Saturday, January 10, 2009

Yma at Work

Yma Ray is the youngest worker at the press. Her jobs include mixing ink, making monoprints, counting envelopes and cutting scrap paper into even smaller stacks of pieces on the guillotine.

There comes a time when real work is a welcome break from all the games, songs and activities we so carefully plan out to practice simple things like counting and spelling. Checking items off a list or counting envelopes and paper are jobs Yma enjoys and she likes knowing that she's really helping.

I read about including children in work in the book Better Late than Early by Raymond Moore. Here's a brief excerpt from the Moore Foundation site:

Work. Constructive, skill-building, entrepreneurial work builds children's self-confidence, creativity, and self-control, and does it more quickly. It is the most dramatic and consistent cure for behavior and personality problems. If you give children authority to manage your home to the extent that they can accept responsibility, they mature rapidly and naturally. Make them officers in your home industries. There is no more certain key to happy home education-or other schooling-regardless of institutional level. We've seen no one fail, rebel, or burn out.

Begin small. Start your children to work when they start to walk. Add freedom as they accept responsibility. No cash allowances! Let them earn their way, helping you make or grow and sell cookies, muffins, bread, wooden toys, vegetables, or service lawns, baby-sit, etc. By 6 or 8, many can run businesses. See Minding Your Own Business (MYOB) for more than 400 cottage industries. Do comparison shopping: apples/oranges, Grapenuts/Sugar Pops, etc. (nutrition, frugality, and math lessons). Let your kids use your checking account to pay your bills. The bank corrects their "math papers."

And also, for a stark look at creepy child labor, check out the photography of Lewis Hine.


lisapizza said...

she looks so grown up. thanks for the excerpt - when I get home I'm gonna have Kiana start balancing my checkbook:) since I never do it anyway.

Anonymous said...

happy birthday yma!