Teaching life skills to your children are important. The world is a big place and the sooner you can educate them on that, the more prepared and ready they will be.
Sometime during middle school, it will hit you – your child is actually going to grow up and will live on his or her own somewhere in just a few short years. It’s a strange feeling when it hits you the first time. And, depending on how things work in your house, you will find yourself more and more frequently thinking “How in the world will he survive if he cannot even manage to ___________?” Exactly.
Take advantage of the time you have now to teach your child the things he or she will need to know once they’re out in the big, bad world. Make it part of your homeschool routine – you can call it Home Economics, Automobile 101, Cooking/Baking 101, etc.
Below is a list of things I used/am using with my own son. If nothing else, it’s a starting point for you!
Plus check out the new program we have been using this past year and a half called Skill Trek. This program is all encompassing, budget friendly and the kids LOVE it!
Teaching Life Skills To Prepare Kids For Adult Life
Understand that these are just a few of the life skills education that you should go over with your kids. There are still a lot more than this as well!
No one wants to send a young adult into the world whose cooking skills are comprised of pouring milk on cereal, heating things in the microwave and possibly fixing boxed mac and cheese. And, yet, it happens. My son’s first college roommate (smart, engineering student) was absolutely stunned when I made popcorn while he was visiting. He did not know you could make popcorn outside of the microwave!
Aim higher for your kids. Starting in middle school, each of my sons was responsible for either making lunch or dinner one day a week. I also incorporated Alton Brown’s I’m Just Here For The Food into our school days. It covers all basic methods of cooking and explains how and why certain methods are better for certain foods.
You can use any basic cookbook as a guide for your own class. It’s fun! And, it’s nice not to have to worry if your child is going to come home for Christmas with orange skin from all the mac and cheese.
Money can be a touchy subject. But, it’s one that kids need to know and understand well before they’re off on their own. With our kids, we used a combination of real-life examples and a homeschool program by Dave Ramsey. Dave Ramsey has a decidedly Christian perspective but his methods are effective for anyone.
Do your children know how to shut the main water off? Gas? Go room by room with your children (over time) and teach them how to do the basics – fix a leaky toilet, patch nail holes in a wall, paint a room, clean each room and all the other things they have previously never given thought to.
Get in the habit of enlisting them to help or do a job when something comes up. Yes, it can be painful to watch them learn, but well worth it in the end.
In middle school, start teaching your kids the basics about cars. If you don’t know the basics about cars, it’s time to teach yourself!
Teach kids how to:
- Check tire pressure
- Know what the lights on the dashboard mean
- Change a fuse
- Add fluids – anti-freeze, wiper fluid
- Check and change the oil
- Pump gas
- Prepare an auto emergency kit
Most homeschoolers cover health over the years. However, as your child enters his teens, have him start taking charge of his own medical care. Have him make appointments (let your dr./dentist office know you’re doing this), have him talk to the health care provider, have him fill out forms and learn his medical history. Once he’s 18, the doctor will not talk to you! Know that he knows how to ask questions and take charge before then.
Everyone should know a few things about clothing!
- Teach kids how to do laundry and read clothing labels
- Teach kids how to hem a pair of pants or sew on a button.
Sounds basic, but you’d be surprised how many teens do not know their clothing sizes! Also, teach them what an inseam is and how to tell if it will fit well or not.
These are my top six and ones that I feel very strongly about.
How do you get life skills?
Life skills can be learned from teaching or observation of others. Many people learn valuable skills and understand the importance of life skills by communicating frequently with family members about things that they should be learning.
What would be on a basic life skills list?
Basic life skills activities would include things like:
- Counting change
- Pumping Gas
- Doing Laundry
- Ordering at restaurants
And so much more. Pretty much anything that they would need to learn how to do to function in a normal social setting.
Want more? Check out this book “Life Skills” that gives you 225 ways to teach life skills to your children.