Did you grow up with a set table with a family meal to sit down to each day?
Maybe it’s utopia but I did. And most days, we still sit down together as a family to eat together. And the table is set. Sometimes it’s two times a day and sometimes we miss a meal together because of evening games or activities.
A family meal creates a place of conversation and connectivity we wouldn’t otherwise have. Ahead of the day, planning a meal together forces us to talk about schedules and timing to make sure we can be together. Most of the time, I prepare the meal but I figured out the math on what it would do for my life if my children set the table.
Now I am a woman who took College Algebra, twice and that’s it. I found a major that required as little math as possible. But when the crunched the numbers and double-checked them, it will save me ELEVEN days of my life over the next THIRTEEN years if my children set the table five nights a week.
It’s been on the “chore” list Miss E and Miss A have been working from this year. But when I had to prepare our first 4-H Cloverbud’s lesson, for our first club meeting in our small town, I chose the “Setting the Table” lesson from the 1987 North Dakota State University Extension curriculum. After all, doesn’t every parent want to save ELEVEN days of their life to have more time to play with their kids, get some sleep and live life to the fullest instead of setting the table?
And don’t we all want to carve out just a little more time with our loved ones, over a family meal?
I printed off copies of this little easy-to-learn tutorial place mat and the doodle mats shown at Positively Splendid for all twelve children that showed up for our first 4-H Cloverbuds meeting. Cloverbuds are ages 5-7. Our community has not a club for the little ones in recent years but Miss E and many of her friends are thrilled to get started in the new club. I brought linens from my mom, paper plates, salad plates, spoons, forks, knives, napkins and glasses. I demonstrated, step by step how to set a table and stressed how helpful they can be by doing this for their family. The kids listened and were glued to this lesson. It was so fun to see. They partnered up and each practiced setting their table three times. Then we painted pumpkins with much help from parents. After all, every table needs a centerpiece and homemade centerpieces make parents smile and reflect on the many blessings we have, that just maybe setting our table, in our life. [Disclaimer: I rarely have centerpieces but homemade ones made by my kids are favorites.]
What “chores” or lessons you remember being taught or teach your children? I need ideas and to add to my list!
Crystal Cattle says
Love this. And yes it my sister and I’s duty to set AND clear the table. It was one of the things my mom noticed the first about a new friend or boyfriend if they got up to clear the table.
Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids says
My two year old fills out a chore chart each week. His daily chores are to help do the following things: make bed, set table, load dishwasher, feed dog, put dirty clothes in laundry basket and pick up toys. Growing up my sisters and I had to set table, clean table, do laundry, fold laundry (that might be an idea or even how to iron), vacuum, dust, and put away groceries (you could do something about grocery shopping or helping with meal planning???).