Stirring the Soup (I Mean Sauce)

I’ve talked many times about my Youngest Person Rule. It basically says that the youngest person capable of doing a job does it. The corollary is that when you’ve taught one of your younger siblings how to do your job, they can take it over and you can get a new job.


One of the follow-up questions I’m often asked is, “What are age appropriate jobs for my children?”

There is no right or wrong answer to that. It varies from child to child and depends upon their aptitudes and temperaments. One thing it does not depend upon is their desire. It doesn’t matter if they want to do a job.  If the job needs to be done and they are capable of doing it, they do it. That’s just a part of life. If that makes me a mean mom, I’m ok with that.

One of the things that is really important around here is food. The Jonas family may not be very tall, but we eat a LOT of food. People are often amazed at the quantities we consume. So around here, children learn very early to cook.

The older 5 children each have a day that they are responsible for making dinner. (I’m hoping that in a couple of more years, I’ll have all the days of the week covered and I won’t have to cook dinner for a few years!)

I teach the children to make individual meals that they particularly enjoy. So each child has at least 3 meals that they can completely prepare by themselves. Hewitt is starting to be taught with lessons on making scrambled eggs and omelettes.

On a side note, Jim (who gets bored by too much repetition) recently instituted a policy that each child has to make one new meal a month. This has produced some really good (and really bad) results. The children have learned that just because something sounds good in a magazine does not mean that people will actually eat it. LOL

Anyway, back to the youngest person rule.

Here is a video about Emery and one of his recent dinner nights. Emery’s special meal is chicken alfredo made with our goat milk.  Emery decided to do some training of his own:

As I was filming him, I was really pleased to discover that he actually listened and retained what I’ve been teaching. He taught his younger sisters how to help with cooking.

For now I’ll ignore the fact that his motivation was so that he could escape and read his book.


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