I love this article, Set Your Kids Free, that lists ten things that they should know how to do before they get to middle school. We tend to do things for our kids - but that deprives them of relying on themselves and gaining the satisfaction of being competent self-managers.
Teachers know that kids can be quite independent with some training, coaching and practice. Students are their partners in keeping classrooms functioning smoothly (cleaning up materials; doing chores; getting from place to place).
Here are some of the things that Elizabeth Stitt suggests that kids should be able to do before middle school.
- Get up, dressed and washed on their own
- Make their own breakfast - and lunch!
- Get all their stuff to school on their own
- Do homework on their own
- Do some cooking and cleaning
- Choose their own extra-curriculars (within your limits of time and funds)
- Ask the teacher for clarification or help when they need it
Making sure your children can do these by the time they are eleven is your assignment, parents! I know you will feel a deep sense of satisfaction and competency when you are done. :)