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Monday, June 14, 2010

Cleaning the House while Gaining Practical Life Skills

These learning experiences are my favorite. Not only do my children learn valuable practical life skills to use in their adult life, I get a cleaner house in return! They really enjoy helping me make our own cleaning products. We turn this into a learning experience. First we read the back of an everyday store-bought cleaner, then we pick out a few of the ingredients on the back and research what they are and if they are hazardous. We talk about how we might could make safer cleaning products. I found some great make-your-own cleaning products at eartheasy and care2. They offer some great alternatives. I do have to say that my favorite is the cleaning wipes. I could not survive without them at this stage in my life. My children love mixing up the solution. We are also able to get some math (concept of one-half - cutting paper towels in 1/2; measurement using the teaspoon, etc.) and science (learning about essential oils and their properties) and history (origination of essential oils -- they love learning about how they used them in Egypt.) We also discuss the importance of labeling items correctly and I have one of the children label my container of cleaning solution with a warning and skull and cross bones. This way everyone knows that it is not ingestible. I love the fact that after this practical life lesson, I wind up with a whole new box and cleaning wipes and it is a great lesson that naturally leads up to doing a few jobs around the house!

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