“From an early age children want to be independent, but in this era of continual rushing, [we] parents thwart them by being too eager to do things for them. If [we] will take the time to teach [our] child to do things for himself, the rewards will be great for both of [us]. The words [we] should hear with joy are ‘Let me do it myself!’ We, as parents, must learn to give our children a chance to be self-reliant and do it with patience and understanding. [Our] cardinal rule should be: Never do for a child what he is capable of doing for himself.”Elizabeth G. Hainstock, Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Preschool Years
Welcome! Thanks for following Our 🍳6 WEEK SUMMER SKILL SCHOOL SERIES🧵! We’ve been having so much fun putting these activity weeks together, and we’re thrilled to have you join us!
If you’re just tuning in, here’s what you’ve missed so far:
- Skill School Week One: GARDENING! 🍅Growing Little Green Thumbs🥕
- Skill School Week Two: 🍳COOKING🥕 ~Little Sous Chefs at Work~
~Cleaning Versus Keeping~
Keeping house is so much more than merely cleaning house. Cleaning a house suggests a defensive stance; mess and dirt and dust have accumulated . . . and now we must act! Or rather, we must react.
But keeping a house suggests an offensive, even ritualistic mindset;
keeping things clean,
keeping things tidy,
tending to order,
tending to beauty—
ultimately creating a lovely, harmonious home . . . and keeping it so.
Furthermore, the word “keeping” infers also a sense of ownership, a responsibility, even a nurturing. In many ways, the occupation of housekeeping closely resembles that of the gardener who tends her lovely herbs and vegetables, cultivating a place for life, for growth, for beauty. Indeed, in much the same way, housekeeping even mirrors our role as parents and our efforts to “keep” our children. Or at least it does in my often overly romantic mind 😛 !
Cleaning house, on the other hand, is just a set of chores, often isolated from a much greater purpose or deeper intention. After all, you can hire someone to clean your house, someone who may have little to no connection to the home. To them it’s a job, a paycheck, a livelihood. And I think we “home-keepers” often fall into this way of rote cleaning in our own homes; just going through the motions, getting it done, checking off our chores and not taking the time to see or even set our intention for what we’re doing. Indeed, not taking the time, or employing a widescreen view as to the significance of what we are doing.
We’re not alone here—the role of housekeeping is often underappreciated as well as it’s importance highly underestimated. For the act of “housekeeping” is not merely a chore (or set of them) but an art form, and a highly influencing, impacting one at that.
Housekeeping wields the power to shape the moods,
indeed the very futures of every member in the home.
This is obvious in our simple enjoyment of our homes. I think it’s safe to say that most of us enjoy our home more when it is “kept” . . . including those who seem not to notice —like our kids. But a home that is clean, orderly, and set up for creativity is not only a joy but also an inspiration to all who live there. Even if the source of that inspiration isn’t always recognized.
In truth, I believe the condition of the home to have undeniable influence over either the stirring or stifling of our souls; perhaps especially in regards to its junior residents. After all, the home and family provide the very foundation on which each of our children will build their lives.
And so I suggest to you, as I suggest to myself, that we roll up our sleeves with joy, tackle our housekeeping duties with empowerment, and hold to our conviction that our vocation is a worthy one. If we then endeavor to take our children under our wings; passing on the skills of housekeeping, instilling the values of familial responsibility, and inspiring a heart of generous service, I believe the results will be nothing short of holistic education.
From our home to yours . . .
Skill School Week 3: HOUSEKEEPING
~ABOUT THIS WEEK’S SKILL SCHOOL~
Ok, so we all admit it: housekeeping is important. Knowing how to wash dishes, do laundry, set the table, and sweep up are all valuable and necessary skills for our kids to master. But . . . the elephant in the cleaning closet is rearing it’s ugly trunk and we’re all thinking the same thing: our kids are going to hate this, right? I admit it, I had the exact same thought when I first started planning this Skill School week. I thought to myself: “Oh geez, coming off Cooking Week our kids are gonna think a week of housekeeping is majorly lame.” Well, gather round and listen close my friends, because I don’t like to admit this if I can possibly avoid it, but . . I WAS DEAD WRONG.
Our six-year-old had so much fun on Wash Day that he laundered everything twice and was bursting all day that it was the most fun activity of his whole life. To be fair, we haven’t taken him to Disneyland yet, but still. Our two-year-old was so enraptured by the thrills of the feather duster that she went at it with gusto —eyes wild and tongue flapping out (her usual face when an experience proves just too fabulous to keep her mouth closed).
So, if you think that your kids won’t want to spend the week cleaning the house, think again! We’re clearing the dust and cobwebs away from monotonous, boring chores, and proving (with a little flair and creativity) that good, old-fashioned work can be downright fun . . . not to leave out rewarding, satisfying, and transformative! We hope you’ll join our efforts this week to raise up capable kids!
Itinerary at a glance:
- Day One: A CLEAN SWEEP; adventures in dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, and window washing!
- Day Two: WASH DAY with Dolly Dear!
- Day Three: Hey, Diddle Diddle DISHES! And don’t run away with that spoon!
- Day Four: CENTER OF ATTENTION; floral arrangements!
Skill Supply List:
*please note: you do NOT have to have all the items on this list to join us!
- child-sized broom and dustpan for kids under eight
- a small handful of white flour
- handheld vacuum
- push vacuum
- cheap rice or cheerios
- coins and/or chocolate coins
- two buckets or wash basins
- laundry soap
- a collection of doll clothes or baby clothes
- drying rack/clothesline
- stainless steel or plastic dishes
- dish detergent
- sponge or scrub brush
- dish towels
- spray bottle
- white vinegar
- dry erase markers
- vases and fresh flowers or yard clippings/greenery
Want a Printable Chore Chart?
Check out our FREE Printable Chore Cards!
“Children love to work with their hands—an important activity in their development. Teach the child to be responsible for his own room and personal belongings, and let him have simple chores that are strictly his to do (such as emptying the wastebaskets, cleaning his room and putting away groceries). Let him know that he does these chores because they are his responsibility, not because he may expect a reward from you.”Elizabeth G. Hainstock, Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Preschool Years
Need a BOOK to go with Skill School this week?
Housekeeping Week pairs perfectly with these books: I’m-A-Helper-Book-List
Want to WHISTLE while you work?
Sing along with our list of happy little working songs: Whistle While You Work; Cleaning with Kids!
Want a MOVIE NIGHT to cap off your Skill School this week?
The only thing better than family movie night is a themed family movie night to commemorate the events of the week!
This movie pairs perfectly with Housekeeping Week:
Cheers to a Skill-Filled Summer!
Thanks ever so much for reading!
Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~