Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Homeschool Memoirs - Life Skills

One of the benefits of homeschool is that you can teach your kids all those wonderful skills that are necessary to living a successful life, but aren’t often taught in a formal “school” setting. Things like laundry, housecleaning, meal planning, tending to livestock, building a fence, and caring for younger siblings. We also have the added benefit that our children become a more vested part of the “family team” when it comes to taking care of things at home.
Tell us about your experience with teaching life skills.

I have finally passed on a number of the household chores to the children. I had to let go of putting away the clothes - thanks to all that made me see reason. It has been a freeing experience! :)

I no longer put away the clothes, empty the dishwasher, take out the trash, keep their bathroom or bedrooms clean (although I help occasionally), or wipe up the table and counters. It is nice not only to lift some of the responsibility off of me, but to be teaching them what it takes to keep a household at the same time. They are still enjoying their chore charts on Handipoints, which allows them to earn an allowance of sorts.

Ellie is becoming quite good at following a recipe, using the oven and mixer, and delighting in her own baked goods. I am excited about her cooking skills, especially since this is an area that I generally don't enjoy much.

Besides the obvious household chores and cooking (which are definitely very important!!), here are some other skills which I would like my children to learn before they graduate:

1. Changing a flat tire and how to care for a vehicle.

2. Keeping a budget, writing checks, and spending their money wisely.

3. Computer skills - in this day and age, so much is done on the computer!

4. Sewing - simple buttons and hems, but also how to use a sewing machine. (oh, I wish I had learned this one as a child!)

5. Taking care of a baby and small children.

6. Simple household repairs - changing light bulbs, turning the power and water off, using basic tools, etc.

7. Basic First Aid and CPR

8. Emergency preparedness - what to do in case of an earthquake, a fire, etc.

9. Basic gardening and yard work. How to use the lawnmower, etc.

10. How to make good coffee (my husband will laugh at this one!) I never drink coffee so I rarely am the one that makes it. If someone came over, I would probably be embarrassed to make them a cup of coffee. Shame on me! I'm still working on this one....

11. Time management and scheduling.

12. Social Skills. To have good manners. To be polite and courteous. To get along with others. Conflict resolution. How to be a good friend.

13. To be life-long learners. One of the most important things I wish to teach my children is that they never have to stop learning. They don't have to be in a college or school setting to study something they enjoy. I want them to be inquisitive and to continue finding things that they are interested in.

I'm sure that there are many more things that could be added to this list.

So many young adults start out on their own completely clueless about the world around them. I hope that I send my children out into the world knowing how to care for themselves and a family of their own.

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momtofivekids said...

This is a wonderful list. Blessings!

Momofsix said...

Wait till they are all older you will see the fruits of all of your labor and teaching because the true test comes into play when mom is very ill and all things still function as they should!

Praise the Lord!

Mom of 6-