A great book I just discovered and am going to buy and try to create a weekly lesson plan around is this one: Life Skills for Kids by Christine M. Field. I love the practical approach. She says: “My eight year old could read any book in the library, but she didn’t know how to dry dishes.” I have the same funny gaps occuring here. Things I do for them rather than teach them how to do themselves and more importantly allow them to do until they master them. She points out so many practical things I just haven’t even thought of teaching formally.missceegeeParticipant
Claire, this is an excellent book. I need to pull my copy out for the coming year. I wish I could tattoo my memory with these things, so it was an even easier reference for me!
I’m going to try and read it during this little break we are taking and sketch out a way to maybe cover a skill a week or a skill every other week with the kids. Really stop and go through it step by step and then incorporate it in to their daily or weekly or monthly chores. Maybe not permanently but so that they get the practice necessary to master the life skill and realize running their lives is going to take a bit of elbow grease!
Glad to hear someone else say it’s a good one.Alicia HartParticipant
Wow! This looks like the wisdom that my husnad and I have been praying for! We were planning on taking July off for Tristan’s Chore Training Boot Camp but we will be using this as well or maybe throughout next year.
Thanks Claire for posting this – a blessing for us!RainesParticipant
I am currently very slowly reading this book and taking notes and trying to absorb it all. It is an excellent book IMO. I recently realized that my husband and I do too much for our 4 children even though all but the baby are capable of doing more than they do. My children are doing more to help around the house now and they are so proud of what they can do.
In some ways, I feel like my life skills training was lacking and I don’t want my children to have those “holes.”
I heartily recommend this book (even though I am far from finished with it).
You can also print off Christine Field’s life skills checklists at thrivingfamily.com.Katrina in AKParticipant
Raines, thanks for mentioning the checklist. I am printing it off right now to tuck in my planner for the year.TristanParticipant
It sounds like an interesting book!Cynthia CorbinParticipant
I ran across this book when I was looking for something else a couple of weeks ago. I’d forgotten I had it. I also plan to go through and do some training. While I’ve been trying to get things ready for next year, I realized just how little my kids are responsible for. I’ve been doing things because it’s quicker to just do it myself. But I’m shooting myself in the foot in the long run and I’m not doing them any favors either.
Thanks for the link to the list.
Just as an update to this OP –
I have a CM friend who has always given her children chores to do. Nothing new there right? Well, she actually lets them do the chore and doesn’t swoop in to finish the job or offer endless instruction or anything. As a result I just witnessed a 3 year old sweep a very messy dinning room floor after lunch – moving chairs, sweeping under the table, sweeping in to piles, moving chairs back in place, etc. For goodness sakes the broom was towering several feet over her!
I would never have been able to ask them to do it and then leave them alone to learn how to do it. Now, I don’t do chore lists in our home. I ask for something to be done or I don’t have to because they see it needs doing. And my two are happy to comply with any request pretty much all of the time. But regardless …. I don’t know if I’m a perfectionist or always in a hurry or very particular or an OCD mess (ok, I am that one) but I just swoop in the minute I think it’s not “right” or fast enough and efficiently take over almost everything! As a result I have three people in my house who know a little bit about a lot of household tasks and that’s about all.
I wonder if I am doomed? Is it too late?wife2agr8manParticipant
Claire, I have struggled with your same emotions! it isn’t too late. Here is the flavor of chores in our house, I don’t know if it will be helpful or not.
In the last year, I have realized my 9 year old can do most of her chores very well, but she is slow. She is still processing the whole event- ie she can’t focus on sweeping crumbs and do mental math at the same time (or really even carry on a conversation). If I stay out of her way and let her do it, it really does get done well. At first, it takes 3-4 times as long as I think it should. Fortunately she has sped up, but they aren’t mundane tasks for her yet, she still is quite engaged.
My next child (7) seems to prefer quickness, but she does slip shod work often if I am not nearby. She has not fully developed the habit of attention. So she gets the “work” but I need to help her develop more attention to detail…..which is tricky when I can just re-do the chore quickly. Currently I have just chosen one chore that she has to do daily and I continue to work on habit training with her on this chore. She has her other daily chores which she might slip up, but we really focus on the one chore, consistently everyday.
For my other two children, (5 and 2 next month), I work right next to them and allow them to do different amounts depending on their ability and attention. Some days my 5 year old does the whole chore, the next day, he barely completes any of it, but stays for the entire time. I don’t think this is willful disobedience, but he is learning through observation on those days, not by doing it.
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