Teaching is what we do here at Orange Easel. We teach art skills as well as life skills--like cutting with scissors, holding a pencil, and even using power tools (for the older kids).
We know that as parents, you are your kiddos BEST teachers. And you've got a lot to teach! We've got six magical words to help YOU teach anything. We use them all the time when we're writing out a teaching plan or when we come across an obstacle in class.
We think the "We do" step is really the most important (and the hardest) so this blog post is going to focused pretty heavily on that stage. We've outlined some tips below. Be sure to watch our YouTube video too, where Miss Allison explains more about these three stages.
What can you teach ?
There are many checklists floating around blogs and pinterests boards that can give you an idea of what kinds of tasks your children are ready to learn. Do a google search. Or just take our word for it, and check out this one from FamilyEducation.com
We generally believe that kids are much more capable than we give them credit for. Given the proper TEACHING, they can be responsible for many jobs around the house.
And teaching is what we do here. So, let us help you out.
I do. We do. You do.
Just know that when your little ones (or big ones) are struggling with something that they SHOULD know how to do, it's time to go back to WE DO.
The Importance of We Do.
The goal with WE DO is to teach them these new skills through cooperation not through coercion. Everyone's experience will be better if your kiddos actually want learn it. The pace of the learner matters.
In no particular order, here's are best advice on WE DO.
- It's not all-or-nothing. Just because you're teaching your kids to do their own laundry and you're in the WE DO stage doesn't mean they have to always do it with you. You can still do stuff for them. They might even appreciate it a little more. We all like it when people do stuff for us, right?
- Check your attitude. If you're not in a teaching mood, don't bother. See above and just do it yourself.
- Check their attitude. Just because you're ready to teach, doesn't mean that their are ready to learn. Set yourself up for success. Make a plan together.
- Teach with kindness, patience, and humor. Don't just bark orders. WE DO. So, you do it too.
- Don't expect perfection. Don't refold the clothes. Don't re-chop the onions. Unless it's going to hurt or injury someone else in the family, leave it.
- Get them on board with the process. "Can you help me with dinner?" will usually get a positive response.
- If it gets stressful, call it off. Live to fight another day.
- Be a team. Yes, laundry stinks. Nobody likes to do dishes. But, hey, we're in this together, kid. Let's get it done.
- Praise them. Not "Good job." Instead try: "I really appreciate your help." "I know it's hard to learn something new. You really tried hard and you got it." "You made my evening better." "I love spending time with you."
- Thank them for their help. Even if it took five times longer than it normally does.
But, what if they just don't want to?
If you've got a little one who has dug in their heels on something, pick a different battle. Start with something they're interested in. Go slow. Especially if they haven't had many responsibilities leading up to this point.
That WE DO stage might need to last a good long while.
Hang in there, parents. You're raising responsible adults and that's not an easy task.