Monday, May 10, 2010

Adding value to the community

We've talked about kids working for $$. What about kids work that adds value to the community?

Too often, kids aren't included in adult work because adults don't think they have anything worth contributing. But kids need to see adults at work: they need to be included in adult work.

It's not easy; we are afraid that they will break equipment, or not do things well enough for our liking. Sometimes the work we are doing -especially on the computer- is not something we can include them in.
I try to find ways to if not include my girls, at least let them know what I am working on.

At my job as a project manager for an environmental organization, my daughters will sometimes help flyer, staff booths, educate people etc.One of my daughter's (14) is a strong writer and she has helped edit my writing.

They also have their own work which is meaningful to them. The girls volunteer where they can whether it is joining us in cleaning a creek from the trash that has been thrown into it, or creating documents for an event, or making buttons to promote a cause. Another daughter (12) plays violin and volunteers to help beginner students of the orchestra she is a part of.
My 14 year old keeps her own blog about how she views the world.

All this I call 'adding value' to the community; contributing to the world they live in as opposed to just taking or consuming. What they are doing is work that is well and truly needed-not some busy work designed to keep them off the streets.

When we had our radio project, we were privileged to meet people from all kinds of jobs and occupations who loved what they do (you can still listen to past radio shows by following the links).

Now I am mindful of the need to continue seeking out opportunities for my kids to not only learn about all kinds of work but also to learn from other in the community people.

I asked my youngest today what she wants to be when she grows up. Interestingly she answered, "Self employed as a psychiatrist or a dog whisperer. Or both." Plus she wants to own her own bakery-because she loves to bake.
With unschooling, kids get more of an opportunity to explore their interests which often do lead into self employment as they grew older.


Anonymous said...

Nice post. What about kids helping out in the house? You know, "adding value" to the household?

Monica said...

Great post! I agree that kids should contribute to their world and see what a value it is for them to be involved in the community one way or another.

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