What do children constitute as ‘work’?
Teachers often ask the questions; have you finished your work? Where’s your work? Don’t forget to put your name on your work? Are you going to take you work home? Is it your best work?
But it’s important that we realise that work is different for different ages children.
To sweep the floor and clean the house maybe work for me and you but for children it’s not work, it’s play. It’s a role play where the children pretend to be an adult, they operate as mum or dad would do, an older sibling, a big brother.
They crave to be like the role models around them and it’s crucial the we give them opportunities to develop those skills that will allow them to function in an adult world.
When we allow them to sweep the floor or wash the dishes, we are giving them a gateway into the adult world, a responsibility in the community, a sense of belonging rather than a sense that everyone else will take care of me until I’m old enough.
These types of work are not written down, you can’t hand them in for marking, they can’t be filed and presented at parent teacher night, but they are the most important types of work our children can do as we prepare them for the world where they will be required to play their part.