As homeschoolers, we teach our children reading, writing, arithmetic, and more. However, as a homeschool alumna, some of my most valued points of learning are in the area of personal skills.
These are essential skills that helped prepare me for living life as an adult. In my experience, here are 7 of the most important personal skills to teach while homeschooling:
1. Caring for one’s physical health
Eating a balanced diet of nutritious foods is one of the biggest gifts you give to your physical body. My mother taught me how to select, purchase and process raw ingredients into meals.
As a result, I now use this knowledge every day in preparing food for my own family!
If you haven’t read it before, check out our blog post on some quick, healthy homeschool breakfast ideas.
Teaching your children the importance of getting adequate exercise is another area where we can help instill a positive value in our children.
This can be done by helping your children identify a sport they enjoy or simply by getting them used to regular physical activity during their week at a local park, trail or open gym.
2. Healthy anger and stress management
This must be one of the most critical personal skills to teach while homeschooling! Our children will face countless situations when they are angry or stressed. Therefore, being equipped with healthy ways to manage emotions will set them up for success tremendously.
While they are toddlers, tantrums and meltdowns are age-appropriate. However, even at this early age, we can begin showing them how to respond to frustration and disappointment.
As they grow older, talking through stressful events and helping them learn to express, control and channel their emotions will benefit them greatly.
3. Interpersonal and communication skills
Being in a family is an automatic training ground for interpersonal and communication skills. However, there are many different facets of these skills that we can help our children intentionally learn.
We can teach listening skills by encouraging eye contact with those speaking, to repeat back information to confirm understanding, and more.
Another huge area as children mature is to learn strong verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Even younger ones can be taught how to have respectful body language.
They can also learn to use manners early on too – “please” and “thank you” will take them far in their future relationships!
4. Time management
So many areas of life work better when we can be productive with the time given to us. We can help our children not only learn time management in their schoolwork, but also during other everyday activities.
See this blog post about time management tips for homeschool parents!
Chores, extracurriculars, and even errands are all tools in teaching effective time management.
As our children grow older, we can supervise them setting their own goals for the day, week or month. Discussing with them the items on their schedule and then helping them organize and plan their time is a great example.
5. Lifelong learning and personal development
Perhaps this is one skill for which homeschoolers have a bit of a reputation, which is a good thing!
One of the very best things we can teach our children is to love to learn and how to learn. Once they have these down, there is very little in life they won’t be able to figure out when they need it.
Giving our children the freedom to lead in their own education when they are old enough is a great way to foster this mindset.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons people write articles like this one from U.S. News and World Report about homeschoolers. They are often adept at learning how to succeed in the real world and passionate about working hard to reach their goals.
6. Financial management
Teaching our children to be wise stewards of their money is one of the most important personal skills to teach while homeschooling.
It can start in their early years by taking them shopping with you and talking about how you decide what to purchase. Once they are a little older, helping them manage an allowance or money earned in other ways is a great way to teach money principles.
To add some fun to learning, check out these 5 money math lessons!
In addition to responsible spending, saving and investing are wonderful values to teach our students. Budgeting and avoiding unnecessary debt are fantastic lessons for older children too, setting them up for success with their finances.
You may also be interested in these educational math games that homeschoolers recommend.
7. Employability skills
As homeschool parents, we pray and hope that one day our children will grow into adults who find jobs that utilize their talents and provide for their future families.
In preparation for that, there are many skills we can help them learn to increase the likelihood of that outcome. Here are just a few examples:
- Conflict resolution
- Persuasion and negotiation
Looking for opportunities in our everyday lives and schooling for children to learn about these skills and apply them will aid them greatly in becoming great men and women in the workplace one day.
Educating our children is a wonderful opportunity and responsibility we as parents have every day. Preparing them with personal life skills, in addition to academic knowledge, gives our next generation of people the tools they need to be successful as our future leaders, employees, entrepreneurs, fathers, and mothers.
And it all begins with the moment-by-moment parenting opportunities that present themselves as we live our homeschooling lives out as families.