Training the Lunchtime Help

As I sit here writing this post, it is lunch time. Lunch is being made and I am not even in the kitchen. Well then how in the world is lunch being made? It is being made by my awesome children! Yes, if you had not caught on yet…I homeschool my children. I usually purpose to not mention this because I don’t want this blog to be about homeschooling. It is a part of who we are as a family, but I believe the things I write about can apply to any mom, whether homeschooling or not, working or stay-at-home. A mom is a mom no matter what her makeup. Please know that I never want anyone to think that I believe everyone should homeschool. It is a decision we made that is right for our family and no one else. Homeschooling is not right for everyone and that decision should be made between you, your husband and with much prayer. That said, I pack one lunch per day and it is for The Driver. The rest of lunch is made about noon each day when we break for lunch.

My children being the ones who make lunch did not just happen. It took work on my part during the summer. One of the biggest problem areas in our school schedule last year was that I couldn’t seem to break away from school and make lunch at the same time. Imagine that…I couldn’t be in two places at once! So I took a look around at the very capable hands of my children and began to train them to take this over for me in the current school year.

Each day during the summer, I set aside the time to bring a child alongside me in the kitchen to learn how to eventually do it themselves. Of course I want my children to learn kitchen skills anyway because it will benefit them into adulthood, but this is one of the avenues in which they are getting there. Each week I worked to be less and less of a participant in the meal making and eventually just stood there for advice.

Now that the school year is here, I have made up a schedule of who makes lunch on what days. It looks like this:

Monday – The Negotiator
Tuesday – Mini-Me
Wednesday – Littlest One
Thursday – The Talker
Friday – Daughter of Purpose

Obviously since DOP is only 5-years-old, I do most of the work on Fridays, but I purposely put her on Fridays since I seem to have a bit more time on those days.

I also made a large print list of lunch options that hangs on the side of my refrigerator along with who makes lunch on each day. This way the kids can do what I do when I meal plan, they can go straight to the list and pick something that is acceptable and available. It looks like this:

Top Ramen Soup
Mac-n-Cheese
Sandwiches
Quesadillas
Beans with hot dogs
Cinnamon-Sugar Tortillas
Pot of Oatmeal

Each of my children seems to have taken to a certain food item and I pretty much know what to expect on each day for lunch. When my parents come to visit on Mondays, they know that The Negotiator will be making Top Ramen Soup. On Tuesdays when we fly in the door from Biblestudy, I can bet my life that we will be having Mac-n-Cheese made by Mini-Me. The Talker is random, but Littlest One tends to be into making Cinnamon-Sugar Tortillas lately. Frankly it doesn’t matter to me what they fix, I’m just happy to know that lunch is being made and I can have the freedom to get a few extra things done or help someone with their schoolwork. It helps there to be more of me to go around. That’s a win-win for everyone!

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