There are many life skills to teach in homeschooling. The question often becomes what to teach and when to ensure your kids are learning skills appropriate for their age and developmental level. In this post, we’ll look at a few life skills that I believe are important for all homeschoolers to learn at some point in their educational journey.
Do life skills actually count as homeschooling?
Before getting into the life skill suggestions, let’s talk about another concern homeschooling parents have. Do subjects, concepts, and topics that aren’t considered traditional academics actually count as homeschooling?
The short answer is yes!
There are essential life skills that will enhance a child’s academic journey and can often have a bigger impact in the real world.
For example, math is certainly an important skill to learn. So, when you’re learning about money management, you can merge an academic skill with a life skill that will have long-lasting effects well into your child’s adulthood.
This is where learning has to be looked at from an “out-of-the-box” perspective. Or, as I like to say, a “hop off the conveyor belt” perspective.
While there is a place for core subjects, we cannot ignore the great opportunity to teach our children skills that will be used on a daily basis. These are skills that aren’t always taught in the public and private school setting. Teaching life skills and making them part of your daily schedule will have more benefits than you may think.
6 Life Skills to Teach in Homeschooling
Below is a list of life skills that you can begin teaching students at an early age.
Now, more than ever in today’s world, kids need to learn relationship skills. Because we are a society that is moving full steam ahead in all things technological, this can make it a bit more difficult to learn how to start and foster relationships. To help in this area, consider teaching basic skills such as:
- Dealing with Failure
Teamwork can be approached by playing board games where players have to work together. Something even more practical is having siblings doing chores together. Another aspect of relationships is understanding how to deal with failure. Kids benefit from being taught that some people may let them down or they may also let someone down. This isn’t a bad thing, but instead should be used to help with fostering a growth mindset.
Self-control can also be put into this category because oftentimes, children may not understand how much their choices and behaviors affect others. Being taught how to pay attention to this will benefit them for the rest of their lives!
Going hand-in-hand with the previous point about technology, being able to communicate in person and virtually is a life skill worth teaching. But communication is much more than being able to talk. It also deals with being able to communicate in written form.
Knowing how to communicate in all situations is a great life skill for kids to begin developing early in life. Whether you want to approach it from a manners perspective or use practical life skills lessons that deal with communicating with others, you can’t go wrong by adding this into your home school curriculum.
Business Skills & Entrepreneurship
These are some of my favorite life skills to discuss because the truth of the matter is, not every child will want to pursue higher education. Some students have the desire to attend college, while others may want to start a business before they even graduate high school.
If you have a child that wants to take this route, learning business and entrepreneurship skills will help them in many areas, including how to set goals, how to write a business plan, and seeing an idea through. Not to mention, even if your child doesn’t care to pursue business or entrepreneurship, some of the life skills learned in this area will help in other areas of life.
Most important in the skills of business and entrepreneurship is your child gains freedom. Freedom to pursue the direction God is calling them. They no longer are tied to an employer telling them exactly what to odo.
Money management is one of the easier life skills for homeschooling parents to wrap their heads around. We all know how important it is for kids to understand the concepts of money, how it works, how to save, invest, spend, and so on. However, you don’t have to wait until your kids are of working age to begin having these conversations. Instead, I highly recommend starting at a young age.
You can begin introducing money management concepts through video games or even help a child open their own bank account. This could be as simple as a Paypal or Venmo account. Teach them about record keeping and how money can be seen as a tool. Let them pay the cashier when you go to the grocery store.
There are many opportunities to give your children experiences with money management for kids. Money management is an important life lesson that comes with many perks.
Organization is an important lesson for kids to learn, and the younger the better. All of my kids have said thanks for teaching me practical time management ands organization skills while we homeschooled. Most of my friends in college did not know how to use their time wisely or study well. Let’s prepare our kids for real life and give them a leg-up as an adult.
This could be anything from time management and planning, to home management. Some examples of teaching life skills in these areas are:
- Meal planning as a family
- Creating a family calendar of activities
- Choosing and scheduling their homeschooling subjects
- Time blocking for lessons and activities
- Helping with grocery shopping (and putting them away once home)
There are many ways to help your children understand how to be organized.
This may be more of the soft skills side, but it’s still worth noting. How children view self care early in life will carry over to adulthood. From personal hygiene to mental health, self care is a skill that requires intentional teaching and learning.
I believe this is why we as adults struggle with finding time for self-care and have to navigate feeling guilty for wanting (or needing) to take care of ourselves. Make self-care a part of your life skills curriculum and teach your younger kids the important role it plays in life.
Before I leave self care, let me say that I am not encouraging selfish care, but taking care of our self as God directs in the Bible. If we aren’t taking care of our selves, how can we help others?
As you begin adding life skills to teach in your homeschooling schedule, always remember that this is 100% homeschooling. This can be seen as part of your efforts to raise independent adults who will be led by much of what they were taught at home.
Also, don’t hesitate to include your child’s interests. If there’s something, in particular, they’d like to learn, follow their lead.
To help you in the area of life skills, I am hosting our Life Skills Leadership Summit at the end of February. You can join me for free with our Basic Pass.
When you sign up for the Summit, you’ll have access to 30 speakers and over 50 sessions. Each session will include practical tips in the area of leadership skills and life skills to teach. We will also show you how you can introduce leadership skills without adding more activities to your busy life. How to integrate leadership skills into your current homeschooling.
What are you waiting for?
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