in the future)
- By the end of this course your child should have basic knowledge of the following housekeeping tools: broom, mop, vacuum, dusting cloths, toilet brushes and rags.
- By the end of this course your child should have mastered basic housekeeping equipment such as the washing machine, dryer and dishwasher.
- By the end of this course your child will have basic knowledge of and instruction on the use of various chemical and natural cleaning supplies and handling/disposal of such material.
- By the end of this course your child should understand what it means to sacrifice for good of others
- By the end of this course your child should understand how caring for what one has been given is good stewardship
- By the end of this course your child should understand that by sharing in the daily housekeeping responsibilities they are assisting in the families overall well-being and happiness.
Discuss the importance of house keeping with your children. Ask your children what would happen if certain daily tasks did not get accomplished. Have the children discuss an instance when a daily task did not get accomplished and how it affected the entire family. Discuss with your children the virtues that can be learned by day to day housekeeping, such as: cleanliness, commitment, cooperation, helpfulness, generosity, orderliness and patience.
Gather your children together. Create a list of daily housekeeping tasks and discuss them with your children. You should outline the responsibilities of each task . Allow the children to choose the tasks they would like to complete each day. Be sure to consider the age of the child vs. task level of difficulty. Young children may not be able to run the washing machine but can learn to fold and put away dried clothing. Older children should choose more challenging tasks and leave the easier ones to their younger siblings.
Discuss with your children the importance of reading cleaning supply labels carefully. Children should wear gloves when dealing with cleaning supplies. Explain different types of natural cleansers, such as baking soda, lemon juice and water and vinegar and their uses. Young children can assist in dusting and sweeping without coming into contact with cleansers.
Talk with your children about suitable rewards for completing their tasks well. Follow through with rewards and don't forget surprise rewards are always fun
Gather the children together often to discuss how their participation in the day to day housekeeping responsibilities has benefited them and the family. Praise and recognition go a long way!
(I had my oldest read this to "critique" my lesson plan..I asked him have you learned the virtues I mentioned above...he sort of paused and shrugging his shoulders said, "cleanliness?" Let's just say, some kids take longer than others to master the virtues) (He made a speedy getaway as I chased after him with the broom!)