I was recently listening to the Jeremy Vine programme on the radio.
One of the subjects up for debate was whether CHILDREN SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED TO HELP OUT WITH CHORES. There was admirable debate for and against this topic.
However not one person mentioned HOW MUCH LEARNING CHILDREN ARE MISSING OUT ON IF THEY DON'T DO CHORES!!!
Take laying the table for example. Counting how many knives, forks and spoons are needed for family members, and placing a knife on the right and a fork on the left incorporates a lot of Maths for a little person.
Scrubbing jacket potatoes for the cooker / microwave, and then learning why to prick them and why they go in an oven or microwave all cold and hard and come out all hot and soft. This not only incorporates Science and Nature, but also Maths (counting the potatoes)and Language and Literature from discussing all this and even more, ie where potatoes come from and why they need scrubbing. Hand and eye coordination must also get a mention in the scrubbing process.
Going shopping can be a huge learning experience. Older children can be encouraged to go on their own, but younger ones can be responsible for the shopping list and small change. They can be involved in the whole process, searching for food items, popping them in the trolley, handing over money etc. All the while learning Maths, and which coin is which, as well as language and literacy by talking about the process. We mustn't forget personal and social either, as children gain an enormous amount of personal satisfaction from helping out, and being made to feel useful. Added to which they could even be a joy to take shopping because they are NO LONGER BORED.
Even a simple act of using a dustpan and brush can have learning opportunities from hand eye coordination to Language and Literature ie discussing where does the dirt come from, and where should it go. Plus personal satisfaction incorporating Personal and Social again.
Younger children really enjoy these learning opportunities through helping with chores. Unfortunately it is a known fact that older children can be less than enthusiastic once they become adept at the basic skills!!!. Perhaps as well as these basics they can be encouraged to do more challenging activities like baking cakes, cooking a family meal or taking over a garden plot??.
I do think if a survey was done to establish which children were under achievers and which were high achievers, those who were encouraged to do chores would be more in the high achieving bracket ???
I hear some parents say "But I don't have time to encourage my child to do chores!" to which I would suggest that a bored child is far more difficult to look after when you are busy, than one that is helping you. At the very least you could be taking them away from their ipad or the TV!!!.
Parents are the FIRST or even MAIN EDUCATORS of their children.