One of my favorite classes to teach is Chores class. Although it is very difficult to see the benefits of teaching kids who forget to squeeze out rags, end up spreading the dust pile instead of sweeping it into the dustpan, and who manage to misplace their sweaters between the walk from the classroom to the playground; the benefits of teaching children that the condition of their environment is their collective responsibility far outweighs the growing pains of learning how to do it.
We have three overarching school rules at the Academy and one of them is to “Do your part to keep a clean and ordered environment.” Through this rule, students are learning a very important truth; that we are all responsible for the condition of the environment that we live in and that it takes a collective effort to ensure that it remains ordered. One of the very first lessons in Chores class for the Kindergartners helps them to identify issues within their environment. Being able to label something as ordered/disordered or clean/unclean are biblical values we see in the Torah (i.e. God ordering the world in Genesis and the priesthood distinguishing between clean and unclean in Leviticus).
This semester, students have been given more opportunities to practice this responsibility both individually and collectively. Surprisingly, students always rise to the occasion when given the opportunity to take on a new responsibility. They want to feel a part of the whole being able to do their chores and order their environment allows them to receive immediate gratification as they see how their actions help to make a place hospitable to the whole. Chores in that way aren’t a burden for children that keep them away from “having fun” but an opportunity for them to experience satisfaction because they know they are doing their part. Encourage your student to also make sure they are doing their part in their home.