Homeschooling? Include some Life Lessons!
As we navigate the do’s and dont’s of homeschooling, now it a great time to teach your kids some life lessons. What are life lessons? Things they can learn now to help them later in life when they are grown. Also, things that they may not learn in school.
Here are 10 life lesson ideas!
My granny cleaned her house top to bottom every Friday, and my job was to clean the baseboards. A lesson in dusting and cleaning house, in general, is great for kids to know.
Younger kids: Give them a rag and point them in the right direction
Older kids: Same as above, but just be prepared for more griping
How to do laundry
Younger kids: If they can’t read, hand them clothes and help them sort into piles. If they can read, have them sort into piles for cold, warm and hot. Expect some jumping into the piles 🙂 Let them load the laundry in the machine and show them which buttons to push.
Older kids: Walk them through doing a load from start to bottom, and then give them a small test load to do themselves. Towels would be a good one to learn with.
How to iron a shirt
Younger kids: A good lesson, not necessarily for ironing, but showing them the iron and how it gets hot and to never touch when it’s on.
Older kids: Show them how to iron some shirts, and then let them have a crack at it. Explain the importance of looking pressed and put together for job interviews or work. If they complain, teach them about no-wrinkle shirts.
In case you need a refresher yourself:
How to sew a button
Younger kids: Grab an old towel, buttons, needle and thread. Let the kids watch you thread the needle, tie the knot and sew the button on. If you feel comfortable, let them give it a try.
Older kids: Same as above. Anecdote: When I learned to sew a button, I went on to cover a jean jacket in all sorts of funky buttons. I had the coolest coat in 5th grade. Wish I still had it.
Here’s a visual aid:
How to balance a checkbook
Younger kids: If they don’t know the denominations of coins and bills, start there. Otherwise, give them some play checks to “buy” some of their toys, treats, screen time, etc. Give them a dollar amount to start with. After all checks are written, add them up and see if kids stayed in their budget.
Older kids: Same as above, but have them actually write in a ledger. Show them how to keep a running total, explain what happens if you overdraw your account.
I know we as a society don’t use a lot of paper checks anymore, but even if you only use a debit card, the principle of watching your bank balance and knowing how much you have is still the same as using paper checks.
Understanding credit cards and interest
Younger kids: Start with the basics of what a credit card is, and how it has to be paid back. Here’s a video that can help:
Older kids: While it may be uncomfortable for you as a parent, and with lots of financial uncertainty, now is good time to have an open and honest conversation about using credit. Older kids need to understand fees and interest and that money from a credit card isn’t free.
How to cook scrambled eggs
Younger kids: Let them crack the eggs in a bowl and whisk them around
Older kids: Teach them how to make eggs from start to finish. When they are grown and on their own, eggs make an easy and cheap meal at any time of day.
How to make coffee
Younger kids: Let them fill the pot with water and scoop the coffee into the filter.
Older kids: Explain to them that coffee doesn’t just come from Starbucks. Teach them how to make a pot, and let them know it’s a lot cheaper to make coffee at home.
How to change a tire
Younger kids: Show them where the spare is and what tools are needed.
Older kids: Work together to jack up a car, remove the tire and put it back on. Preach safety the whole time.
How to read a map
Younger kids: Show them a physical map, explain the cardinal directions (north, south, east, west)
Older kids: Give them a destination and have them write the directions using the map. Or you drive, while they navigate and give you directions using a paper map. Yes, we all use our phones for navigation, but reading a map is a skill that will help should a phone get lost or broken while on a trip.