Continuing to build our understanding of Practical Life, let’s take an in depth look at Ironing…
Ironing is the culminating activity in a trifecta of Practical Life lessons. This series begins with Polishing, a lesson typically given earlier in the child’s time in the Children’s House. The cloths used in Polishing are then put in the bin for Cloth Washing. When they dry after being washed, they go into the basket for Ironing. Children’s House Guide Jessie Braud shares, “Ironing is the crowning piece of this three-part cycle. The child must be old enough and mature enough to be given the responsibility of working with the combination of water, electricity and heat. There is a definite pride in being given this lesson.”
After plugging the iron in, the child must wait for it to heat. Here, Ms. Braud shares, they normally sing a song of the child’s choosing. When the child is later doing the work on their own, they can often be found singing to themselves at this time!
Many dismiss ironing as an outdated practice. But notice the child’s joy in this work. Let us not allow our views to hinder our children’s possibilities. Rather, let us allow their joy in work to kindle within us the willingness to partake and find meaning in our own work.
This story through pictures would not be possible without the skillful work of Melinda Smith. Many thanks Melinda.