May 11, 2011

Life Skill: How to Properly Wash Dishes

Teaching children how to properly wash dishes prevents broken dishes and instills them with an important life skill.


Why Teach Dishwashing?

Our life skill this week is properly washing dishes. I know you're thinking "You load them in the dishwasher, put the soap tablet in, close the door and push ON. How hard is that?" 

Ahem.. not in my world. 


We still do it the old-fashioned way. Yes, it's more eco-friendly to use a dishwasher but this house doesn't have one. In fact, I've rarely had one. Even if I owned one, I still want the children to understand there is a proper way to handwash the dishes.


I've had a few broken glasses lately because people are putting them in the bus pan and other dishes are being stacked upon them. It's time to teach the correct way!



How to Properly Wash Dishes

When I was young, dishwashers were a "new" thing and I never even saw one until I was 11 years old. I remember my grandma (she raised me) teaching me the proper order of washing dishes when I was 9 years old. Here's what she taught me and I'm passing on to my own children.

1. Start with a clean sink. Even if the sink is full of dishes, take them out and stack them each according to it's kind. Clean the sink and fill with hot, soapy water.


2. Wash the dishes from cleanest to dirtiest. This only makes sense. Washing glasses after greasy pans results in greasy glasses. Also, it reduces how many times you need to change the dirty water. Dry dishes if the dish drainer becomes full before all dishes are finished. Yes, a child must be told this simple thing or the full drainer will signal the end of the chore in their minds!



Wash dishes in proper order

  • Silverware
  • glasses
  • plates/bowls
  • cooking utensils (spatulas, slotted spoons, etc.)
  • serving dishes (gravy boats, serving bowls, platters, etc.)
  • bake ware (cookie sheets, baking pans)
  • pots and pans
3. Clean and dry the sink. A dirty sink may attract bugs and develop odors. But waking up to a shiny sink is a joy. Trust me on this. To start the day looking at sink-crud is a real motivation killer, but to walk into the kitchen in the morning to find a sparkling clean sink is very uplifting.

And these are the lessons being taught to the children this week.



How about you? What life skill are you teaching in your homeschool?

Happy Homeschooling!


Michelle

9 comments:

Audrey said...

Austin learned to wash dishes several years ago when my Mom had knee surgery. But, I must admit, it wasn't necessarily the "proper" way. He's about to turn 13 and is still learning the proper way to load the dishwasher. This seems to be a male thing, because neither he nor my husband load it to my satisfaction. LOL

Right now, Austin is learning how to care for a new baby, now that he is an uncle. He's been around babies before, but never to this degree. We have spent one to two nights per week at Joel & Brittany's house, helping them with the nighttime care so that they can get some sleep. I think this is really good for Austin. Brittany had this experience when Austin was born. She turned 11 the month after he was born.

Jennifer in MamaLand said...

This is a great life skill. I do a slightly different order, which makes sense for us:
1. Cooking utensils (because they're BIG and float to the top and get in the way)
2. Glasses
3. Plates / bowls
4. Cutlery (that's what we call silverware around here)
5. Pots, pans and other big stuff (no serving dishes here!)
Anyway, this is a good reminder to teach this to the kids, though I fear it is too late for the older ones...

Anonymous said...

Ahem.. So I will be teaching my children from your fabulous how-to blog soon ( I so hate washing dishes lol )

Actually I have always had a dish washer whether it be my MOM, My husband, or a real dishwasher.. For some reason I rather clean a toilet~> ewww I know right?
But Anyways In our home right now my kids are learning the value of money and how to manage it they have chores and each has a price, if they want things they must do thier chores and then put so much of thier income into savings and then they may spend the rest $-)

Keri
Sahm to my 2 little Online Learners

Heather said...

Oh man this brought back memories! We had a dishwasher (me!) but not an automatic one until I was in middle school. There is so much self-discipline and order being taught with simple dish washing! LOVE it!

Becky said...

I might print this out for my kids to work on! ;-)

Traci's Teaching Times said...

A great post. I think all children need this for life. My children have to load the dish washer, but from time to time I require them to wash by hand. I want to make sure they are prepared for life. Their home may not have a dish washer in it when they grow up so these are skills they will need.

Michelle said...

Thanks so much for all the comments! Wow... who knew a simple little post on dishwashing would be so helpful! :-)

Traci's Teaching Times said...

A great post. I think all children need this for life. My children have to load the dish washer, but from time to time I require them to wash by hand. I want to make sure they are prepared for life. Their home may not have a dish washer in it when they grow up so these are skills they will need.

Jennifer in MamaLand said...

This is a great life skill. I do a slightly different order, which makes sense for us:
1. Cooking utensils (because they're BIG and float to the top and get in the way)
2. Glasses
3. Plates / bowls
4. Cutlery (that's what we call silverware around here)
5. Pots, pans and other big stuff (no serving dishes here!)
Anyway, this is a good reminder to teach this to the kids, though I fear it is too late for the older ones...