Many of the things I want my kids to learn don’t come from a textbook. In fact, some of them don’t even have anything to do with school. Throughout the homeschool day we spend plenty of time learning academic subjects. I hope they’ll retain it, but odds are, much will be forgotten until they learn it again in the future. Meanwhile, I focus on life skills which I hope will stay with them and allow them to function as confident, responsible, competent adults one day. These random life lessons are not all-inclusive, but here are a bunch that come up often.
Using the Library
Finding desired materials online, looking them up and ordering them through the library system’s website, and even calling the library to request materials.
Shopping/Making a Purchase
Knowing how to find items in the store, politely asking for help when needed, how to compare prices including an understanding of unit prices, estimating a purchase price, presenting the proper amount of cash, counting change received, and interacting with the cashier.
How to count money, safely store it, open a bank account, understand interest, deposit/withdraw money, and how credit cards and loans work.
Answering the Phone/Making Calls
Politely answering the phone, knowing how to make a call to a business and ask for help/make arrangements, request assistance, make appointments, and develop an overall confidence with speaking on the telephone.
Respect for the Elderly
Spending time in a nursing home/assisted living, developing a comfort with individuals in various states of the aging process, learning how to interact with and value the elderly, and how to help take care of older relatives or neighbors.
How to plan, shop for, and prepare a healthy meal, including reading labels and recipes, kitchen safety, and use of kitchen appliances.
How to treat a space respectfully, clean up after oneself, wipe up spills, sweep, change batteries in household devices, use a washer and dryer, be a conscious consumer of water and energy resources, and use household tools such as a hammer/screwdriver/drill.
Respectful care of pets, and how to feed, water, and properly clean up after them.
The ability to help shape our children into functional adults rates high on the list of privileges and responsibilities as parents. I’m sure I’m forgotten a few, so feel free to share what skills and lessons are important in your family!