At first, the idea of adding life skills to your homeschool curriculum might seem like a silly idea. If you’re anything like me you’re thinking, “Well, it’s life. We do a lot of that here so…we’re good.” But, the truth is, my kids could use some more life skills and something more structured to focus our efforts on would be great!
I admittedly haven’t been as proactive in this department as I should be. I’m a confessed “I’d rather do it myself” kind of mom. I’m not proud of it, but keeping my kids accountable with chores and the like has not been my strong suit as a parent.
Now with one in college who’s planning on dorm life next fall and another entering 7th grade, I’m hyper aware of the young men they are and the life skills they need (and sometimes lack). Have you considered adding life skills to your homeschool curriculum line-up this year?
Benefits of adding life skills to your homeschool curriculum line-up
- Organized approach. Having a program to follow with specific skills planned out in advance will make it easier to stay accountable. Knowing what skills to look forward to throughout the year might also help motivate your child.
- Record keeping. It’s hard to keep track of life skills learned. So much instruction happens naturally in homeschooling, but when you really think about it, we don’t give our kids enough credit for the jobs they do. Print out certificates of completion and add them to your child’s portfolio.
- Learn new skills along with your child. Confession: I don’t have any idea how to change a tire. I’m sure there’s plenty of other things I’d learn along with my children’s life skills study.
- Cover skills outside of your own comfort zone. I don’t want my kids limited to the skills I have or the skills I feel comfortable teaching (see above). We all have different gifts! I’m sure we’d come across lots of topics I wouldn’t naturally cover on my own and that is a good thing.
- Can be counted as high school credit. There are so many courses available to high schoolers. Look for courses outside the title homeschool high school Life skills or Home Economics. Although those would obviously be perfect, there are also more specific life skills courses available such as Personal Finance or Leadership Management Skills.
What Homeschool Moms Have to Say About Teaching Life Skills
- 10 Areas of Essential Life Skills for Teenage Boys by Michelle Caskey of Homeschool Your Boys has a great printable list. These skills would be great for a girl too, obviously.
- Spend the year tackling these 50+ Tasks for Teenagers to Learn to Prep for Adulthood from Shannon at Middleway Mom!
- Practical Life Skills for the Gifted Teen, a post series by Renee at Great Peace Academy, is filled with information worth bookmarking. Although gifted education is Renee’s niche, this series would be perfect for all teens. Her series covers topics like cooking, finance, and home management.
- If you need to know you’re not the only mom failing your teens in the life skills department check out Don’t Fail Your Kids by Dachelle of Hide the Chocolate and enjoy a good laugh about parenting teens.
- Check out this Life Skills Bingo printable pack from Ginny at Not So Formulaic! Even if you’re not in the mood for bingo, she has a fantastic life skills post series worth reading.
More life skills resources to check out
- Life Skills Reimagined by LYFT Learning is another top pic for self-paced online life skills courses. The bloggers at iHN used it and gave it the Featured Favorite seal of approval. It’s a 60-hour course including these basics: personal finance, independent living, getting & keeping a job (including finding a career), communication skills, and resiliency
- Voyage Course by Thrive Academics is an online digital curriculum that guides your teen through five key components of adult life: self-identity, career planning, college planning, financial responsibility, and everyday living. Highly recommended!
- Raddish Kids is a cooking club for kids. Their monthly subscription box is perfect for kids who love to get in the kitchen. Each month your child gets a new menu with detailed instructions for shopping, preparing, and cooking a meal. How fun!
- Self-awareness and acceptance are key life skills for teens. And knowing yourself well is key to finding the right career path. TruSpark is an online assessment that reveals a teen’s 3 top Core Motivations—the things that get them excited and inspire them to act. Besides the self-awareness teens get from the process, TruSpark takes teens through career exploration based on their specific Core Motivations.
- SkillTrek is multi-media instruction for all ages. These video lessons are the kind of thing I need for my boys! My husband isn’t the type of dad who’s out in the driveway working away on auto mechanics. (No offense, Honey.) These videos would really come in handy!
- Study.com has thousands of online video courses. Most courses offer a certificate of completion. That’s great for your record book!
- Jam is another great site for online courses. I found it looking for drawing classes for my 12-year-old, but I found out they also have cooking classes! The offer courses for younger and older grades.
Books About Life Skills
The Leader in Me is a series for elementary aged students based on the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Lessons feature 10-minute activities that help students reflect on their lives, develop leadership skills, and set goals. This is a flexible program that can be assigned daily or weekly. A teacher’s guide is available. (If you have middle or high school students, have them read along in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.)