When your child is learning at home, you have a prime opportunity to impact your children and teach them far more than just academics before graduation. Take advantage of the time you have together to invest in their lives and adequately prepare them for life after homeschool with these five practical life skills.
1. Managing Money: Though your child may have mastered Monopoly, it takes some good old fashion teaching to learn real-life finance skills. Teaching your child about setting up and managing a simple budget, tipping at a restaurant, handling a credit card properly, using a parking meter, filling out a deposit slip, and using an ATM are vital abilities that help the transition of growing up go smoother. The homeschool resource Checks and Balances from Alpha Omega Publications is a good tool to use for teaching personal finance skills with a hands-on activity kit.
2. Maintaining a Car: When your child graduates, a car will undoubtedly come into the picture. The lack of car knowledge may be blaringly obvious after the first flat tire or oil change. Have your child start filling up the family car with gas, washing the vehicle, and understanding the general layout of what lurks under the hood. Also, be sure to teach your child about car insurance and give them an appreciation for the car manual.
3. Grocery Shopping: Once your child leaves the family dinner table and the comforts of Mom’s and Dad’s cooking, the rows upon rows of cereal and spaghetti sauce can seem daunting. Teach your child how to compare prices, pick out fresh produce, realize the difference between generic and store brands, and shop using the weekly store ads.
4. Learning Basic Conversational Skills: Because you homeschool, you can expand on your child’s conversation and relational skills even more than a child who is not schooled at home. Help your child understand how to guide a conversation, create rapport with a stranger, and observe and interpret body language. Having the ability to adapt to any social situation and relate to others is important once your child is placed outside his comfort zone.
5. Cleaning: Whether your child is male or female, it is extremely beneficial to know how to keep a residence clean. From cleaning an oven to removing a stain on the carpet, cleaning skills are vital to maintaining a healthy home and lifestyle.
What are some additional practical life skills you think are important to teach your child before graduation?