Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Cleaning with Children ~ Lessons in Home Education


"Another important item in systematic economy is, the apportioning of regular employment to the various members of a family. If a housekeeper can secure the cooperation of all her family, she will find that "many hands make light work." There is no greater mistake than in bringing up children to feel that they must be taken care of, and waited on by others, without any corresponding obligations on their part. The extent to which young children can be made useful in a family would seem surprising to those who have never seen a systematic and regular plan for utilizing their services."

~ Beecher, Catharine & Harriet Beecher Stowe, American Woman's Home, 1869



While magazines and blogs are inspiration to some women to clean those cobwebs, it takes a different kind of motivation for children. Here are some ways to involve them in spring cleaning (and in the name of home education):

  • If you have older children, put them in charge of creating some all-natural cleaners (home economics, science). They can measure out the safe ingredients for these recipes (math) and prepare the cleaning solutions for you (chemistry). Be sure to discuss the safety tips mentioned at the last page of the printable and share the reasons for avoiding harsh chemicals in cleaning.
  • The day before, get out the art supplies and have your children color and cut out our cleaning labels to place on your homemade cleaners. Or, they can create their own labels (arts and crafts).
  • Place one of your mate-less socks on the hand of your energetic toddler. You may want to dampen it first with a spray of all-natural furniture polish. Ask them to wipe the surfaces they can reach for you (such as baseboards, lower shelves, etc). If anything it will keep them busy while you clean (pre-school).
  • Ask your older children to choose one item each week to do from the "Monthly Work Section" or "Spring Cleaning" Checklists. It is handy to print them out and have children record the date each time they complete a task so they can track what hasn't been done in awhile (home economics). This will also encourage them to complete the list when they see their progress.
  • You may also be interested in organizing the children's room at this time. Here are some printable labels from our sister site (menu link below). Just have your children place like-items in plastic storage containers. When sorted, label each box and store away neatly (home economics, basic skills).


11 comments:

  1. I have apron envy!! Lol! I love the apron in the top photo! We have The Messy Room too and read it often!:)

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    1. How funny, apron envy! I saw some photos of your aprons so I know you have some cute ones too! Thanks for sharing, Farmlife Chick :)

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  2. When our granddaughters were younger they loved the Berenstain Bears books so I the same one (and others) here at my house about messy rooms. Those books did give them some cause for reflection on the state of their rooms. ;)

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    1. Yes, we are big fans of the Berenstain Bears here. We have stacks and stacks :)

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  3. This is a great idea. I am all for having children help in the home. The binder would be very helpful to a pre-teen so that she can learn how to maintain a home. So many children do not have a clue on home management.

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    1. I know, it is very sad! Hopefully this next generation will be more equipped with all this information being shared...

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  4. I can not download these either.

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    1. Hi there! :) The link at the top of the "printable menu" should take you to Scribd which is the company who offers this download service for free. You can sign up with your email. Or, email me at pleasewritetojes@hotmail.com and I will email you the PDF files directly. Sorry for the inconvenience. I am working on a more user friendly program to work with. In the meantime, I look forward to your email. Thanks! JES :)

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  5. Jes, these are some great ideas. More hands make the work go more quickly ... well, kind of. It takes a while to teach little hands to help. I always found music to be a great motivator when cleaning. This is probably why I had a Monday wash day for most of my life. : ) Visiting you from Titus 2sday.

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  6. Gosh Jes, you have some great ideas on how to get the children involved in the cleaning process. My littlest guy loves to help clean, but the other two boys not so much. I am going to use some of your tips and get them cleaning up those cobwebs and toys! Thank you so much for sharing! Have I told you how much I love your blog?!

    I hope you have a wonderful day! Amy

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  7. Thank you for such wonderful tips. I am a mom of 3 little ones, with one on the way. I appreciate these ideas to get them more involved in cleaning our home. SO glad I found your blog, its lovely! :)

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