Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Life Skills



The more I read, the more confused I get.

I read things on social media that are just mind-boggling to me, at least at first glance. Posts by parents asking where there are classes for cooking, for household management ... for life skills. I'm not sure why, but I find it strange that these things need to be farmed out to outside teachers, adding yet another thing to a family's already busy schedule and overburdened budget.

Why not cook dinner together? Why not take your child grocery shopping and teach them to figure out how much things cost per pound, budget the food money, get pantry basics and recipe specifics? Why not make up a "bank book" for them if they don't have a bank account and record withdrawals and deposits from their piggy bank or wallet? Why not have them work with you on car maintenance, upkeep of the house and yard, and everything that goes into daily, monthly, and yearly living?


Then I realize that it must be difficult for some, because they don't have confidence in their skills in these areas. They never learned this type of thing in school, and often their parents were too busy to teach them themselves. This is why they want someone to teach their children these skills.

That got me thinking even more - we grow up going to school, greatly limited in what we learn by our time in the classroom and at after school and weekend activities. Our parents are running us from one activity to another, barely being able to find time to grocery shop, doing much of life's essential tasks when we're otherwise occupied. We end up going out into the world barely prepared for the ins and outs of daily living.  

What if we were to slow down? Maybe not do so many activities? Take time to learn with our children these necessary adult tasks? Learning these things more greatly impacted my life as an adult than anything I learned in school. Well, besides learning how to learn things on my own.

If my children want to build something, fix something, take something apart, put something back together, save up to purchase something, cook something, clean something, or do something, I encourage them to do it ... or to learn how to do it with me, with someone who has the know-how, or on their own. 


One of the most greatly neglected, yet essential, subjects in schooling these days is self-sufficiency... which should be taught well before expecting someone to go out into the world and be a responsible adult. 

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