I was just a little surprised to learn that Carter would be starting kindergarten, at the ripe old age of 3, just a few months after moving to Canada. I considered putting her in a preschool a few days a week, but never did I think I would be sending her to an all day, every day, kindergarten class in a school that holds kids up to the 8th grade. Cue the mommy freak out. Of course, Carter loved it and I had nothing to do worry about.
It seems like all I did was blink my eyes and Carter has finished both jr. and sr. kindergarten and is getting ready to head off to the first grade. We are still trying to decide if she should stay at the school in our neighborhood or if we should send her to the french immersion a short drive away, but one thing we have decided on is that she will be given a handful of new age appropriate responsibilities this summer.
Currently, Carter’s “chores” include tidying up the toy room and her bedroom, putting away her clean laundry, and emptying the dishwasher. She can also earn money if she does any work above and beyond her regular responsibilities such as mopping, vacuuming, or dusting. But instead of adding to her chore list, I want to help her learn responsibility by encouraging her to take over some of the daily tasks I do for her.
5 tasks that help teach personal responsibility to 1st graders
Pack Her Own Bag
For all of jr. and sr. kindergarten, I packed up Carter’s backpack for school. I also pack up a bag for her when we are going to be gone for the day with snacks and activities. This summer, I am going to teach Carter to start packing her own bag. This will help her learn to decide what is and isn’t important to bring along places and it will help her learn to remember her “must haves” like a snack, water bottle, or her homework when the school year begins.
Learn to Use a Calendar
Of course, Carter can’t keep a calendar all on her own, but I am going to have her start looking over my calendar with me so that she can be aware of our daily plans. This will help her to understand how our plans are laid out. She can see that Tuesday is a trip to Wonderland, Thursday is her playdate with Emma, and Saturday and Sunday dad will be away for a tournament. She can spend the summer learning and understanding how a calendar works and then when the school year starts, we can start adding assignments and special school events to the calender for her to track.
Shower Without Help
Learning to shower alone is not only for my own sanity, but also for her to learn about proper hygiene and self care. This will help me out a lot by taking some of the responsibility off of me to get all three kids clean at some point every few days. It will also help Carter learn the basics of washing her hair and her body without my help.
Get Ready for the Day Without Prompting
Carter can definitely already pick out her clothes for school. I don’t always maker her, mostly because I enjoy picking out what she wears, but she can accomplish that task. My goal for this summer is to teach her to get completely ready to leave the house on her own. Dressed in an appreciate outfit for the occasion, hair and teeth brushed, shoes on, and bag packed all without me guiding her step by step.
Make Her Own Breakfast
Carter can already make herself simple breakfast options like toast, cereal, and frozen waffles, but this year summer and upcoming school year, I want her to learn to make a more filling option for herself. When I stumbled upon Quaker Oats’ Overnight Oats recipes, I knew it would be a perfect stepping stone for Carter to start making herself more wholesome breakfast options. The overnight oats recipes use oats, milk or yogurt, fruit, and seasoning to create a filling breakfast that is easy to prepare the night before and easy to grab in the hustle and bustle of the morning school rush.
We tested these oats out recently and Carter was so excited to take charge and prepare her breakfast before she headed off to bed. She was even more excited to try out her creations when she woke up, and of course, she loved it. Now she asks me every night if she can make herself some overnight oats.
If you are interested in learning more about Quaker Oats’ Overnight Oats or to find simple and delicious recipes, visit OvernightOats.ca.
- 1/2 cup Quaker Large Flake Oats
- 1/2 cup milk or milk substitute
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/3 cup bananas
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp chia seeds, optional
- In a mason jar or bowl, add Quaker Oats, milk and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
- Add a layer of blueberries, a layer of banana and then top with chia seeds and drizzle with honey.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
I hope these tips help your big soon to be 1st grader get excited about gaining responsibilities and growing towards independence. Now go and enjoy some Overnight Oats.
Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.