Special thanks to today’s blog post partner, Force of Nature. As always, all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.
Over the past month I’ve been charting a course, of sorts, for our upcoming journey into homeschooling. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I really hope for my kids to learn this year, and then I’ve planned our school days accordingly, giving regular attention to all matters that I consider of critical importance. It’s tough to prioritize since I have roughly half a million ideas of things to do, but I’m making sure that each and every day we are doing math, doing reading, and doing chores.
Say what? Chores??? Yes, indeed! I think teaching my children how to take care of themselves and their surroundings is just as important as the traditional subjects we will also be learning. And so, making beds, sweeping, washing dishes, weeding the garden and sorting laundry are going to take up a portion of the school day. I believe that by giving daily time to these tasks, 5 skills and traits will be developed.
A good friend once told me that parenting is just one giant exercise in letting go. Part of that letting go means teaching our kids not only how to fly out of the nest, but how to keep their own nests in good working order. I want my girls to leave for college knowing how to keep a tidy home, how to take care of their belongings and how to solve the problem of hunger by means other than take out.
Some jobs are just too big for one person, or perhaps they are just more fun to tackle with someone else. Darah and Layah will get to figure that out as they work on tasks together. They will also come to understand how big of a difference it makes if everyone pitches in. Many hands make light work, as the saying goes!
My family has been using eco-friendly household products for almost 10 years, now. We are going to do some lessons this year on how pollutants get in our air and our water, and the role that household products can play in harming the environment, as well as the benefits of removing those chemicals from our home. I want this to be a lifelong commitment for our kids. One of the products we are currently really enjoying is from the company Force of Nature. It uses completely non-toxic products that clean effectively while doing no harm to us or the earth. I find their cleaner to be highly effective on granite, stainless steel, wood and porcelain, and more importantly, on big messes as well as small ones. There’s no need to use harsh chemicals when non-toxic products, when combined correctly, can do the trick!
4. Chemistry and Math
Because the Force of Nature cleaning system requires the user to do some pretty cool stuff when mixing up a bottle of the solution, there’s a built-in chemistry lesson for us each and every time we need to refill our bottles. Once you pour the solution into a container you have already filled with water, you hook it up to the source of electricity (so cool!) and turn it on, and that’s when some serious chemistry goes down! This is a great way to learn that by combining electricity with the mixture of salt, water and vinegar in the solution, you get electrolyzed water, which is a very powerful disinfectant and deodorizer. For more on the science behind this product, click here. I want my children to understand how their cleaning products works, and to feel comfortable making their own solutions, not based on guesswork, but rather, on science! We will also work on some math as we break down the cost per bottle of making our own cleaner vs. purchasing something pre-made. I believe the last eco-friendly all-purpose cleaner I purchased was around $7/bottle. The price is much closer to .75/bottle for Force of Nature. 🙂
Raising children is a labor of love, and it’s also quite expensive, financially. By taking care of our home, and therefore taking better care of our things, I hope to further instill a sense of gratitude for the things mom and dad work really hard to provide, as well as for all of the time we spend maintaining a home that is comfortable. It takes a lot of effort, and that can be hard to appreciate if you never have to contribute much. My kids are going to give back to the family, and in so doing, feel more grateful for what they have been given.
So on any given school day at The House of M this year, you will find my kids learning by doing, and that includes helping to take care of their home.
Are your children expected to do chores on a daily basis? I’d love to hear any tips you might have for other parents who want to start taking advantage of this important learning opportunity, so leave a comment below!