Teaching Life Skills
One of the many blessings of homeschooling is just being able to teach our children. It is exciting to see them learn that difficult math concept, finally write a decent essay, or even just learn to read. Accomplishing those things seem to encourage us and become our main reason for homeschooling.
As homeschooling parents, we have to continue to prove to society that we are perfectly capable of handling our children’s education. However, we often forget to teach them something much more important than mere academics. And that is Life Skills.
When you take the time to teach your children life skills, you are actually equipping them for the real world. If you read the comic Zits, which is about a “typical” 15 year old teenager, it becomes apparent that he has no life skills. His room is always a mess; he can’t seem to find clean clothes when he needs them; he’s always borrowing money from his parents; and the extent of his cooking knowledge is what he can put in the microwave. What is he going to do when he reaches the chronological age of being launched into the real world where Mom is not around to do the laundry, cook, or clean and Dad is not available to whisk out his wallet for a quick twenty dollars? Somehow, I don’t think he will be able to handle it.
Thanks to my parents and siblings, when it was time for me to “leave the nest”, I was better prepared for life than some of my friends. Living in a large family, we all had to learn to help on chores and learn to take care of ourselves. We had to learn how to cook, clean, and manage our time and limited resources. Though imperfectly, my parents tried to teach us how to do these skills correctly, and then gave us the responsibility to see that they were completed.
Sadly, such a lifestyle is lacking in today’s society, even in homeschooling families. As homeschooling parents, we want so much for our children. But that often translates into lots of sports, art activities, outside classes, and more. While these things are important, are they really preparing your child for every day life? Are you equipping your children to care for themselves and others, along with doing whatever else God has in store for them?
I encourage each of you to think about what you are teaching your children. Include teaching life skills in your homeschooling and don’t just focus on the academics and social activities. In doing so, you will be teaching your children on how to manage life in the real world.
Kelly Ling is a work-at-home, homeschooling mother of five. She has mentored many homeschooling and work-at-home moms over the past eighteen years. Kelly also owes a home-based web design business. When not doing web design, she is constantly updating some of her homeschooling/work-at-home websites – Homeschool Top Sites, ChristianWAHM.com, WAHM Contests, and others.