We all want our children to have a well rounded education. That can’t come from just focusing on academics and extracurricular activities. Though undoubtedly both are equally important, they aren’t the only things our children are going to need once they leave the comfort of our little nest and venture out on their own. We want them to master or (in the case of Algebra at our house) pass their classes, but we also want them to pursue their passions and hobbies as well as go out into the world with essential life skills.
Life skills are those skills that help us to navigate the world, society, and life.
Take a look at some of these important life skills that could be added to your homeschooling curriculum:
Communication skills- Kids must learn to communicate with others effectively beyond emoji’s and text messages. Our children need to be able to read social cues, listen actively, know how to take turns in a conversation, and be able to express themselves with clarity. You can teach communication skills to your students by including presentations as part of their school work and giving them opportunities to deliver speeches and participate in debates- even if it’s just around the dinner table. Let your children order their own meals at restaurants or express themselves at doctor visits. Volunteer in areas that require your students to talk with those they are not familiar with. For younger children let them answer the phone or even practice with a play phone. You can even have fun and encourage good listening skills with direction based scavenger hunts.
Money management- We, as adults, are hopefully good at managing money. However, the majority of us have learned the art of managing money only as adults. It’s important to get your kids started early with learning how to save and spend the money they earn or are given. Encourage your children to pay attention when your out on outings to the store. Give them an idea of your budget for the trip and ask them to keep track of how much is being spent. Show them how to make a budget with their own money and give them opportunities to earn it through extra chores or their own entrepreneurial skills.
Entrepreneurship- You can teach your kids to build a business. You can help your child to become an entrepreneur by helping them to figure out their hobbies or passions, and then choosing one that they can monetize. Anything goes here. Can they babysit? Walk dogs? Bake pies? Make bracelets or pottery? Help them create a business plan and have fun teaching them how to market themselves and sell a good product.
Grocery Shopping- At some time or another all of us know that we need to eat. Under grocery shopping skills, you not only should teach them how to budget but they need to be taught how to choose the right kinds of foods to meet their nutritional needs. You can train them by taking your kids along with you for grocery shopping and pointing out labels, ingredients and the cost of foods per ounce or quantity.
Cooking- After you have taught your kids how to navigate the grocery store, naturally the next important life skill you need to teach is how to cook a good meal. You can start early by letting your kids help you in the kitchen by pouring, measuring, and mixing. Bonus- they learn some math too! As the kids get older give them more responsibility by having them plan and prepare a meal for the family once a week.
Critical thinking- Critical thinking is a vital skill. Without being able to analyze things correctly, your child might fall in the trap of faulty logic that will create an inability to solve problems. Give students opportunities to face challenges that they have to figure out on their own without help. Let them make decisions and face the consequences of them for better or worse. Play puzzles and strategy games that require them to actually think instead of being a passive participant. Challenge them with new situations and encourage them to be brave and work through the new situations they encounter.
Time management- If you have ever raised a teenager than you know that teaching our children how to manage their time is a skill that will benefit them for life. In today’s competitive era, time is money. And though it is challenging to master time management skills, it is essential to learn it. You can teach your kids time management skills by giving them deadlines to finish their tasks and setting timers for chores. You can also help them create a to-do list, create schedules, and prioritize the tasks. They might find it difficult, but their future bosses will thank you.
All of these skills are vital for kids if you want them to be productive members of society. It’s never too early to start teaching life skills and weaving it throughout our days and within our curriculum.
Grab This 25 Essential Life Skills Your Teen should Know Checklist
What skills are you currently teaching?
Do you have a Middle School Student that you are trying to keep organized? Check out this post here!
If you have a highschooler getting close to graduating you may want to check out this Life Skills course hosted by True North Academy.