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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
Box 20219
Portland OR 97294
Fax: 503-253-7345
Phone: 503-253-9633  

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Table of Contents
     Life Skills
          List of Skills
          Life Skills Notebook or Resource File
          Designing Life Skill Courses
          How To Teach Life Skills in Seven Steps
          Biblical Principles
          Unit Studies
          Learn Together
          Cross Training
          Alternative Scheduling for Life Skills Training
     Recommended Resources
          Marvelous Math
          Christian Liberty Academy School System
          Little Cottage Homeschool Books
          Homeschool Cookbook
          Builder Books
     Sunnyside Up: Humorous Anecdote


     In preparing your children for their future, practical,
everyday life skills need to be given an important place in
your their education.
     The best way for your children to start learning these skills
is by observing you.  In this issue we offer additional ways to train
your children in these essential skills.

     You are invited to contribute to this newsletter by submitting
a note of encouragement to your fellow home educators, teaching
tip, recommended website, family photo and brief story, or
humorous anecdote.  We will send you a back issue of your choice
of The Teaching Home magazine as a thank you for any submission
that is published.  (See the 51 back issues still available at

     Please tell a friend about this free newsletter.  They will thank
you for it.

     May the Lord bless you and your family for His glory.

Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian Welch
The Teaching Home is a 24-year-old, home-school family business.

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A Home-School First
     Virginia will have the first home-school license plate in the nation!

Summer Tips for Your Backyard
     Useful tips on how to take care of your bird bath and feeder,
how to manage your lawn, and zap mosquitoes.

Bible Drive
     The need for Bibles around the world is great, and Bible Foundation
is networking with people around the United States to collect and freely
send the vast surplus of new and used Bibles to hungry hearts.

Newsletter #84
     Wow!  Thank you so much for your last newsletter.  It was just
what I needed.  Starting a new year of home school was becoming
a battle as I didn't know where to start on organizing last year's mess
with this year's clutter.  This was a big help to me!  Thanks. Mary Ann

Home-School Conventions
     For information about your state convention, go to The
Teaching Home's website (link below) and link directly to the
state organization's website.  Upcoming state conventions:
August:  NV, OR, TX
September: England / Various Dates: TN, TX, NZ

Teaching Home Magazine
Back Issues
     Find information, inspiration,
and support from 51
never-out-of-date back issues
offered for sale online.
     The Dec. 1990/Jan. 1991 Issue
carries a 14-page "Special Section" on Life Skills.

Could You Use Some Help Home Schooling?
     Enjoy the flexible schedule of independent home schooling
while getting all the benefits of a proven full-service program.
 *  The Christian Liberty Academy School System program has
     a very flexible work submission schedule.
 *  We select textbooks from the best publishers and include
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     cards (plus timely email score reporting), diploma, and a free
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Life Skills
     Life skills consist of the knowledge, wisdom, and ability to
deal successfully with the common, every-day issues of life.
     Below is a general list of life skills.  Use this list as an overview
or outline to plan your child's training in these areas.  Add specifics
and more details as you go.

__ Thinking Skills.  Decision making, problem solving, common
sense, information gathering, study and memory skills.

__ Time Management.  Goal setting, organization, planning,

__ Personal Care.  Hygiene, health habits, first aid, self-care
for illness or minor injuries, safety precautions, self-defense,
preventative health measures.

__ Interpersonal Skills.  Relationships, family, friends,
marriage, parenting, negotiation, cooperation, teamwork, conflict
resolution, etiquette, hospitality.

__ Communication.  Phone, e-mail, mail, reports, speech, reading
instructions, getting needed help or information from various
sources, sending clear messages.

__ Money Management.  Budgeting, saving, tithing, banking, tax
preparation, insurance, bookkeeping, learning to live within
means, comparison shopping.

__ Clothing.  Wardrobe planning and selection, shopping for clothes,
clothing maintenance, laundering and cleaning, mending, sewing.

__ Food.  Nutrition, menu planning and budgeting, shopping, meal
preparation, food preserving.

__ Housing.  Rental vs. ownership, types of housing, furnishing
and decorating, housework, home maintenance, organization of
space, cleaning, repairs, landscaping, furniture and appliance care.

__ Transportation.  Costs of the various types of transportation,
use of public transportation, buying or selling a new or used vehicle.
Driving, car maintenance, basic knowledge of how cars work.
Plan itinerary, read map and timetables, make reservations, estimate
cost of trips.  Bicycle safety, maintenance, repairs.

__ Citizenship.  Community and neighborhood involvement, pertinent
laws, voting, political action.

__ Work Skills.  Work habits, resumes, job applications.

Life Skills Notebook or Resource File
     Use a notebook or file to collect ideas and resources for
teaching your children life skills. Label a section of the
notebook or a file folder for each major, non-academic skill
they will need for successful adult life (e.g., cooking, driving,
etc.). Then expand the list with details (e.g., chopping onions,
turning pancakes, parking, making left turns, etc.) for each
major life skill.
     Next, write down any tips, ideas, plans, books, or other
resources you want to use for teaching each skill or subskill.
Continue to add to your notebook or files.
     Reserve an area of your bookshelves or files for life
skills.  Keep your master list, notebook, files, resources, and
individual student materials and records all together where you
can easily access them.
     Create a checklist and/or target dates to reach various life
skill goals for each student. Stay alert for natural opportunities
and/or make plans to tutor or mentor your children in these areas.
Then record their activities and progress with dated entries in their
own individual life-skills notebooks.
     When enough hours and/or skills have been accumulated by a
student, you may credit him with a finished course on his high
school transcript (e.g., Driver's Education, Home Economics,

     Save 25-70% on Curriculum!
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     hurry and take advantage of the savings!

Designing Life Skill Courses
     You can design more formal life skill courses for your
     First, decide what experiences and skills you want to
include and set specific objectives.
     For example, your computer class might cover 25 skills that
you feel your children should master before they can be considered
competent computer users.
     Next, obtain information. Buy or check out from your library
an adult, beginner-level book (or books) and/or research information
on the Internet on your topic.
     Now create course record sheets to keep track of progress.
     For example, a bicycle course record sheet could include
boxes for recording actual time spent bicycling and a place to
check off books read and videos viewed on the topic of cycling,
including bicycle repair and safety.
     Or a family-living course could require specific experiences with
a preschooler such as to read to him, plan a craft project for him,
help him complete it, supervise his playtime, teach him a new chore,
apply minor first aid, and help him with bedtime and morning routines.
     As your children learn and/or demonstrate skills, check them
off on the record sheet for that course.
     Read more about grading (for academic credit) and record
keeping in an article by Joy Marie Dunlap at

How To Teach Life Skills in Seven Steps
     From his earliest years, your child will observe you performing
the life skills that he will one day need to learn and do himself.
You can talk to him about what you are doing and why whenever
he is with you.
     When your child is mature enough to learn and perform a new
skill, you can train him in a more concentrated way.  For best results,
follow a step-by-step process like the one below.

1.  Prepare
 *  Obtain a book or other information on the skill and study it
 *  Print out a sheet of written instructions for your child to follow.
     This will be used as a checklist throughout your training

2.  Introduce and Motivate
 *  Give an overview of the skill and how it will be used.
 *  Explain why the skill to be learned is important.
 *  Answer any questions that the learner may have.
 *  Include any scriptural basis and moral or spiritual reasons
     for learning it well (see Biblical Principles below).

3.  Teach and Explain
 *  Study the book or other information source you have chosen
     for background information.
 *  Explain the activity or process.
 *  Break it down into steps (use your checklist).
 *  A field trip (e.g., bank, furniture store) might be helpful.

4.  Demonstrate
 *  Have your child watch you do the task.
 *  Show and explain each step in logical sequence (use your checklist).
 *  Be sure to be exact, slow, and clear.
 *  Involve your child by asking questions and getting feedback.
 *  Have your child explain the process or skill back to you.

5.  Supervised Practice
 *  Have your child do the task under your supervision until you are
     satisfied he can do it properly.
 *  Ask your child to explain what he is doing as he goes.
 *  Give your child immediate feedback on which parts he does well
     and which need improvement.

6.  Independent Practice
 *  Allow your child to work alone.
 *  Give your child the responsibility for a certain area (e.g.,
     menu planning, cooking dinner, doing laundry) for a few
     weeks or as a permanent chore.
 *  Check off mastered skills on your checklist of life skills.
 *  Award high school credit on your child's transcript for
     acceptable achievement levels.

7.  Review and Maintain
 *  Check periodically, or on a regular basis, to be sure your
     child is still proficient in the skill.
 *  Use your checklist to make sure your child does each step
     correctly and does not develop bad habits.
 *  Encourage, correct, and give more instruction where

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Teaching Life Skills

Biblical Principles
     Almost any life-skill topic can be found directly, or in
principle, in God's Word. Do a search for Scripture passages
that apply to the skill area at hand.
 *  Use a Bible concordance to look up related words or verses
     you recall that would apply.
 *  Keep a list of relevant Scriptures in your life skills

Unit Studies
     Any life skill would be a useful theme for a unit study.
 *  Read a text or other books on the subject.
 *  Write information you learn in your life skills notebook.
 *  Most skills involve practical math and math word problems.
 *  Read literature, especially biographies, that describe the life skill.
 *  Research the historic and scientific aspects of the skill.

Learn Together
     A cooking class or other skill area can be taught to children of
different ages together.
     You could also invite another family over once a week for
six weeks or so to cook together.  Maybe you could prepare a meal
for the families at the end of your course.
     Perhaps you could teach cooking and a friend could teach sewing
to your children together.
     Sometimes a class outside your home might be appropriate if a
parent and child take it together.  For instance, your husband and
teenage son or daughter might take a car maintenance class at your
community college together.  Or you and your daughter might take
a sewing class or learn to cook Mexican food in a class together.

Cross Training
     Even though certain life skills are traditionally done by one gender
(e.g., women cook, men do repairs), there are many temporary or
even permanent circumstances in which it would be desirable for
both men and women to have some degree of competence in all of
the life skills.  For example:
 *  Both can help make decisions on finances.
 *  A husband could cook a meal or wash a load of laundry when
     his wife is sick.
 *  A woman needs to know what to do in an emergency such as
     having a flat tire or an overheated car.

Alternative Scheduling for Life Skills Training
     On-Going Training.  You can schedule the teaching of
life skills throughout your child's education.  For instance, your
kindergarten son can help you cook as you teach him how to
correctly measure dry and liquid ingredients.  As your child
grows, so will his learning and skill levels.
     Interspersed Units.  You can do concentrated units
interspersed throughout your child's schooling to give a change
of pace from academics.
     Summer.  You can use summers to work on specific skills,
particularly seasonal skills such as lawn care or food preservation.
     Year-Long Focus.  You might want to take a whole year after
high school (or as the last year of high school if the academics
are finished) to finish up all the life skills you want to teach
your child and bring him up to the level of knowledge and
experience that he will need to "graduate" into the life of his
own family.

 *  "Nave's Topical Bible."
 *  "Encyclopedia of Bible Truths for School Subjects."
 *  "Proverbs for Parenting," "Plants Grown Up," "Polished Cornerstones."
 *  Institute in Basic Life Principles.

     Please Thank and Support
     Our Sponsoring Advertisers!
          These free newsletters are made possible financially by
     the fine suppliers who advertise in them and the accompanying
     e-mail.  Please consider those that advertised in our last issue
     (below) as well as the ones in this issue.

     Two Christian Online Academies for K-12 Homeschoolers

     Be a Work-at-Home Mom

     SCI-TECH Hands-On Project Kits

     Power-Glide Flash Cards

     Doorposts Summer Sale


Sunnyside Up: Why Would You Ask?
     After the worship service one Sunday, I was greeted by a
young home schooler. After she told me her name, I asked her
how old she was. She politely responded that she was 3.
     Inquiring further, I asked this bright little girl when she
had turned 3.
     She thought for a moment and then confidently replied, "At
the end of 2."
     Submitted by Calvin J., Colorado.

God Loves You.
     Because we were separated from God by sin, Jesus Christ
died in our place, then rose to life again.  If we trust Jesus Christ
as our Savior and Lord, He will give us eternal life.
     "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that
not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of
works, that no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

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