Tuesday, May 2, 2017

From the Homeschool Front...Life Skills by Colleen Hroncich

Life skills. Way back in the old days, parents and grandparents passed life skills on to the younger generations. Basic carpentry, plumbing, home repairs, sewing, food preservation, and more were common knowledge to most people. Not anymore. These days it is a challenge to find someone with one of these skills – much less all of them.

Several years ago it occurred to me that neither my husband nor I had any of these life skills. How would we pass them on to our kids when we didn’t possess them ourselves? Moreover, with the school calendar ruling our lives, how would we ever find the time for the kids to learn them from someone else? This problem was one of the initial motivators in our decision to begin educating our children at home.

Of course, having the kids at home didn’t solve the problem of us not having the skills to pass on to them. For that we’ve had to use outside resources. Fortunately, in the homeschool world these skills aren’t so hard to find. Friends of ours have given our kids lessons in sewing, knitting, gardening, and construction. My son was able to help the contractor who finished our basement and learned how to frame walls, hang drywall, and install electrical boxes (although we won’t let him try that one on his own!). He and I went on to build beds for him and my daughter – we even added a bookcase headboard to his.

My girls weren’t too interested in carpentry work; the culinary arts appeal to them. They’ve taken classes in cooking, canning, and gardening. My oldest daughter takes on meal planning and preparation a few days a month, and her sister wants to follow suit. (I don’t like to cook, so it works for me!)

We still have a long ways to go before I can say my kids are proficient at these life skills. But at least we’re farther down the road than we were a few years ago.

Colleen Hroncich loves that homeschooling allows her to learn right alongside her children. A published author and former policy analyst, Colleen’s favorite subjects are economics/public policy and history. She has been active in several homeschool co-ops and is a speech and debate coach.