“What website can I use to help my child read?”
“Where can I go to print math worksheets?”
“What type of routine do you suggest?”
We’re in our first year of homeschooling our 8 and 4-year-old boys. My network knows I’ve been looking at various resources to find the best fit for the kids. Naturally, they reached out to me when they learned that schools across the state would be closed for 3 weeks. At first, I was responding with some of my top picks but then the gears in my brain started to turn a bit more, especially as I started to see more and more social media posts about how to “recreate the classroom.”
Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to keep your child learning and on some sort of routine during this time of uncertainty. That’s for everyone’s sanity! But I’m going to challenge you to take this time to teach your child about life skills they will need to thrive in the real world. Of course, reading each day is important as well as knowing math facts but I’m talking about real-life skills. The ones that make the rounds in memes stating that schools should be teaching our kids how to balance a checkbook and apply for a job. You know you’ve seen them and maybe even shared the post!
Teach Life Skills
Now is the perfect time to introduce these life skills, or expand upon them if they are already in place. Need ideas? Here is a list to get you started. Pick a few to teach your child based on their age and maturity level.
- Create a budget and balance a checkbook. Make up a pretend account and complete transactions over the next few weeks.
- Household management. Consider drafting a weekly chore chart and delegating tasks to each family member to complete each week. Ensure that those who are able know how to use the washer, dryer, and dishwasher.
- Change a flat tire. My dad used to have my brother and I change tires for fun and I’m thankful for knowing this skill!
- Cook simple meals. There is a cooking task that can be assigned to a child regardless of age, from pouring and mixing ingredients to reading the recipe to cooking a full meal under supervision.
- Meal plan. This ties in well with staying on a budget and can be useful when trying to introduce new foods or recipes – present three ideas and have the kids pick one.
- Print out job applications, have your teen fill them out and conduct a mock interview. Many will balk at the idea but will thank you later on.
- Still haven’t filed your taxes? Have the kids sit with you as you go through the line items and sift through the piles of paper. Explain the process the best you can.
- Simple home repairs. Now might be the perfect time to go around and tighten bolts and grease squeaky hinges.
- Teach them the life skills you wish you had in your late teens and early twenties.
This is a shortlist but I think you get the idea. Enjoy this time home with your kids and if you feel stressed, hop off of social media and break out a board game, book or movie. It is a stressful time for most but just remember, this too shall pass. Breathe and give yourself and your family grace.