8/23/13

I Get by With a Little Help From my Friends

This year, the local middle school sent us all a letter informing us the great news that all 7th and 8th grade students were being given a laptop to love, honor and cherish and really contribute to their education. Oh, and I get to be financially responsible for it. My immediate reaction was, skip the computer, give every kid a goat, chicken and a tomato plant! That is an idea I can get behind. Instead of giving them access to be lazier and spend more time in front of a screen than they already do, instead of further hindering physical social interaction, let's teach kids to spend their free time working! We are going to find that we turn high school graduates out with great texting skills and even better googling skills, and no idea at all how to function without means of electronic gadget.

I am so old fashioned, I guess, I just don't see the point. Paper, pencil, goat. That is an education (as well as an exaggeration).  We are raising our kids to be contributing members of society and have skills necessary to be self sufficient. Kids need chores and a part in feeling like a contributing member of the family. And kids need to play!  Away from the screen, outside in the dirt and sunshine, and bugs. When we raise kids with no responsibility, we get irresponsible adults...like the roommate I had in college who had never held a broom.

It is never to young to start. In fact, the little ones like it the most.




I find that my elementary kids think chores are just not fair. But they do them cheerfully (usually) all the same.


My middle school aged kids know better than to whine about it. Plus they are old enough to see how it makes them a contributing member of the family.  


Plus, they make it as fun as they can:

video

 I love the quote I read on Facebook yesterday:
All I want is a log cabin in the middle of nowhere. And wifi.
I love our modern age. I love computers and Internet at the ease of access to learning. I love  that a machine washes and dries my clothes and dishes. A knob turns on the heat for the oven or stove. Leftovers can be preserved and rewarmed. A faucet brings water strait to my kitchen sink. My hope is that amidst all the trappings of modern technology, we do not lose interpersonal relationships. We do not downplay the importance of cottage skills. And that we work harder than ever to pass down to the next generation the importance of being a contributing member of  a social society. If they can milk a goat and skin a rabbit, well, all the better.

How do you help your kids find the value of work? I would love to hear your ideas.

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16 comments:

  1. I love this! I think that hard work is something that is seriously lacking in this upcoming generation. In fact, every school year we pick a family theme. This year Rich and I chose "I can do hard things." So that will be our focus this year. For the past 3ish years I've heard talk after talk about teaching your children hard work.... so it must be important. Especially for boys wanting to serve missions.

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  2. Thanks Jeanine, it seems obvious, but I think making your kids work is foreign to some as parents keep them so busy with sports and school and clubs. Getting the kids to do the work sometimes takes me repeating over and over, I can do hard things. :)

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    1. I agree. And it is SO much easier and quicker to do it on your own most of the time... but worth it in the end (I hope!) Plus, when my boys do some hard work they usually are more pleasant because they feel like they accomplished something worthwhile!

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  3. Great thoughts. I so agree! Just found your blog on Inspire me Monday... really good stuff. thanks for writing!
    Peter- http://musicalsaw.com/another-recycled-piano/

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    1. Thanks for reading. Awesome piano bookshelf, by the way!

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  4. Growing up, I remember a few times when my siblings and I worked really hard on a project, and my parents bought us special treats when they went grocery shopping. It wasn't always expected, but it was certainly helped us feel the work was rewarding. :)

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  5. A post I wish I would have read and really "gotten" ten years ago! Yes, teaching kids to work is so vital to their childhood. Children seem to be a trend at UNITE linky this week! Thanks for sharing! ~ Jen

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  6. Great post :) My son helps with butchering the chickens and working in the garden...even though he's 18 now! Thanks for sharing on the Creative Home & Garden Hop! Hope to see you again today...
    http://littlehomesteadonthehill.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-creative-home-garden-hop-7.html

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  7. When we have kids, they are totally helping with chores! And we would love for some of those chores to be on a little homestead with some chickens and a goat!

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  8. Just wanted to let you know, I really enjoyed this piece and couldn't agree more with what you said. I am co-hosting Tuesday with a Twist tomorrow and picked this post as one of my choices for Featured!!!
    Mindie
    http://bornagainfarmgirl.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks so much Mindie. I so appreciate you stopping by.

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  9. I love the photos! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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  10. Great post! Much agreed, hard work and chores are very important for raising members of society!

    I'm featuring this tonight on WNWNW, so thanks for sharing :)

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  11. I completely agree. This year my youngest is getting a tablet from middle school....well yeehaw. It amazes me when I see boys and even girls out of high school that don't even know how to do their laundry or mow the yard! We do not have a lot of "homesteady" chores yet, but we do get the kids to help with the chickens, garden, laundry (the older ones do their own), dishes, mowing, etc. Now, our oldest is out of college and has a full time job in his chosen field and still has odd jobs for evenings and weekends like mowing yards, sandplasting water tanks, surveying assistant, and regular chores.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    Please join us again Thursday at:
    The HomeAcre Hop

    ~Ann

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    1. Wow Ann, the computer thing is an epidemic! But so far, it has not interfered with chore time! It is my hope that my kids will be as skilled as your oldest. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. I am so surprised that they laptop program falls to the parents to pay. Normally, the schools in our area pick up that cost. I think a balance is a good thing and I love that quote from FB too!

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