Before I even knew that this was something that followed Charlotte Mason's way of teaching things, we were teaching Robert life skills. This week, he began learning how to weedeat the yard.
I love what I found on the Simply Charlotte Mason website. Here are some thoughts that they share about Handicrafts and Life Skills:
Charlotte advocated the child’s learning handicrafts. In her day, those handicrafts could help to support and enable the child as he or she grew to adulthood. So we have expanded the list to include life skills, which are likewise important in teaching children to be industrious and preparing them to manage their own households someday.
Four succinct points should be kept in mind when selecting handicrafts and life skills.
- The end-product should be useful. The children should not “be employed in making futilities such as pea and stick work, paper mats, and the like.”
- Teach the children “slowly and carefully what they are to do.”
- Emphasize the habit of best effort. “Slipshod work should not be allowed.”
- Carefully select handicrafts and life skills to challenge but not frustrate. “The children’s work should be kept well within their compass.”
(taken from Home Education, p. 315)
My favorite one is number 3, slipshod work will not be allowed. You see, Robert has wanted to mow everyone's yard before now to earn money. But Stephen and I made it clear that once he mowed our yard and did a great job all summer then he could get a job the next year.
So last year, he finally did just that. All summer long he mowed our yard, raked up the trash, cleaned all the grass up and completed his very first whole summer of mowing all on his own.
He was nervous his first time mowing for someone else, but he did a fabulous job and was paid well for his endeavors!