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Table of Contents
List of Skills
Notebook or Resource File
How To Teach
Life Skills in Seven Steps
Scheduling for Life Skills Training
Academy School System
Up: Humorous Anecdote
In preparing your children for their future,
everyday life skills need to be given an important place in
your their education.
The best way for your children to start learning
is by observing you. In this issue we offer additional ways to
your children in these essential skills.
You are invited to contribute to this newsletter
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.
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May the Lord bless you and your family for
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian Welch
The Teaching Home is a 24-year-old, home-school family business.
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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
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,
instructions, getting needed help or information from various
sources, sending clear messages.
__ Money Management. Budgeting, saving, tithing, banking,
preparation, insurance, bookkeeping, learning to live within
means, comparison shopping.
__ Clothing. Wardrobe planning and selection, shopping
clothing maintenance, laundering and cleaning, mending, sewing.
__ Food. Nutrition, menu planning and budgeting, shopping,
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,
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
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,
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
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,
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Designing Life Skill Courses
You can design more formal life skill courses
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
For example, a bicycle course record sheet
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
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)
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
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
follow a step-by-step process like the one below.
* Obtain a book or other information on the skill and study
* Print out a sheet of written instructions for your child
This will be used as a checklist throughout
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
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.
* Have your child watch you do the task.
* Show and explain each step in logical sequence (use your
* 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
5. Supervised Practice
* Have your child do the task under your supervision until
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
and which need improvement.
6. Independent Practice
* Allow your child to work alone.
* Give your child the responsibility for a certain area
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
child is still proficient in the skill.
* Use your checklist to make sure your child does each
correctly and does not develop bad habits.
* Encourage, correct, and give more instruction where
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Teaching Life Skills
Almost any life-skill topic can be found directly,
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
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.
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
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.
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
his wife is sick.
* A woman needs to know what to do in an emergency such
having a flat tire or an overheated car.
Alternative Scheduling for Life
On-Going Training. You can schedule
the teaching of
life skills throughout your child's education. For instance,
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
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
* "Nave's Topical Bible." http://bible.crosswalk.com/Concordances
* "Encyclopedia of Bible Truths for School Subjects."
* "Proverbs for Parenting," "Plants Grown Up," "Polished
* Institute in Basic Life Principles. http://www.iblp.org/iblp/resources
Thank and Support
These free newsletters
are made possible financially by
the fine suppliers who advertise in them and
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
the end of 2."
Submitted by Calvin J., Colorado.
God Loves You.
Because we were separated from God by sin,
died in our place, then rose to life again. If we trust Jesus
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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