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Welcome to The Practical Skills Library
What are practical skills, and why teach them?
The world is changing fast. So much focus in childhood education has revolved around college for decades now. Practical skills and common sense are devalued in our systems, and it’s up to us, as parents, to raise capable kids with critical thinking skills and talents.
Choosing Practical Skills to Teach
Some ideas we have for practical skills in the homeschool have come to us through the kids natural interests. Some of our lessons have come from household chores as well! Today I’ll share some of the practical skills we’ve learned so you can implement these too in your own homeschool!
#1 Home Maintenence
This includes anything that you do to maintain your home or apartment on a regular basis. Some things you may teach as a skill is changing your furnace filter, cleaning dryer lint, winterizing windows and outdoor faucets, etc…
Older children may be able to use a lawn mower. Younger children may do things like pick up sticks or help plant a flower garden. Home maintenence is an excellent way to introduce practical skills into your homeschool journey, and to take a bit of responibility for the workings of a household.
#2 Vehicle Maintenence
This may be best for older kiddos, but checking your vehicle oil, changing oil and filters, checking tire pressure and changing a tire are all practical skills that will be valuable for your child to learn.
Working with necessary tools on a larger project builds major self confidence! Younger children may be better suited to vacuuming and washing your family vehicle. Teach them the steps to maintain property so that when they aquire things themselves in the future, it will become a point of pride to maintain those items, and fully appreciate them.
If you have pets and kids, it is sometimes overwhelming taking care of everyone! Having the kids help with pets is probably the first lesson in responsibility and empathy that a child learns.
Realizing that other creatures (and people) need care and attention is a huge milestone in development. Also, taking care of the needs of another will be critical in future relationships, and build self-worth.
You can start by having your child handle feeding at a scheduled time(s) each day, and progress to grooming and training later.
If you don’t have pets, borrow one! Taking on the pet of a friend or family member for a weekend will be exciting for your child, and probably appreciated by the pet parent! Also, consider volunteering at your local animal shelter, or reach out to a local rescue organization and offer your time.
Helping to care for animals, or raising a family pet is a practical skill that builds responsibility and a nuturing attitude.
Plan Your Practical Skills Homeschool
Keep track of your field trips and practical skills days with our trusty homeschool planner.
#5 Personal Finance
This is a subject near and dear to my heart! Growing up, if you learned about good money habits from your parents you are one of the lucky few! Teaching your child about money management is a practical skill that will stick with them throughout thier lifetime, and give them a huge advantage in the long run!
Start with simple. One of the kid’s favorite activities is setting up a “shop” at home. You can use play money or real money in small denominations to start. Set up a shop in your home by pulling together some of your child’s favorite snacks and toys and games. You can use sticky notes to put a price on each item.
Evenly distribute your play money among the kids. You will act as the “banker” for the first several transactions. Let your child watch you as you count change back to them when they wish to purchase an item. Over time, the “banker” role should switch, until everyone has a turn collecting and counting back change. Making change is a simple excersize, but it’s also becoming a unique practical skill as cards have become a more common payment tool.
Talk Openly About Money
It is for the best interest for your kiddos to hear you talk openly about expenses. I’m so suprised to know that in many families, the subject of money is kind of tabboo! And for many adults, money can be a mysterious and confusing subject, often causing serious stress and anxiety.
You can help your young adult to avoid this stress and anxiety by being open about the flow of finances in your household. Be an open book with your child. Talk about credit and interest. Discuss utility bills and grocery expenses. Even if you may not practice couponing or discount shopping, show your child that there ARE ways to get more for less!
It’s so important for young children to learn to make themselves a priority. Start by using a savings account or even a piggy bank to squirrel away gifted funds for something they truly desire in the future. Make it a ritual to put a certain portion of birthday or holiday money away in a safe place. Once the habit is instilled, it will become a practical skill that will save them from financial hardship in coming years.
Practical Skills Are Life Skills
No matter how you choose to homeschool whether it be a rigid curriculum, unschool, or partial public school- The entire purpose of education is to prepare your child to be a capable and balanced adult. Practical skills are an important part of any program. Embrace the opportunity to teach your child about day-to-day chores and responsibilities. It can also be a great chance to learn a few new skills as a parent yourself!
No matter which stage you’re in as a homeschool family, implementing practical skills into your curriculum is well woth the effort. Please enjoy your time teaching and learning some practical skills!
More to Learn About Home School
I’ve included some interesting articles and studies to make you more confident in your home school journey!
It is true- ANYONE can home school, and you’re NOT ALONE!
Home schooling is growing by leaps and bounds in 2022. We have more resources and communities now than ever!
So, please don’t hesitate to scroll through the articles and save any information you need. Please also email me with your questions or comments!