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Teaching Real-Life Lessons to Home-Schooled Students

homeschool-familyEvery form of education has its pros and cons. However, more involved parents may find public education falls short for a number of reasons, be it large class sizes in which students aren’t given the 1-on-1 attention they need or a curriculum lacking lessons on attaining real-life skills.

If you plan to homeschool your son or daughter, here is a look at some real-life skills you can incorporate into your lesson plans.

While They’re Young

When your son or daughter hit a certain age, there are simple, yet essential life skills they can learn around the house. As such, there’s no reason you can’t incorporate household management skills into your curriculum. Laundry, cooking, and cleaning are all essential household skills that must be learned, and while children and teens commonly complain over chores, there should be less room for dissent when it’s part of their curriculum.

Attention to detail should also be instilled in children as they learn these life skills. Even many adults rush through home management tasks and are eager to partake in more fun activities. Show your children that jobs, when done right and thoroughly, don’t have to be repeated as often. For instance, help them understand the kitchen or bathroom will only require a quick wipe down if they heed the above advice during a monthly or bi-monthly deep clean.

Communication Skills

In the public education system, many kids slip through the cracks as they aren’t made to feel as though their voices are unique or possess worth. Communication skills are essential for kids and adults, and the ability to ask questions and be inquisitive should be at the forefront of your child’s education.

An inquisitive nature will translate in the real world and the workplace, and set your children on the path to a bright future. Children in the public education system, on the other hand, would oftentimes rather remain silent than ask questions and run the risk of being wrong in front of their peers.

Financial Savvy

When your children are older, there are many everyday tasks that simply aren’t covered in public school, including how to:

  • Open a bank account
  • Balance a checkbook
  • Take out a loan, and understand how interest accrues
  • Apply for credit cards and credit scores

These are everyday tasks and “skills” that may seem simple and intuitive for most people but aren’t necessarily known or discussed in school hallways. While English literature, advanced math, and basic biology are important, this knowledge isn’t as helpful compared to the life skills they will use every day.

Teens and Cars

Teens accumulate many life experiences and changes during their formative years, which includes desperately wanting to obtain their driver’s license. When your teen is of age, make it a requirement for them to study for their driver’s permit exam.

Requirements may vary from state to state, but driving-tests.org offers a comprehensive catalog of information, including written lessons and practice tests, so your teen knows the rules of the road before they step foot into the DMV. However, before you include driver’s ed in your teen’s curriculum, make sure you understand your state’s homeschool requirements, as they vary state to state.

[About the author: Alex Clark-McGlenn is currently taking his MFA in creative writing from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts. He has been published in eFiction Magazine, Inkwell at Evergreen, Slightly West Literary Magazine, and appeared in Smokebox Literary Magazine July 2014. He currently lives in Seattle, Washington.]

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