There is no doubt that homeschooling can put you and your kids at an advantage. That list of advantages is ever-growing too. With the advancement of technologies and programs extending to suit families of all sorts of alternative learning models, the opportunities available to homeschoolers is more than any other time in history. Don’t get me wrong, I support and love all of the S.T.E.M programs, robotics courses for this and a subscription crate for that. However what about some of our long-lost knowledge? Is there a place for teaching lost skills, life skills, dare I say even old-fashioned skills? Do you know those vintage skills that grandma used to know, the know-how that seemed to just disappear with generations past?
“Old-fashioned skills” like baking bread, gardening, personal finance, sewing, fixing cars, reusing the old (upcycling we call it), working with animals, knowing the land, understanding local vegetation and more have gone by the waste-side in recent generations. Have we as educators, parents, and communities, in general, let critical skills go extinct to the detriment of our kids? Although the opinions differ a little many people are starting to understand generations of people are growing up without a simple understanding of majorly import skills.
Luckily this is something the homeschool community can generally avoid with a little forethought. As with almost all homeschool parents I always try to make everything a learning lesson when possible. Grocery shopping, baking, sewing, and many other tasks become a time to slow down and teach as well. There are many skills kids of today could benefit from, however much go completely without.
Teaching Lost Skills to homeschoolers
- personal finance– setting a budget, debt management, savings, understanding credit scores, etc
- goal setting– setting short and long-term goals and how to achieve them
- time management– using planners and tools to manage time
- cooking/ baking– basic cooking or baking skills to include bread making from scratch
- first aid– basic to advanced first aid
- emergency preparedness– preparing for natural disasters and what do in case of
- mending/ sewing– basic hand sewing, repairing, using a sewing machine
- planting a garden– gardening basics, companion planting etc
- map reading– understanding and basic map skills
- storing and preserving food– canning, dry storage, fermentation etc
- reusing materials– upcycling or repurposing used items
- animal care– management, feeding and basic needs of different animals
- plant knowledge– understanding and identifying local and native plants
- basic carpentry– using hand tools, building basic items
- vehicle mechanics– basic car maintenance, changing a tire, checking oil etc
- personal health and fitness– understanding the basics of health and fitness
This list is by no means complete, there is much more that can be added. This list is as much about creativity as it is learning skills. When was the last time your children built a birdhouse from scratch, baked bread or took old sweaters to make a blanket? What do you wish you had been taught? What could you have benefited that you did not learn until much later?
The homeschooling edge
Homeschooling does have many advantages, being able to teach and learn outside the box is definitely one of them. When you do not have a whole school or classroom it can make teaching lost skills a bit easier. Animal care and management or planting a garden can be difficult with large groups of kids but its a piece of cake with just your own.
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Adults of the future will likely have many more obstacles than the adults of yesterday. With global warming and sustainability issues on the rise, learning and knowing how to reuse and repurposed things will be a valuable skill. Gardening can come in very handy when oil prices (therefore food prices rise) but paychecks do not.
The possibilities and opportunities that homeschoolers have at their disposal are many. Kids of today will need problem-solving, advancing of technology and a good understanding of science, to make the world a better place. However, they may also need to know how to rely on skills common to our grandparents’ generation to navigate a changing world. Call them life skills call them old skills, teaching lost skills to our kids gives them a major advantage in the world of tomorrow ♡♡♡
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Beth is a mother of 6 living on a handful of acres in an old farmhouse in central Kansas. Beth has a background in the military and health and fitness however her passions come from her homestead life. Beth is an enthusiastic homeschooling mom, avid organic gardener, chicken & goat wrangler, who is obsessed with herbs and natural remedies and maintaining an all-around Do-It-Yourself lifestyle. Beth loves to share all she has learned about and sustainable living. While striving for a healthy, natural life, family-centered life.