Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Parenting Checklist

I am still reading Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful (I think I have around seven books on the go simultaneously. Not surprisingly I haven't finished any in a while!), and I thought these suggestions for family life for an early elementary child - ages 6 to 9 - were worth sharing. Donna Bryant Goertz recommends:

  • A slow-paced lifestyle with long hours of sleep on a regular schedule, a nutritious diet high in protein and fresh fruits and vegetables, plenty of exercise, and a generous amount of time in nature.
  • Someone to behold the child's face with joy, hold her, hug her, and treasure her for herself alone.
  • Someone to read chapter books aloud for twenty to thirty minutes every day, at a level three years beyond the child's reading level.
  • Someone to recite poetry every day, a new poem each week.
  • Someone to sing every day, a new song each week.
  • Someone to tell delightful stories of the child's own life.
  • An atmosphere of open curiosity and inquiry, in which everyone in the family treasures learning.
  • Responsibility for caring for himself and his own things as well as contributing to meal preparation and the care of the house, garden, and pets.
  • A two-hour weekly limit on all screen media - movies, videos, TV, and computer games - combined.
  • Freedom from being dragged around on errands.
  • Freedom from the cynicism and sarcasm appropriate to later years.
  • Parents who say no cheerfully and mean it.
  • Parents who wait until their children are in bed to listen to music, watch movies, play computer games, and watch TV programs, even the news, that are not appropriate to the children's ages or that would give children more media hours than is best for their development.
  • Parents who establish and uphold a family child-rearing culture that is appropriate the the child's age and who support age-appropriate independent thought and action and an age-appropriate role in decision making in as many areas and as often as possible.
I think Charlotte Mason would have approved.

I fall woefully short on almost all of these, but this list gives me a number of ideas for things to work on with Star, and for the future with Little Cherub.


Mary Ann said...

I wish I were free from dragging my kids around on errands!

Seriously, I'd have to pass on that one, until I can afford to hire a sitter while I run errands.

Anonymous said...

Oh but some of my children LOVE to come along on errands and I so much prefer to go it alone as it's So much faster. ;-)

I do agree that CM would have approved.

A lovely list.

Kristen Laurence said...

What an inspiring list. I fall short on most of these too. Thank you for posting them.

Meredith said...

Ok, this is a book we need, I need!! Great list, thanks for posting it!