Living and Learning in the Pacific Northwest
A strong work ethic is important, and challenging to teach in our modern world. So much of what we really need is done for us. Unless you have a wood stove or can your own veggies or have a really big house to clean, there is not much that needs to be done in a practical sense.
Kids like helping and working hard when they know WHY they are doing it and when the rest of the family is working too, not just telling them to do it alone. This is where helping in the community, like Habitat for Humanity for older kids, is something worthwhile to do. But what do you do when they are younger? Chores around the house, of course, but if you have work to do around the homestead, even better.
Hunter was the biggest helper with our firewood this year. Chandler was reluctant but he got into the spirit of it before we finished with our two-day work party. We had four very tired people at the end of day two. On day one I also cleaned the downstairs, spring cleaning style –moving things to dust under them, clearing out clutter, etc. Then I went outside to help with the wood. The more I helped outside, the more Chandler helped. While I was inside cleaning, Chandler went back and forth without doing much to help anyone.
I think this is key. The whole family pitching in to get the job done, together. Kelly did the most work, by far, by splitting three cords of wood. Hunter and I tied for second. Hunter amazed us.
Hunter is big enough now to drive the lawn tractor. This inspired him to do many loads all by himself.
Chandler got into the spirit of helping on the last day. Unfortunately he tossed a piece of wood on the back pile on the front porch and cracked the big picture window. The window is over 100 years old and I almost cried when it happened. He was so eager to help, that I couldn’t be upset with him. I should have reminded him where to put the wood. Hunter and I were stacking wood lower, on the concrete, and Chandler didn’t pay attention to that. *sigh*