This month we are celebrating Skills for Life Month. This is a great event to tie in activities for homeschooling your kids, and something that is so valuable as they prepare to become independent. It’s never too early to start.
The world is a big place and the sooner you can educate them on that, the more prepared and ready they will be. Take advantage of the time you have now to teach your child the things he or she will need to know once they’re out in the big, bad world.
We have put together a range of activities that you can schedule into your homeschool days to do with your kids to educate them in the skills they need to live their lives.
No one wants to send a young adult into the world whose cooking skills are comprised of pouring milk on cereal, heating things in the microwave and possibly fixing boxed mac and cheese. And, yet, it happens. Aim higher for your kids. Why not make one night a week kids cooking night and have each child take a turn. You can use any basic cookbook as a guide for your own class. It’s fun! And, it’s nice to know they will be developing skills that will last a lifetime.
Money can be a touchy subject. But, it’s one that kids need to know and understand well before they’re off on their own. With our kids, we used a combination of real-life examples and even go through the “Barefoot investor for Families”. We cover this in the Euka Launchpad program in Grade 10, however it in never too soon to begin learning about money. Use everyday situations to teach your kids about money, including where it comes from and where it goes.
At the bank
Explain that the cash from ATMs isn’t ‘free money’. They only give you money that you’ve made by working and saving. Show your kids that this money is from your bank account. Explain that each time you take money out, you have less money in your account.
Teach your kids how much things cost by showing them:
• different prices for similar items
• how to compare deals
• how to work out which items are better value
• how to work out price differences and discounts
When paying bills
Show your kids an electricity bill or a phone bill. Explain how many hours or days you had to work to pay that bill.
This will help them start to see the connection between work and the cost of things.
As your kids get older, get them involved in budgeting, saving and spending.
Work with your kids to research online or shop around to find the best value for something they want. Also make sure they check the fine print on deals, especially where they enter into a contract.
Plan an event
Involve your kids in planning and budgeting for an outing or a birthday party. Work through all the costs with them, including transport, food or tickets.
Do a budget
Do the family budget with your kids. Explain how much money you have each week and how it’s spent. They’ll start to get a sense of the cost of living and how long it takes to save.
If they earn some of their own money, help them create their own budget.
Do your children know how to shut the main water off? Gas? Go room by room with your children (over time) and teach them how to do the basics – fix a leaky toilet, patch nail holes in a wall, paint a room, clean each room and all the other things they have previously never given thought to.
Get in the habit of enlisting them to help or do a job when something comes up. Yes, it can be painful to watch them learn, but well worth it in the end.
In Primary school, start teaching your kids the basics about cars. If you don’t know the basics about cars, it’s time to teach yourself!
Teach kids how to:
- Check tire pressure
- Know what the lights on the dashboard mean
- Change a fuse
- Add fluids – anti-freeze, wiper fluid
- Check and change the oil
- Pump gas
- Prepare an auto emergency kit
Euka homeschoolers cover health over the years. However, as your child enters his teens, have him start taking charge of his own medical care. Have him make appointments (let your dr./dentist office know you’re doing this), have him talk to the health care provider, have him fill out forms and learn his medical history. Once he’s 18, the doctor will not talk to you! Know that he knows how to ask questions and take charge before then.
Everyone should know a few things about clothing!
Teach kids how to do laundry and read clothing labels
Teach kids how to hem a pair of pants or sew on a button.
Sounds basic, but you’d be surprised how many teens do not know their clothing sizes!