Do you think daily chores are important for children? So does The Okanagan Waldorf School.
Chores allow children to naturally learn many practical skills. This experience of practical daily life builds the child’s inner will capacities. A child with a strong inner sense and ability to complete tasks will be confident in their own strength of contribution to the greater world.
The Okanagan Waldorf School carves out time each day for chores that directly contribute to the child’s surroundings.
Each class is responsible for the care of their own classroom and the daily chores include such things as emptying the garbage and compost, washing the chalkboards, and sweeping the floors. If the children run into the classroom with mucky boots, they are the ones that notice the mess within their own space. This creates the opportunity to work together with their peers to keep their shared areas clean and beautiful.
The Okanagan Waldorf School also expands on this care and responsibility in other ways.
Our students’ individual classroom supplies are not given annually. With proper care, their pencils and crayons can last for many years. By giving them quality supplies and expecting them to be cared for, our children learn to value their tools and often show with pride which pencil crayons they have had the longest.
If something breaks, they all work together to fix it. Demonstrating the ability to fix classroom items (chairs, shelves, toys) shows children how to be resourceful and also imparts confidence as they gain the ability themselves.
By grade 3, children receive their own desk which they take home to sand and varnish before bringing it to the first day of school. The beauty of each child receiving their desk that will remain their own until they leave our school is that they naturally learn the skill of care and beauty for what they have. When a desk has marks or structural challenges, the child works alongside our teachers to restore the desk to his original state. The children show great pride in the care of their desks and materials.
Our teachers also consciously work as role models towards the care of the classrooms and the items within it. Our teachers and staff take the modeling of proper school and self-care to heart. We all work together purposefully to set healthy daily examples.