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Do you ever stop and ask yourself if you are teaching your kids everything they will need to know to make them successful adults?
I’m not talking about writing a paragraph or being able to type 350 words per minute.
I’m talking about real life skills.
What will they need to be successful, productive members of society?
I’m sure the skills they need won’t be the same as what my generation needed. In fact, I don’t know many people who possess the same skills as my grandparent’s generation. With the way technology has taken over, I’m certain my kids will need a completely new set of skills.
Life skills (and the lack thereof) are a huge reason we decided to homeschool our kids.
My husband and I had completely different upbringings. While I was winning ball games every weekend, he was working on cars.
He had a skill while I was playing a game.
Don’t get me wrong, there are several things I learned from playing sports that I still carry with me today and I will always be thankful that my parents gave me the opportunities they did, through much sacrificing on their part.
Do I want my kids to play sports? Sure, if that’s what they want to do. Do I care if they don’t play sports. Nah. I would rather enjoy the air conditioning than spend my summer sweating to death at a baseball field anyways.
What life skills do I want my kids to have?
Some simple ones that they’ll use everyday and some that we will probably have to work really hard to learn.
- Washing dishes by hand (gasp!)
- Preparing and cooking a meal
- Mowing a lawn
- Growing a garden
- File taxes
- Changing light bulbs
- Canning our own produce
- Making jelly, jams or salsa
- Reading a map
- Working on cars (is this even still possible with all of the sensors and gadgets in modern cars?)
- Basic first aid
- Writing a letter in cursive
- Sew their own clothes/pillowcases/whatever they need
- Manage a small farm of rabbits/goats/cows/chickens
- Balance a checkbook
- Basic home repairs and updates
- Run a household
- Use credit cards responsibly
- Coupon, compare prices and use money as a tool
- Filter water
- Cook over an open fire
- Time Management
- Communicate effectively
- Listen intently
- Work well with others
- Take advice and direction without being insulted
- Basic manners
- Simple survival knowledge
The list could go on and on….
I want to provide them with the life skills they need to survive, without a computer, TV or cell phone to help them.
Because, frankly, I know that I wouldn’t be very good at anything if I didn’t have the internet to rely on and I don’t want the same for my kids.
If there ever is a time that we would need to survive without electricity, I want my kids to have the confidence to know they can do it. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to show your neighbors how to can their own food, without having to use YouTube videos as a guide?
Unfortunately, schools and parents alike have dropped the ball when it comes to teach real world skills.
No longer does home-ec class teach you everything you need to know, but instead focuses on “important issues” like eating healthy. While that is obviously important, so is being able to grow and preserve your own food when disaster strikes. And while shop class teaches you how to make those handy little shelves that your mom still has tucked away, it doesn’t teach you the basics of building a house or shelter.
Although so many life skills have been left behind by so many, they are not any less important.
Knowledge is one thing that can keep you alive when disaster strikes. Knowing just the basics is vital in so many situations and while I pray my kids never have to face a situation where they need to know survival skills, I can guarantee they will one day face a stack of tax papers that need to be correctly filed.
And it’s my job, as a parent, to make sure they are equipped with the life skills they need to complete the task successfully.