Thursday, March 17, 2011

SAHM Struggle: Clean Rooms

I am a proponent of teaching kids organizational skills, just like any other life skill - hand washing, polite speaking, and nice treatment to animals. We organize lots at my house (see my Organizing the Kitchen series) and I like discussing with Ty and Za where items belong, and why this goes here, that there, etc. Picking up is part of life, so we do it.

Then why does my house look like this?



It isn't my entire house I realize, but the toy room/my 'work' room (see my computer in the left corner?) is typically unwalkable. Most nights it is reassembled and most nights the kids and parents do it together.

See Za? She is having so much fun, surrounded by her books. She is 'reading' them, which thrills me as a mommy-teacher. She is in one of the first stages of reading, yay! So while I think that, the other mommy side of me thinks, "she should take one or two out, put it back, and then get more." The root of this worry is that I don't want my kids to be dependent people who rely on others to clean after them.

I also know that learning is a messy process. When I assemble a portfolio, I spread my papers everywhere and then sort them. When I write a research paper, I make piles of notecards and library books on the kitchen table. Learning is not a neat path that only takes place at a desk. I know this.

So then why do I stress so much over having a neat house? I shouldn't. I have two little kids, who want to learn and explore. I prefer their messiness to a lack of motivation or interest.