It occurred to me that I should have some practical goals for Norah this year to go along with all the academic ones.

You know "life-skills" and all.

In the fuss of planning history and science and art I had kind of forgotten it was also my job to teach her this kind of stuff, too.

Arguably, this stuff is more important anyway.

If a straight A high school student can't wash their own laundry, how smart are they really?

So here's a list of stuff she is going to learn how to do this year:

Clean off the stainless steel trash can.
Note: I hate this job and it's a good sized job for Norah to inherit. It will allow her practice and eventually perfect the all-important skill of using Windex without leaving streaks.

Empty and reline waste baskets.

Empty and reset the diaper champ.

Make her and Avril's breakfast.
She needs to learn to pour the cereal and milk into the bowls, microwave the oatmeal safely, etc. else she and Avril may not eat breakfast till noon once I am nursing an infant.

Make (and put away the ingredients of) her and Avril's sandwiches for lunch.

Vacuum the stairs with a hand held vac.

Sweep and quick mop the kitchen and bathroom floors.

Wash and dry a simple load of laundry.

Wipe off the bathroom counter/sink/mirror, etc.

Clean out the toilet with a toilet brush.

Looking at these goals like I am looking at our goals for school this year, it becomes clear that I am going to need to break all these tasks down into detailed parts and really be there with her, showing her and telling her how to do these things correctly and safely.

I also realize I need to buy her some tools so she can do these tasks herself... like a nice pair of petite, vinyl gloves, an apron and a few step stools positioned around the house, etc.

I think Norah is going to be thrilled with the power to do more for herself. She's always begging to help. So, I am actually looking forward to this part of our school year. I guess we should call it "home ec."


sandi miller said…
Hi V!
just wanted to encourage you with this! Jessica LOVES doing jobs, especially a load of laundry. I put a smiley sticker on all the "settings" so she knows what buttons to push, and where to point the dial. I had to buy a step stool to keep in the laundry room so she could reach the dials!
She also unloads the dishwasher, and can put away most dishes using the stool I keep in the kitchen.
You are so right about the 'tools' that make it fun.. an apron, step stool etc!!

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