I write this because I think it is important that people know about my homeschool. My homeschool does not begin after or end before, housecleaning. My homeschool day for the kids includes housecleaning.
Housecleaning is a skill I want my kids to have, right now (not later, when they get older). Beyond health and grooming, it is a very required element in being able to lead a normal life. If my children do well in academia but cannot keep house, I am a sad woman. This cannot be.
Having developed my own curriculum, I have made sure that housecleaning has a very prominent role. My kids, my husband and many others, may not consider this aspect to be part of homeschooling, learning or a good education, but I do. I know this will offend a lot of people, but, in fact, I think it is more important than each of these individually, as well as all of them collectively:
Maria Montessori made housecleaning skills, part of the “practical life” portion of her curriculum. This shows that not all who made scientific studies about education, left housecleaning out. Her goal was to prove that children with mental disabilities, if taught in a respectful way with choices for the children, and through repetition, the kids could learn these things and lead normal lives. She knew that housecleaning was part of becoming an independent person who could care for him or herself. “Practical Life” is in the foundation of the Montessori Method.
Here are some reasons why housecleaning should be placed above, the academic subjects mentioned above.
-Math: Do the math here.
a) Hiring a maid could cost upwards of $800 a month, where I live. This includes little more than the basics. How much money could you save in 12 months, without this cost?
b) Not hiring a maid will require you to spend more on going out to eat, buy ready- made foods, and you’d still have to clean a lot. These food expenditures could cost the average family upwards of $400 a month. How much could you save in a year without that expense?
Do you enjoy reading or writing, with a mess all around you? Do you enjoy them on an empty belly, which you have because just looking in the kitchen, you cannot see how making a meal could be possible? How many more books would you be able to fit in your house, were it cleaner? How much more time would you have to read & write, were it cleaner?
Science experiments in that messy kitchen? No way! Looking in the microscope on that messy table? Not possible. Feel guilt free going to the museum for a field trip with a house in that state? No, thanks!
How can you stand to read about all the hard work they did, when you and yours, are so lazy! What would they think of you? Would they just be proud, because you are so good at academia? I think not!
Ah, Beethoven. How can you not clean when you hear that and see the state of your house? Composing music, unable to hear. What a determined man. Do you think such a determined man knew how to sweep and wash a table?
Monet. All day long, 6 a.m., new canvas: cathedral; 7 a.m., new canvas, cathedral; 8 a.m., new canvas: cathedral. He’d best eat lunch sometime. Perhaps a clean house would help. Barely able to put food on the table in his beginnings, and with a wife who was ill, I am betting he knew how to clean house.
Shakespeare. Can you imagine no Shakespeare because: “Arghh! Where did I put that manuscript? This is so frustrating! I lose everything in this mess! Oh! It has food spilt all over it because I left it out with the food and a cat came and spilt it. I am so mad! And I have forgotten what I wrote! It will not come again. I know it. Oh, forget it. I’d best go work at the lumber mill. I need to eat, after all!”
Dance: Time to pick a dance teacher for your kids. Let’s go pick one with a studio floor, covered in dust and overrun with junk!
Ope, too bad. No playing catch. Can’t find your mitt and ball. Maybe the soccer ball. Oh, can’t find that, either. Let’s go running. Can’t find your running shoes? Arghh! Oh, well. Let’s just do an aerobics DVD! We know where the T.V. is! What? We have to have a space cleared to move around on the floor? Ah, forget it. Let’s just watch T.V.
I hope that helps you to see why I feel that housecleaning is much more important than all of those subjects. So when you ask me when are we going to start our homeschool day, while we are cleaning, I will remind you about this post.