One of the things I love about homeschooling is how easy it is to incorporate Life Skills into everyday learning.
You may say, ” What are Life Skills?” They are the learned behaviors that help us get along in this world. Helping your children to be self learners, independent thinkers, problem solvers, resourceful and more are all a part of this package.
Through the years I've never kept a list but I've tried to be aware of things to teach and show my daughter, beyond the book work, as she grows and matures.
Learning Opportunities for Life Skills
When children are young it's a good think to have them earn a small allowance and then talking with them about where that money goes. Tithe, Save, Spend. For our daughter, she tithes to church, saves some, and then if she can spend the rest. We also discuss what spending might look like. She has free reign with her spending money but we talk about how easy it is to blow it on something fun that doesn't last or use it for something you really want. For the past few years, she has used her spending money to care for her pets. And then occasionally she will treat herself. She's very frugal with her own money LOL! As they get older your child can start to manage their own bank account. They can keep track of how much interest they are earning and make deposits into their account.
You're never too young to volunteer. Children love to help others. Everyone has an ability that can be used in serving others. Now that our daughter has hit her teens we're finding great volunteer opportunities for her all over the place.
Opportunities are vast and plentiful. You can also think out the box when it comes to helping others out. A neighbor's son cares for the yard of another older neighbor. Our daughter helps with the kids programs in our church during the summer. When I worked outside the home at a hospital there was a special volunteer program just for teens. Volunteering can help your child decide what they may want to do for a career later in life. It also encourages a sense of responsibility and reminds your child that their presence is important in the world. along with teaching the life skills of being on time and being dependable. Volunteering exposes your children to a variety of situations and many different types of people.
How about a small business for your child? A little entrepreneurship is a great way to learn valuable skills. A simple paper route, a lemonade stand, or a few crafty items to sell at the local holiday bazaar gives your child the opportunity to put their education into real-life practice. Delivering papers on time, collecting money from the customers on the route, and counting the total of money earned is a great education in lessons of math, people skills and responsibility.
Gardening is another great way to learn life skills. Gardening can be part of your child's science lessons and will teach them basic science principles such as growing food from seed, figuring out the best conditions, and how to do it in the most efficient way. Also when children grow the food they are eating them are much more interested in eating it! Gardening can teach your child where our food comes from.
How about the everyday skills needed to overcome setbacks, disappointments, and frustrations? These are real issues for everyone and if you can get children going in the right direction when they are young that's a bonus. Helping your child cope with these feelings can be hard and you may be unsure of where to begin. I recommend the course Create Coping Skills Champions at Home. This self-paced class , created by a licensed Mental Health Counselor will, give you the tools to help your children grow and deal with their feelings (if you purchased the 2018 Ultimate Homemaking Bundle you have access to this course).
Basic Household Duties:
Yay my favorite! There are basic household duties that every child should know. Keeping their room tidy, doing their own laundry and making a simple meal are some skills that will serve your child well in life. Give your child the opportunity to learn these skills when they are young, so that they do not have a constant struggle in these areas as an adult. Need a good place to start? Chores!
Your childís middle school years are a time where their world is expanding rapidly. There is always more that they can learn, however. Give your child these opportunities and see them continue to grow to become a responsible child who will someday become a responsible adult.