What Kinds of Life Skills Should Kids Learn?

What kind of life skills do you have and what kind of life skills should our kids be learning?

This morning my husband told me about a series of blog posts he's been reading about "lost knowledge," and it really made me start to think.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if some world-wide event suddenly rendered all technology useless? How would we fare as a nation? I'm not talking about the immediate aftermath of a situation like that, I'm talking the long term.

With technology grinding to a halt, so many of our industries would immediately cease to operate. The internet would be a thing of the past. Communication would slow dramatically. Food and clothing production and distribution would decrease drastically.

So what would we do for food? For clothing?

Do we have the skills that would help us through such a crisis? Or have we become so dependent on technology that we've lost some of the basic skills that would help us survive?

As homeschoolers we have the ability create much of our curriculum for our children, to tailor-make a course of study to meet our children's needs. Maybe we should consider adding in some more of the basic life skills that our great-grandparents grew up learning: how to grow a vegetable garden, hunt, start and maintain a fire, cook, can foods, knit, make soap and candles, sew clothing, and in general how to make things from scratch with their own two hands.

This isn't the typical course of study for most children in America, but maybe it should be. Basic skills like that might be more important in our children's future than knowing how to solve a quadratic equation. Just maybe.

I'm not saying we should neglect the "normal" topics children study today, but are we doing our children a disservice by leaving behind those "old-fashioned" skills of the past?

It's something to think about. What would you consider to be the life skills kids should learn?

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  1. says

    I'm right there with you Joy. My mom taught me how to sew, but I lost interest when I was a teen, because I could buy clothing quicker and with less money than it would take me to make it. But I have been thinking like you also. I would like to know how to start a fire with out fire starter bricks and a lighter. I want my kids to know how also. I've been looking at books at the library on how to bake from scratch and I would love to learn how to can like my grandmother used to. I found a book called The Prairie Girl's Guide to Life: How to sew a sampler quilt and 49 other pioneer projects for the modern girl. We are going to start adding some of these things into our Life Lessons projects. We have become so high tech in this day and age that if we did have some type of disaster like what's happened in Haiti knowing how to defrag a computer is not what I'm going to be looking for when I need help. Knowing the basics is what will save our lives. Great post!
    .-= Rana´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday =-.


  2. Stephanie says

    Our family goes camping quite a bit so the girls are good on lighting a fire, cooking over the flames (dutch ovens, foil packets- we have great recipes for this type of cooking too), and pitching a tent. My older daughter does some needle work while my younger one enjoys cooking. We take them each summer to pick fruit and then to make jam and canning. (Not too hard core!) I wanted to them to know where food comes from and what it takes to preserve it for year round use.
    In addition, I am requiring that each child can cook five meals (from start to finish) of their choice before they leave for college or move out. It is essential that they learn the basics from us before they become adults.


  3. says

    I know this is an old post…but, absolutely! In this very unsteady world we live in right now I think it's very important for everyone to have these life skills.


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