Safe at home? Include 'Skills for Life' into your routine!
Parents, are you feeling a little overwhelmed with the thought of home-schooling your children and entertaining them during the school holidays while you continue to work from home? I have an idea that I think you will love! Let’s teach our kids skills that they will need for their future, adulthood! Skills for life, things that you are an absolute expert in, things that won’t cause you to panic and sweat like you are back in algebra class.
Ask yourself which skills you wished your parents had taught you? These ideas will vary depending on the age of your child/ren and everyone's interests however it will still inspire you to enjoy this extra, bonus time together.
Practice yoga, meditation or another mindfulness activity first thing in the morning, this skill is something that we hear a lot about now and it can be a difficult thing to master. In times like these it is even more important to be able to calm our mind. Start off small if its not your thing, use an app or if this is how you normally start your day include your kids.
We have this wonderful opportunity where we don’t have to rush for the bus or train so why not use your normal ‘commute time’ to teach a child to make scrambled eggs or pancakes. Ditch the cereal for when you are rushing but enjoy the slower pace of eating breakfast together and don’t forget to include the clean up as part of the activity.
Teach your kids to cook dinner. Let them choose the meal they love and show them how to make it, be the Teacher once by showing them to peel, cut, chop, sauté all the elements needed then step back to Head Chef, then Sous Chef and then a Customer of a new café in town! By the end of a few months you will be cooking less, especially if you have a few kids who are teens!
Include your child in the housework let them learn how the washing machine works or even just sorting and counting the laundry, how to iron, wash dishes, stack the dishwasher these things are not so fun but you can turn them into a game that includes ‘accidental learning’ for age appropriate levels.
If you really do want to cover some educational topics, choose the ones you liked, or you excelled at or at least your kids enjoy so it will be more enjoyable for everyone. Leave the topics you avoided to the professionals or use an app/tutor that will cover that. Or think outside the box to learn; geography pull out your old backpacking photo album of Europe, this might also turn into a history lesson too and I’m not just talking about historical sites but that you had to print photos to see them and had to read maps and navigate public phones in another language – ha why not teach them a few words you remember picking up in Europe too.
Running out of loo paper again, let’s talk and learn about budgets, finance and how to manage supply and demand or let them work out how to start an online account and what food is needed. Let them select grocery items and maybe even what to have for dinner.
Something has broken, get the family together to work how to fix it, that might involve sewing a hole by hand or changing the oil in the car as part of a team project.
Dedicated reading sessions or some quiet time, at the same time each day will let their reading flourish. Grow things, make things, play and be sure to include solo time for play and learning. You do not need to fill their day; they will learn problem solving skills by doing things for themselves and be their most creative when they are bored. And if all else fails make it water play time even a bath/shower will work. I find water is like a re-set button for kids, and most adults.
Let’s face it we are not teachers, well not all of us and we certainly won’t be able to educate our kids like a teacher. The relationship is different, kids just don’t listen to parents the same and there is no peer support. It is a challenging time so, let’s give ourselves a break, let’s give our kids a little more freedom but also involve them in life skills to equip them for living out of the family home, for arranging a big trip, joining the workforce or just letting them grow with more independence.
Playfully Skip and Dance Daily,