Just for Parents Blog
Please enjoy this blog written primarily by the classroom teachers. This is their forum to share with you a sampling of activities, projects, and learning happening in the classroom.
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No matter our age, we all desire to be needed and valued. The more each of us sees our worth as an integral part of the community or family, the more connected we are to that family, school or community unit.
By giving children, even preschoolers, valued jobs, it helps them understand the importance of stepping up to the plate for the good of others and it instills true self-worth.
Sorting socks, taking out the trash and setting the table are chores that need to be done. All of us have to do mundane tasks and children should not be immune from them either. However, in addition to the daily tasks children should be given chores which carry true responsibility. Giving a young preschooler the responsibility of carrying the keys to the car and unlocking the door may seem like a risky proposition to you, but to them it speaks volumes about how much you trust them. Children know the importance of keys and when adults hand over their keys – that’s a big deal!
When children see the important adults in their lives trust them to do valued jobs, work with real tools, or be responsible for precious items, people or animals they begin to be responsible in other areas of their lives as well. A child who is responsible, not just for the watering of the plants, but also fertilizing them (with supervision) will grow up with a respect and understanding about poisons. They learn that while fertilizers may be good for plants, they can make humans and animals very, very sick. They also learn the importance of following directions because too much fertilizer can kill a plant and not enough fertilizer won’t help it grow.
A student who has the responsibility of leading his lined-up classmates to another location in the school quickly learns that an unruly line is far harder to lead than an attentive line. A wise teacher will give the line leader the responsibility of the line – not just the task of following behind her. It’s amazing how quickly children learn the merits of walking quietly in line when they are responsible for the line.
Children who are taught how to use a real knife and then given the responsibility of using it to cut up fruits and veggies grow up having a respect for sharp utensils and tools. A child who is given the opportunities to use a real knife (under supervision) is less likely to play with a found knife (or other sharp tools) because they have a true understanding of the dangers of knives.
Serving others, not just at home, but in the community gives children the opportunity to understand the value of working together for the good of all and the responsibility we all have in taking care of each other. Taking the trash cans to the curb for an elderly neighbor, doing a park clean-up or donating to a toy drive are all ways children can participate and feel the joy of helping others.
Giving children jobs with real responsibility not only teaches them vital life skills , but even more importantly each child sees themselves as having true worth as a valued member of their family, class, and community.