Fridays are Chore Days at Heronfield. After Community Meeting, students push back the benches they were using, grab brooms, dust cloths, and the spare vacuum, and clean our common areas. In addition to the strong academic program, this weekly ritual is one of the reasons I love Heronfield.
A recent opinion piece in the NY Times, Happy Children Do Chores, highlights a longitudinal study that found “the best predictor for young adults’ success was whether they participated in household tasks at age 3 or 4.” Although it may not feel like it, chores help children connect to their family in ways that make them feel needed, competent, and trustworthy.
I would extend this to chores at Heronfield as well. Our students are happiest whenever they pitch in and work together. They collaborate on math problem sets and also on cobweb patrol. As the article points out, “The goal is to raise children who can balance a caring role in their families and communities … Chores teach that balance. They’re not just chores – they’re life skills.”
This summer the Heronfield Parent Partnership for the Year, HAPPY, balanced their own busy schedules to volunteer on campus. A dynamic team, Amy McLaughlin and her mother Linda Patchett, David Netishen, Lela Niemi and Melissa Litchfield, power-washed school buildings, pulled weeds, organized closets, framed artwork, cleaned cubbies and created an alumni photo wall. Like their children, they had fun working and planning together.
The faculty and I can’t wait to teach your middle school children important academic and social skills. And if you would like to be part of HAPPY, please reach out to Amy McLaughlin at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to have your help.