We'll continue today where we left off yesterday, discovering the virtues of the family workroom! The more I ponder the points made herein, the more I see the wisdom of creating a vision, or "mission statement", if you will, for working together as a family.
"The invention of modern labor-saving devices, and the resulting division of labor and of the arts and crafts into many different branches, has, to a large extent, taken these processes out of the ordinary home. Even in rural districts the increase in population and the improved means of transportation have produced the same change. Thus it is the exception rather than the rule for a farmer to mend his own harness or to half-sole his own boots, to make repairs on his premises, to paint and varnish--or in some cases even to whitewash. a these different tasks are let out to persons who do them by the day or hour at prices that would formerly have been prohibitory.
"You didn't say you put onions in this sauerkraut!"The argument that the farmer himself makes more money than he did formerly, that his time is therefore more valuable, and that it is cheaper for him to have work done by others than to do it himself, is sometimes put forth as though it were unanswerable. Whether or not it is cheaper in dollars and cents to neglect the family workroom and hire everything done, the saving of money will be dearly won if it results in the making of cheap men. And the most thoughtful students of present-day conditions fear that this is the present tendency. The minds of children are turned over to the common schools, their morals to the Sunday Schools, and their hands and fingers are neglected altogether except for what they learn in play. This is a convenient arrangement, and obviously at the moment saves time and trouble for the parents; but it offers little assurance of the development of a sort of manhood and womanhood in the children that will not in time to come be a source of much more serious trouble.
"Give the Children a Chance.--The tendency to simplify farm work by hiring everything done that can be done instead of doing the work at home, and to simplify housework by the purchase of patent washing and cleaning preparations, the employment of laundresses, dressmakers, and the like, should be resisted by all intelligent persons on account of the educational benefit to the children of doing such work in the home.
"Some day my prince will come!"
The example is something in itself, but it is even more important to give the children an opportunity to lend a hand in the actual work, and to acquire the skill and ability to perform the necessary household processes for themselves. Farm work and housework are regarded more and more in the light of drudgery in proportion as they become simplified, since simplicity leads to routine and monotony.
To diversify the work of the house and of the farm is the first step in the direction of increasing its education benefits to the rising generation, and this diversity can and should be brought to a focus in the family workshop."
Truly, inspiration for those work-weary days!
Now, here are are a few pictures of our "Little House" shelf makeover, that the girls (and Frankie of course) helped me make last week:
"While Pa was driving nails to hold the strings for the curtains, Ma brought out two long strips of brown wrapping-paper that she had saved. She folded them, and she showed Mary and laura how to cut tiny bits out of the folded paper with the scissors. When each uhfolded her paper, there was a row of stars.
Ma spread the paper on the shelves behind the stoves. The stars hung over the edges of the shelves, and the light shone through them."
~Laura Ingalls Wilder, "On the Banks of Plum Creek"
Ours was made with paper that my "Ma" rescued from the packaged potato factory where she used to work! And we copied the design from the pattern on the dollhouse I've had since I was little.
We used a box cutter to cut out the figures, et voila! The camera doesn't show it, but it does look pretty when the light shines behind it! (Now to paint over that ugly brown paneling!)
May your "Little House" be blessed today!