The week is coming to a close. I hope that you found the previous posts here and from other homeschooling bloggers helpful as you gear up for the new homeschool year.
What I want to touch on today is how life skills and homeschooling go hand in hand.
Depending upon your season of homeschooling, the place where you reside on the spectrum for incorporation of life skills might be different than where I or another homeschooler resides. It’s all dependent upon the age and stage of your child and how you can incorporate it into the schedule and still meet whatever local requirements govern you.
Regardless of where you are, I strongly believe that life skills can sometimes trump the need for book work.
Life skills that are incorporated at an early age include basic chores such as making a bed and emptying the dishwasher. As a child ages, you can begin to give more responsibility and more difficult tasks. The boys have enjoyed the addition of cooking to the list of skills they need to master. Not only are they helping the family, but they get to eat the finished product! And, once they are able to do laundry I feel like a little less is taken off my plate.
I’d do no great service to my boys if I waited on them hand and foot.
Once they are old enough, I also encourage the boys to interact with other adults in settings they will encounter in life. This is a challenge for most of my boys who would rather scrub a toilet than pick up the phone to make a call. And, I’ve had them forgo a free cookie at the store if it meant they had to ask the bakery clerk for it.
When J was born, the oldest boys soon got lessons in basic child care (how to hold and rock a baby, changing diapers, feeding, bathing, etc.)
Unlike some of the classes I’ve seen in public schools, there is no question that they have a good understanding of how it all works and that babies do not always do what you want them to do. I also have 2 babysitters in the house which affords my husband and I time for date nights on a semi-regular basis. Nourishing our marriage is important and something the boys learn through our example.
Once the boys hit middle and high school, they start to learn from dad how to take care of the yard and vehicles. Not only are they gaining valuable skills, but they have some special bonding time with dad. The boys are not big fans of some equipment, but lawn and garden stuff is something they’ll do without much complaint.
When May arrives this coming year, my eldest will no longer be homeschooled. Instead, he will be preparing to leave the house for college and then life as an adult. While many of his core subjects are important for academic success in college, I feel that the basic life skills will make the transition to adulthood a bit easier. If nothing else, he might have a ready made money making opportunity doing laundry for his new friends that haven’t a clue what a washing machine is and how to use it!
What are some of the different life skills you incorporate into your homeschool?