Homeschooling’s Role in Teaching Practical Life Skills
Homeschoolers learn all the academic basics. We start with our reading, writing, and arithmetic and go on to social studies, science, and so on.
But there’s more to homeschooling than academics. Home education presents an opportunity to learn many practical life skills as well.
If you’re homeschooling, or at least thinking about it, here are a few skill-based areas that you can teach your kids while they’re learning at home.
Homeschooling Helps with Homemaking
One of the best advantages of homeschooling is that you can teach your kids how to manage a household. This includes everything from making a bed to loading the dishwasher to doing laundry.
Teaching your kids about basic homecare activities doesn’t just ease the overall burden of taking care of your family’s home. It also teaches them valuable lessons that they can take with them for the rest of their lives.
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Homeschooling Develops Decisions Making
Homeschooling involves a lot of time spent at home. This often offers a lot of hidden opportunities for your kids to flex their decision-making skills.
For instance, they will likely spend a lot of time in their bedroom or a similar “study space” within your home. You can encourage them to own this space and turn it into an area conducive to their studying needs.
Leave it to them to study different design trends, learn about decor options, and find ways to personalize their space. This doesn’t just encourage independence and confidence. It also helps them to use their environment to stay positive and productive.
Homeschooling Is Great for the Administrative Stuff
Along with caring for the home, homeschoolers can also learn about the nitty-gritty aspects that go on behind the scenes. From making phone calls to returning purchased items to filling out forms, life is filled with administrative responsibilities.
When parents ask their kids to step up and take on some of these, they help them develop a crucial life skill. Along with learning how to manage their lives, they can also begin to see the value of timely responses and staying proactively organized.
Homeschooling Fuels Financial Literacy
Homeschooling provides the perfect opportunity for kids to learn about finances. All parents can sit down with their kids to teach them how to create a budget, but when you school at home, you can steer into the activity in more comprehensive ways.
For instance, you can make sure that your kids watch you manage the budget for the entire household. You can also spend some of your school time investing in something like a roadside stand and letting your kids earn some income.
Homeschooling Encourages Mindfulness
Emotions are a normal part of life — especially when you’re a kid or a teenager. But when your child is away from you at school all day, it’s hard to be intimately involved in helping them learn to govern their emotions.
By teaching your kids at home, you open the doors to a healthier development of their mental health. Homeschooling is the perfect way to teach everything from basic mental health concepts — such as processing emotions and learning that it’s “okay to be okay” — to big-ticket items, like learning how to manage anxiety or depression.
Homeschooling Enables Healthy Eating
Hand-in-hand with mental health, homeschooling also enables healthy eating. Rather than consuming prepackaged cafeteria food, homeschoolers can be hands-on with their nutritional activities.
From making a sandwich to following a recipe, those who learn at home can take control of their health. As is so often the case with homeschooling, you can also use the opportunity to overlap subjects, like nutrition and science.
For instance, you can use your time in the kitchen to look up videos and other resources that teach about things like food allergies or a food-related health concern like GERD. Break down what causes acid reflux and how it can come from both genetic defects as well as age or obesity. These aren’t just interesting science lessons. They often create impressions that guide your children throughout the rest of their life decisions.
Homeschooling Inspires Lifelong Learning
Finally, homeschooling encourages children to continue to be learners every day of their lives. Lifelong learning is an essential part of survival, particularly in a modern, 21st-century world that is always changing.
From making a lapbook over the summer to taking professional development classes after graduation, there are plenty of ways that homeschoolers can continue to learn even when it isn’t school time. Getting infected by the itch to “learn for learning’s sake” is a major benefit that comes from being raised in an environment where children can understand the value of always learning.
Learning Practical Life Skills as a Homeschooler
For homeschoolers, the learning journey goes much further than mere academic pursuits. There are numerous ways that home learners can develop essential life skills during their home education, as well.
From homemaking to finances, healthy eating to mindfulness, a homeschool environment is an ideal way to introduce our kids to a plethora of life skills that will benefit them in the future. This can give them a leg up as they begin their lives…and help them avoid falling victim to the dreaded “adulting” craze that has held so many of their peers back in recent years.
Frankie Wallace is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys writing about health, wellness and education, but occasionally goes back to her roots with socially active news journalism. Frankie spends her free time cultivating her zero waste garden or off hiking in the mountains of the PNW with her loved ones.