• Life Skills and why we need to teach them!

    lifeskills-jpg

    When you are a kid, you canít wait to be a grown-up. Once you become a grown-up, you wish you were a kid again. Why? Because being a grown-up is hard, period. Bills, jobs, kids, homes, laundry, decisions and on and on. Being a kid is care-free, fun and no worries. I think that is a detriment to our kids. Especially todayís kids. Life skills are gone from classrooms. No more wood shop, home ec, economy classes.

    Now, I am not saying that kids shouldnít be kids. They should be given that freedom for as long as possible. But I think kids need to learn life skills from day 1. And as I get older, I realize I didnít teach my boys enough life skills. Homeschooling usually offers a better chance at life skills than public school kids because, #1, we are HOME with our kids. We are teaching them at HOME. They are more often given chores, taught to do laundry, clean up after themselves and others as part of life. Work as a family and a team.

    I donít think there are enough life skills lessons out there, to help us, help them. Things like taxes, home ownership, opening accounts, filing your papers, keeping papers, applying for jobs, applying for loans. I thought I had prepared my boys. I really did. I bought several workbooks with forms and instructions on filling them out. I created real life scenarios to go with these forms. I have had them sit with me while I did their basic taxes and walked them through step by step. Heck, I thought I was prepared. I am 48 years old. I have done my taxes for 30 years. I own a business. I run our household. My Mom was a teacher and involved with my learning. I thought I had life skills.

    Then we decided to be REAL grown-ups and buy our first house this year. WOW. Guess what. The whole family basically went back to school. Yes, it is my husband and myself buying the house. But, why not use this learning experience as one for the whole family. I mean, filling out these extensive loan forms, collecting the proper paperwork, uploading images of everything. Then dealing with a realtor and inspections, appraisal, earnest money, title companies, liens. It has been a rollercoaster past few months and it isnít over yet. But along the entire way, I have involved my boys. When/If they ever decide to purchase their own home, they will have experience under their belt. They will have better knowledge than I did of what this involves. Homeschool 101, no matter what it is, use it as a learning lesson.

    That being said, I am now on a mission to find or create life skills lessons. While the workbook was great, I think more real life skills curriculum needs to be out there for homeschoolers. A short class on doing taxes or purchasing a home. With a basic outline of what it entails. Now, I am not saying your 3rd grader needs to know how to do her taxes or registering to vote. But your high schooler certainly does. Your 7th grader wants to mow lawns this Summer and create their own business. Teach them the life skills of owning a small business. Take their earnings and put pen to paper to show them what it would be like if this was a big business, paying taxes, paying employees, writing grants, etc.

    This house buying business has made me realize that while I did a great job homeschooling my boys, we have some gaps. Heck, Mom and Dad have had gaps in their life skills education. While my boys are young adults and taking courses online, working their jobs and living their lives. We will be backtracking to go over more life skills I think are imperative. You are never too old to learn new skills. Once a homeschooler, always a homeschooler.

    If you have any questions, input or suggestions for some life skill courses, curriculum or just want to chat, feel free to email me at: [email protected]meschool.com
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