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Homeschooling Tips

Practical Life Skills (or Why Chores Are a Good Thing)

Written by Super User.

We all know we don't have to be homeschoolers to teach our children practical life skills, but it does give us additional opportunities since we can incorporate many of them into our school day. Here are just a few basic "hands-on" skills that can be integrated into your math, science, health, and art curricula.


Math: fractions, measurement, money
Science: food chemistry, bacteria
Health: personal health, nutrition
Life skills: cooking, decision making, safety


We're not only covering health, math, and science concepts, kids are also learning how to properly and safely prepare food. Plus, when children are involved in the meal planning and the grocery shopping, they are also learning important skills such as decision making and money management. Let your younger children make PB&Js and slice bananas. If your children happen enjoy cooking, give them free reign to experiment and try out new recipes. Take this opportunity to teach them good eating habits, too.


Who would have thought that washing a load of laundry could help develop problem solving skills? Sorting lights and darks, loading clothes efficiently, measuring detergent, and folding clothes are all skills that have to be learned. Younger children can help by sorting their dirty clothes, matching up their clean socks, and folding simple items like washcloths and small towels. When they are old enough for the task, let them be responsible for washing their own clothes.


Math: sorting, measurement
Life skills: problem solving, personal care


Math: measurement
Science: complex machines
Life skills: home economics, sewing, safety


As soon as your child is ready to handle a large needle safely, invest in a couple of yarn needles, yarn, and plastic canvas. Once that's mastered, let them try hand-sewing with smaller needles and felt (felt is much easier to handle than fabric). Once your child is ready for a sewing machine, let them try it. If you've never used a sewing machine or don't own one, talk to other homeschoolers in your area. Chances are someone you know does and would love to host a sewing day. Sewing gives kids an additional creative outlet.


As adults, we don't think twice about the things we know how to do (like washing dishes and vacuuming floors) and things we "think" to do (like cleaning behind the faucets or wiping down the baseboards), but these are all skills we had to learn. Make it educational by talking about germs, the dangers of chemicals, and how important it is to care for ourselves and our environment. Younger children, with the help of Mom or Dad, can start by organizing and cleaning their rooms.


Science: chemical science, natural resources
Health: environmental health
Life skills: hygiene

Let your children help out as much as you can. Oftentimes it's easier to do things ourselves, but taking the extra time to teach our children practical life skills will help them become prepared, independent adults. Let them help out in the garden, feed the pets, help with the shopping, and clean out the car. Whether it's making dinner, washing dishes, sewing on a button, or pulling weeds, when kids help with the family responsibilities, they are learning valuable lessons and skills that they will carry with them into adulthood.

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