Charlotte Mason, a prominent homeschool philosopher referred to education as an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life. As an occupational therapist consulting with homeschools, I could not agree more. Making the choice to educate at home almost immediately means that education does not stop at 3:00 when school hours end. Life skills such as cooking, cleaning, pet care, shopping, and care for others are often interspersed through the day. Education becomes the culture of the home therefore all aspects of life become education.
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living are defined by the American Occupational Therapy Association as those activities that support daily life within the home and community that often require more complex interactions than those used in ADLS. There are many IADL's that we address in our homeschool but we will focus on chores for this post.
Everyday, after our morning time, we divide up into coop/loop time. Coop time is where we take care of the house, loop time is something that each kid does independently. It rotates daily on a loop, hence the name. We live in a three story house so we rotate through upstairs, main floor, downstairs, bathroom, and kitchen. Every child picks one thing to do within that zone and we spend 30 ish minutes cleaning. On a large scale, the kids are learning independent initiation, organization, cooperation, turn taking, and even empathy. On a smaller scale, these chores can address specific skills.
Since education includes lifeskills, this is the perfect combination of occupational therapy and homeschooling. Collins Academy Therapy Services consults directly with homeschool educators to implement OT strategies into the homeschool. Contact us to set up a consultation for your homeschool.
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