Thursday, July 5, 2012

Early Grammar Stage Focus - Work and Service

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This is part eight of my series based on the article 10 Things To Do With Your Child Before Age 10.  To learn more about what I am doing, read my first post on Reading and Writing.

 You can get this "10 things..." article plus SO much more information in the book Teaching the Trivium from the good people at Trivium Pursuit.

This week's focus is on Work and Service.

This is an area that we work diligently toward in my home.  I can't say that we are anywhere near perfect at it, but we are working on it!  The author of the above mentioned article starts out by saying that we need to develop a love for work and service in our children.  My children are very young, but this concept seems so right!  People who love to work and serve become productive members of society, are capable of running their own homes when they get on their own, and gladly help those who are in need.

The article talks in length about giving your children chores from an early age (starting as soon as one!)  Obviously these are age appropriate chores starting with things like picking up toys and dirty laundry, moving to things like dusting and putting away laundry, then eventually to things like preparing meals and cleaning bathrooms.  It is good for any person to feel useful, and this is a great way to accomplish this instead of the hallow notion of self-esteem (based on nothing except someone saying your are worth something).

I have written about what we do with our children before here.  Basically I require Trevor to do a few chores just because he is part of our family/household and then he has the option of doing an extra chore to earn a small amount of money.  Currently he is required to pick up toys in the family room and his bedroom, sort laundry and put it into the washing machine.  Then I have various other chores for him to do to earn a quarter (dusting, wiping floors, using the dust buster, etc.)  This is working very well for us.  I find if we slip up, it is always my fault because it's easier to just do things than train the children to do them.  I am seeing a great need to teach diligence to my son, who always wants to take the easy way out.  That is something we definitely need to work on this coming year.  To see my earlier posts on this subject, see Chores and Allowance, Chore Time, and Cleaning House.

Next, the article moves on to talking about service.  Essentially service is just work for someone else's benefit, right?  Service opportunities are all around us, we just have to look.  A child can do a chore for a grandparent, visit with an elderly neighbor, play with an overwhelmed mother's young children to give her time to get something done, help mom make a meal for someone in need, or even do something for their sibling!  This is not an area that we have purposely focused on, but we have done things as they come up.  This year I would really like to focus on this more.  Would it be too much to try to do some service every day? I'll have to think this over more.  I'd love your input!

Goals for work and service:

  1. Be more consistent with Trevor's chores
  2. Work on diligence and instilling a love of work
  3. Formally start Mackenzie on chores
  4. Be purposeful about service
    • Help grandma and grandpa
    • Help someone from church
    • Help a sibling
    • Help a neighbor
    • Service projects

See how we did with these goals in my follow up post, Work and Service Re-Visited.
This post is a part of the following series:

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  1. Thanks for reminding me of the 10 things list. I just pulled that book off my shelf and plan to reread that section today during swim lessons! Visiting from HHH.

  2. In our family when the kids were younger, we had them help us serve others. They would go with us to take a meal to a neighbor or we would go as a family to volunteer. I think the very best way to help your children with this quality and habit is to model it over time. Eventually, they just start to do it on their own because it is just what you do in your serve others and it feels good. Keep it up and it will stick. :)

    1. Great word...HABIT. That's what we're going for!

  3. making others happy is a sure way to make yourself happier!! Our 8 children grew up doing chores as a part of their life...when they got to high school and especially college, the fruits of knowing how to cook and clean and fix and organize things was tremendous...chores helped them in so many ways!!!
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

    1. That's true that they don't realize at the young age just how glad they will be later that they learned those thing. Thanks for the comment!

  4. I find a lot of parents don't take the time to teach their children to do these simple things and it makes for a lot more work for them. I understand how it is easier to do it yourself in the moment, but in the long run it really pays off to have your child doing chores and cleaning up after themselves. My daughter folds laundry, sets the table, cleans out the sinks, makes her bed, she even helps me garden; which is her favorite. I am featuring you this week! Thanks so much for linking up at Mom's Library!

    1. Wow thanks for the feature!

      I told my son yesterday, the more you help, the more time I have to do fun things with you! It's a win-win for all =)


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