Sep 8, 2012

Homeschooling Tip 8

By Juli Herman 


Ever met a really intelligent college student who cannot even boil a pot of water? Academics have really pervaded the area of education such that many have forgotten that life is not all about academics. Life skills can be equally important if not more important than academics when it comes to real life.

As young as 2, you can include your child in house chores, such as mixing the salad, sorting the laundry, or even slicing cucumbers with a spread knife. Of course, it will take more time for you to finish the chores, but in doing this, you will be inculcating the importance of life skills in your children. Include them in life skill matters such as car maintenance, plumbing, budgeting, cooking, and DIY projects. Do not underestimate their abilities. If they cannot physically help, they can always observe. Engage them in the process by letting them tag along to the mechanics, the bank, etc. When something needs fixing in the house, include your children in the process of figuring out how to get it fixed. Let them google the manual for your oven online if you need help figuring out how to have it self-clean. Sometimes you may need to feign ignorance and ask their opinion on what should be done. It will make them active problem solvers. It can very well be hands-on academics too!

One thing that I recently did, which I find really beneficial is, I ask each child what meal they would like to learn to make. Then I show them how to prepare that particular meal, and before I know it, I have Alhamdulillah delegated the chore of cooking to my children. There are three of them, ages 12, 13, and 15, and together, they can prepare a whole meal for the family. This is especially helpful for when you are sick, or just swamped with work or study, and most importantly, it also gives them something to feel accomplished about, something that is not purely academics. The benefits are multiple-fold; they develop important life skills, your burden is somewhat alleviated (post training), they are more grateful and appreciative of the things you do around the house, they get hands-on experience, their self esteem gets a boost, and they will grow up to be well-rounded individuals, inshaAllah!

I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)


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