Life skills are important, and homeschooling is a great way to incorporate them into our day to day life and teach our kids responsibility. Here are some ideas to get you started.
When you homeschool, your home is not only the place you eat and sleep every day, it’s also your classroom. And your arts and crafts room. And your science lab. And . . .
Well, you get the picture.
Keeping it all organized, uncluttered, and livable isn’t the easiest task. Plus, you want to teach your kids to have these important life skills, right? Nobody wants to send their kids out into the world unprepared for doing the basic chores that are required in life.
Add to that learning necessary skills like budgeting, saving, and other essential responsibilities. How can you fit it all into your homeschool day? What do they really need to know about these things?
Natural Learning Opportunities
The easiest, and maybe the best, way to teach household responsibilities and life skills is to mirror it for your children. Let them see you doing things like paying the bills, doing the taxes, laundry, cooking, and the like.
When they observe you, they learn naturally. As they become older and more capable, let them begin to help you right along as you do these types of activities. Once they become familiar with how things are done, begin to give them increasing responsibility for themselves.
Good habits and routines cannot be overemphasized. Work becomes easier and faster when it’s part of a good habit and having a good attitude together as a family. Teamwork gets the job done faster so everyone can move on to reading and learning activities for the day.
Incentives and Tools
You can also build incentives into the work by using charts, apps, and other tools. If your kids enjoy screen-time, using an app might be appealing. There are many available that can track chores, homeschooling lessons, and life events all in one.
Take advantage of “gamifying” the work. When you make a game or challenge of the work, kids are more likely to be motivated to complete the work. Reward them with a special gift or an allowance. Then teach them how to save and spend the allowance wisely.
Important Life Skills
There’s more to life than chores and academics in our homeschool journey. We don’t want to forget to pass along essential life skills that our children will need when they leave the nest!
Here are a few important life skills that I didn’t learn in public school, but that I’m teaching in my homeschool:
- how to open a bank account and balance a checkbook
- how to stick to a budget at the grocery store
- how to use a spreadsheet to keep track of income and expenses
- how to keep track of their credit score and manage credit cards
- how to sew (basic hand sewing and using a sewing machine)
- how to do laundry
- Entrepreneurship (how to start and manage their own business)
- Critical thinking skills, how to recognize good logic from fallacies
- Goal setting and time management
- Communication skills and dealing with difficult people/situations
Remember to have realistic expectations based on age and ability. Not everything has to be accomplished overnight! Have grace and patience as you provide a good example for your children.
What life skills do you plan to teach your children?