I try to raise Sonshine to be as independent as he can be. He is not there yet, there are loads of things I have to help him still. But I try to be conscious of what he is capable of doing. My philosophy is, as long as he is more than able to tackle a task then, do it himself he must.
It started when he was in Kindergarten 1. Back then, I had an infant to mind and there was no other adult at home in the day to help. You can say circumstances forced him to be independent. From then onwards, I only gave verbal instructions to him and expected him to follow up. It was then he started a wee bit of independence, he learnt to put on & buttoned/unbuttoned his uniform (which help us greatly now since he's primary uniform is also button on), he even watched the clock & would automatically put on his uniform when it was time! Gradually, I got him to pack his own bag (though there was nothing much to pack), I held him accountable for remembering things to bring to school and follow up his own homework. Even for spelling revision, I didn't sit down and teach him but made him learn on his own.
All these are catching up with us today- in a good way. These habits are still in existent now that Sonshine is in primary school. It does not matter that it is 6:30am in the morning, everyone is bleary-eyed and the sky's still dark, I still make him put on his uniform, shoes, socks on his own. He carries his own bag to and from school-rain or shine. I casually told him he should pack his own bag and I was pleasantly suprised when he actually packed his bag without my prompting! Today, he is still learning his spelling on his own while I merely spring a suprise test on him every now and then.
While it is natural and normal for 6-7 year olds to be forgetting their homework, instructions from school, losing their belongings etc, Sonshine is sparing us from all of that. I suppose the little independence training he had helped him to be on the ball i.e. he brings back what he's suppose to bring back and hands in what he's suppose to. He is fully aware that he is responsible for his own school matters- not mummy.
I am humbly thankful and grateful. Because of him, I get to help other mothers with kids in the same class (yes, he makes me look good). It spurs me on to make him as independent as soon as possible- then my life would be so easy! LOL!