I have recently started reading an incredible book to the children called "Do Hard Things", it is written by a set of home educated twins. It is a teenage rebellion against low expectations that society places on teenagers.
Did you know that there were no "teens" until around 1900 when a number of labour and school reform laws were passed to protect children from the harsh conditions in factories?
These laws had some far reaching consequences as teens were removed from the workforce and had to attend school. They were no longer key producers and contributors. They became consumers. The teen years between childhood and adulthood became something new and distinctive. The teenager remade the world as we know it. Entire industries revolve around the consumer habits of teens - movies, music, fashion, fast food....
We have so enjoyed reading this book together and discussing the concept of rebelling against low expectations. There are five basic ideas of doing hard things in the book. They are:
1)doing things outside of our comfort zone
2)doing things that go beyond what is expected or required
3)doing things that are too big to accomplish alone
4) doing things that don't earn an immediate payoff
5)doing things that challenge the cultural norm
We have decided that they will all learn to do more around the home and gain some necessary life skills in the process. So today J and K learned how to operate the washing machine. J also did some baking for the family, which is usually K's job (not really a job to her as she loves baking!). I was amazed at his enthusiasm once he got round the idea. He made the most delicious cheese and bacon muffins and even caramelised the onion that he added to the mix!
We had also found an article in the weekend paper about kids making a difference.The Chaeli Campaign recently launched a Pay It Forward Programme. They help kids to make a difference in their communities by mentoring them for a year. The kids act as an ambassador for the Chaeli Campaign and at the end of the year, they will have a chance to organise their own fundraising for an issue that is close to their hearts. J sent them an email and we have already had a response , together with application forms! I am so excited for the children and we will have to see if they get accepted as ambassadors!