My Top Ten List of what Every Child Should be Able to Do
As I watch my children grow, it amazes me how much our parental involvement influences us -- we learn deeply from how we are taught and I try hard, every day, to give my kids a fair, honest, and straightforward approach to what I think they need.
I was struck by the fact that one of the children in our neighborhood didn't know their home phone number, so I resolved to make a list of these top things that I think every child, including your own, should be able to do.
In no particular order, I believe a child in the 7 - 11 year old range should be able to, or be learning how to:
1) Recite their parent or guardian's full name, street address, and phone number.
2) Cook eggs, toast, and ham, or some equivalent simple meal.
3) Make fire using sticks, kindling, and a match - with adequate adult supervision.
4) Do a full load of laundry.
5) Read 20 minutes a day, at their grade level or above.
6) Recite multiplication tables 1 through 12.
7) Have their own bank account.
8) Consider ways they can do something that's valuable to others to earn extra money, such as offering to babysit, doing carwashes, light gardening, bake sales, or something of the sort. (Learn about my child's endeavors to sell his artwork)
9) Participate in regular household/family meetings, by expressing current issues or obstacles, identifying potential solutions, and contributing to an overall plan of action to achieve goals. No whining.
10) Play a board game or other activity with younger children (like siblings or neighbors) and be responsive to the younger child's needs (playing fair, keeping it respectful, and finding ways to include everyone in the group).
If we are training our children to be the young adults of the next generation, it's our responsibility to give them the right tools, training, and support.