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8 Playful ways to get kids helping mom at home

“If mothers could learn to do for themselves what they do for their children when these are overdone, we should have happier households. Let the mother go out to play!”

-Charlotte Mason

Here are my thoughts for you today:

Ask for help. Teach your children to meet your needs, just as you gladly meet theirs.

  1. For instance, if your day feels bleak and dreary, you can ask your children to make you a centerpiece of wildflowers and then send them out to find the bark, moss, and periwinkle.

  2. If you are beleaguered, you know that tea cures all. Ask a child to put on the kettle to boil water for your tea.

  3. Ask your children to set a beautiful table for lunch, using the special placemats.

  4. Ask an older child to set the timer, and then lead a 5 minute "spruce up" of the living room to loud music.

  5. You can ask your kids to toss a frisbee with you in the fresh air.

  6. You can all make sock balls that you toss into a clean waste can at the end of laundry folding to score points.

  7. Ask your children to lay a washcloth across your forehead when you have a headache. Teach them how to find the right temperature and how to add a little lavender oil.

  8. Ask them to use Pledge and the dusting cloth to wipe down all the dusty wooden surfaces. (Kids love this!)

This list of tasks is different than assigning chores. Drop the "assignments" and "demands" and "lectures about responsibility," and literally ask for help.

You might frame it like this:

"Wow. I'm exhausted today and a little overwhelmed. You know what would help me?...."

Then say it. Children love to make you happy and helping you is the chief way they can.

When you are overdone, get help or go play... or do both. :) Charlotte says so, and so do I.

Julie Bogart is the creator of the innovative Brave Writer Writing and Language Arts Curriculum. For 13 years, Brave Writer instructional manuals and online classes have enriched the homeschooling lives of thousands of families. Brave Writer exists to foster a nurturing relationship between homeschooling parent and child while creating a safe environment for writing growth. The Brave Writer program brings a fresh point of view to the writing process. Rather than emphasizing format writing as the key to success, Brave Writer's materials and instructors facilitate the emergence of authentic writing voice in your children. Once children have access to the language, insights and ideas locked within, they easily learn a variety of writing genres, including the rigorous academic formats of high school and college. Julie's professional background includes freelance writing, magazine and book editing, and ghost-writing. She's authored and supervised the development of all original Brave Writer materials, as well as having home-schooled her five children for 17 years. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can also find Brave Writer on Facebook and Twitter.

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