Friday, May 27, 2011

Teaching our Children (practical)

Involving your children. can be easier said than done, right? But on the other hand, children love to be involved with what we are doing. It makes them feel important. It makes them feel loved. And it makes them feel like they are an intregral part of the family unit. (pausing for tea)

It's easier to do everything on our own, we reason. But is it? Is it really easier in the long run? I've decided that it's not. Therefore, I have really been striving lately to make my kids a part of what is going on. No, not with everything, but with lots of things. I want them to feel involved, and I want them to learn. Because I certainly don't want to be doing all of this picking up after them when they are 14,16 and 18!
(hannah and nathan mixing up dough for some homemade donuts)

They need to begin learning how to become self sufficient and know how to do every day tasks around the home. As the kids become older I want them to know how to do the laundry and be able to wash their own clothes every week. I want them to know how to make a simple supper and how to set the table.
(nathan rolling out the dough for the doughnuts)

And so, as I work, I tell them what I am doing and why. And allow them to measure and add to the bowl and mix. I teach them counting as we add cups of flour and grain. I tell them how yeast and honey help bread dough to rise. I try and show them how to clean up after themselves.

(Hannah watching the wheat berries grind into flour)

Things may not always turn out perfect. And they may not always be done quickly. There may be times when your children aren't interested in helping, they would rather play. But encourage them to help anyway, saying that "there are many times that mommy would rather do something different too, but there are things that have to be done and you can help too."
Many times though, children are more than happy to help. Just be enthusiastic about it yourself. The other night the children helped me make a special supper for daddy. Complete with homemade breadsticks, homemade marinara sauce over spaghetti and strawberry shortcake. They rolled the dough out for the breadsticks and brushed it with the buttery garlicky mixture. They ran to the cupboards and fridge and got all the ingredients and tools necissary to make what we were making. They were very eager and felt so a part of it all. (adding flour to the bread mixer and watching the dough knead)

Let them get their hands dirty-kids ARE washable. ;) Let them learn by watching, but more importantly, let them learn by doing. One day, we will be very surprised when our children have made us breakfast one morning, or washed the dishes for us as a surprise!
Even if it's not done perfectly, let them try. And praise their efforts.

(balls of dough ready to go into the loaf "cans." 100% whole wheat)

When we start to see the fruits of our labors, we will rejoice with happiness and our loads will feel so much lighter. Our lives and the lives of our children will be richer because we took the extra time to teach and to train our kids even when it was tough and took extra time.

(bread all baked and yummy. Wish I could blog the aroma live for you!)

Kids can do so much! Much more than we give them credit for! So let's give them stuff to do and guide them along the way. Step by step show them how to do something and repeat, repeat, repeat the lessons until they know how.

1 comment:

  1. Yay -- good job mama! They look like great helpers. And I'd love to eat some of that delicious looking bread. :)