Monday, January 10, 2011

Work Opportunities for Children

Sometimes finding work opportunities for children can be challenging.  Daily chores create opportunity for routine work experience, and tasks like lawn mowing or pulling weeds in the garden provide opportunity for extra jobs that can provide learning and fulfillment for children.  But it’s important that purposeful work be provided that is not part of the daily routine.  Children should not be made to feel that ‘work’ is a negative concept and is just something they have to do to make their parent’s lives easier.  An altruistic spirit is good and work can help create it, but that is not the entire purpose and role of work as a part of a home school curriculum.  Children can develop work attitudes and a sense of self-worth if they have work related jobs that are unique to them and provide them with a sense of fulfillment.  Thus, special care needs to be taken in helping a children in this role.  In the past, school children could harvest cucumbers or strawberries for pay, or work on a farm changing irrigation pipes.  Regulations regarding the age that children can be employed has made it more difficult for children to find work related roles, so creative thought must be applied!  Helping a child establish a small home business is one way of providing meaningful work related opportunities for them and a good way for them to earn extra money. 
Here are some ideas of work opportunities for children:

1.   Being a mother’s assistant or babysitting.

2.   Washing cars.

3.   Baking homemade bread and selling it to neighbors.

4.   Having a bake sale.

5.   Setting up a lemonade stand.

6.   Participating in a yard sale and having a table of toys, clothes, or things not wanted or needed any more.

7.   Folding laundry and/or ironing shirts for a neighbor or relative.

8.   Sewing aprons or cushions and selling them to friends and neighbors.

9.   Growing a vegetable or flower garden and selling the produce or flowers.

10. Writing a monthly neighborhood newspaper and selling it for a quarter to community members.

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