In addition to my kids’ regular morning routine and daily responsibilities, I like to give them a “lifeskill” to do most days in our homeschool curriculum.
My favorite lifeskill was when we moved to our new town and had to switch dentists. I picked up the new patient paperwork a week ahead and had each child fill out his/her own forms. They learned what D.O.B. meant and how to write dates. They filled out their insurance information and their medical history. I got to explain about several health ailments, and it was a great learning experience.
Here are some of the other life skills my children have had a chance to practice this year:
Wrap a present
Sew hooks on dance costume
Write a grocery list
Read to younger sibling
Do hair (Crew does Locke’s hair regularly)
Make treats for Cub Scout pack meeting
Organize a shelf
Iron (My life was in danger the whole time. A 10-year old boy may be too young to use an iron.)
Dejunk a drawer
Help dad hang a picture
Make a phone call
Navigate when driving
Treat a stain
Fill out paperwork
Send an email
Fill salt and pepper shakers (When else do you get to use a funnel?)
Make a flyer or an invitation
Fold a fitted sheet
Change a lightbulb
Use a screwdriver and other simple tools
Mow the lawn
Decorate for holidays
Today I think we will work on how to create and hang a picture collage.
I rarely know what the kids are going to do for their lifeskill when we start each morning, but something usually manifests itself during the day. Like last week, the kids locked the bathroom door with no one inside, so I had Crew try to figure out how to unlock a locked door. He got to try different tools and we even looked up on the internet what the inside of a doorknob looked like. 20-25 minutes later he finally got the door unlocked. I like that we can do the skill right when it is needed and that I don’t have to save things until they get home.
Some people think that I homeschool just to get my kids to do more work for me. While that is not my motive, it is certainly a benefit. I know that learning to work around the home can be way more valuable, useful, and practical than book work at school. How many times have you used an algebraic equations or made a diorama of a book you’ve read in your adult life? But in reality, we don’t have to choose between book learning or life learning. There is time for both.
So naysayers can continue to judge and my kids can continue to learn real-life skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. We get more done around the house and they get more skills. It seems like a win-win to me.