Whether you didn’t learn these skills in school or you’re determined to give your children the best education, there are 15 old-fashioned useful skills homeschoolers love to teach.
Besides, teaching only academics and not life skills is a huge flaw in the educational world. We don’t want to repeat that same nonsense thinking.
Old-Fashioned Skills for Today’s Kids
So we choose to intentionally teach what other educators view as vintage or old-fashioned because we know some obsolete skills prepare today’s kids for adulthood.
Look at these 15 skills, academic or otherwise which homeschoolers still love to teach.
1. Cursive writing. Unless a child has a special need, most homeschooling parents know that learning to write and cursive writing are valuable skills.
Beyond the fact that most early documents were hand-written, cursive writing supports hand-eye coordination and can reduce letter reversals.
Look at some of my tips below about how I teach writing.
- How to Teach Cursive and Composition With A Fresh Perspective
- Cursive Matters; Handwriting Style Doesn’t + Free Resources
- 5 Creative Ways to Boost Handwriting in Older Kids
2.,3.,4.,5.,6. Finance, accounting, budgeting, money management and writing a check. Today’s kids learn early how to use a debit or credit card without knowing what is a budget or knowing ways to rein in their spending.
Subjects Not Taught in Public School
Distinguishing between a need versus a want is an extremely valuable skill to teach kids. Not teaching a kid about finances while in middle or high school or even earlier may set him up for much debt later in life.
Too, many places of business still use paper checks. Teaching our kids both how to write out a check and how to make a bank deposit in person are necessary skills for adulting.
7. How to do taxes. My kids started working while in high school and although they didn’t make enough to have to prepare a tax return, we still helped them prepare one.
When a child is living on his own he’ll have a basic understanding of tax deadlines and taxes. He manages adult responsibilities way better than if you had never introduced basic tax how-tos.
8. How to cook from scratch. The pandemic of 2020 is a perfect example of how life can throw a huge curve.
Because we want our kids self-sufficient, teaching them to cook from scratch like baking basic bread or from what is on hand saves money, teaches independence, and can be healthier.
Look below at a few ways I incorporated this into our learning day:
- Make victory soup when studying about the countries of World War II.
- Make soups from South America.
- Make butter while learning about the Life of Wyatt Earp.
- Make Zopf (Swiss Style Bread): Day 3 Hands-on Learning
School Doesn’t Prepare Us for Life
9. How to fill out a job application and how to do a job interview. When I helped my first teen fill out a job application, it was hilarious.
Although he knew what it was from the exploring career opportunities course in high school, preparing one was quite different. To this day, he still thanks me and his dad for helping him to look at his set of skills both strengths and weakness realistically.
However, nothing compared to seeing him get ready for his first job interview. He was pretty comfortable looking to apply for a job that required a dress jacket. Just a word of advice, be sure your teen knows how employees are expected to dress after you go over your dos and don’ts for a first-time job interview.
10. Learn to read a map. I love GPS too, but if you’ve ever hiked or walked in a remote area your cell phone is not really a good bet.
Besides learning about scale and distances, a map can teach local geography and can teach us what is around us. No cell phone service needed.
Things No Longer Taught in School
Maps are engaging and foster a love of learning about places along the way instead of just getting to a point like a gps. We can use both in our everyday and not let a generation grow up equipped without engaging with a map.
11. Diagramming a sentence. To understand how words need to be arranged in a sentence to make their thoughts clearer, kids need many ways to learn word arrangement.
When kids have to break down or diagram each part of a sentence it leaves no room for ambiguity. This teaching technique still helps many students.
12. Auto upkeep. Whether the tires need air or not, when and how to change the oil, and basic upkeep to maintain your safety and the life of a vehicle are important skills to know.
13. Home Economic skills. I know home economics courses are now called some fancy name like Family And Consumer Sciences. That is another post for me, but kids need to know how to read recipes, count food portions, food storage, food prep ideas and how to eat healthy. And while we can teach these skills separately, it’s much easier to teach them while on the job.
Assigning your kids the responsibility to make a grocery list or a meal for the family works. I started with easy meal ideas for my kids to make for the family and as they grew, so did the cooking skills.
Benefits of Life Skills
In addition, teaching a kid basic sewing can be a lost skill. Back in the day learning basic sewing skills was a must because all clothes were hand-made. Learning how to sew on a button is still a valuable skill.
14. Latin. Latin used to be taught at in a lot of public schools Today, not all homeschoolers teach Latin, but a lot do.
We see the value of teaching our kids the roots of modern-day language and how to analyze root meanings. The deductive reasoning used while learning Latin helped my kids to know how to critically think.
15. High School Shop Classes. Classes like woodworking, metal, and drafting classes seem to be dwindling.
Those types of hand skills are being lost. Electricians, plumbers, and carpenters are valuable skills needed in our community.
Also, these classes were taught in high school so that a teen had time to pursue passions and some of the classes were segues to a higher degree.
These skills are not outdated in our home, but they are skills which propel our kids to the future. A future where our kids are truly prepared for whatever comes their way.
Old-Fashioned But Timeless Skills
How can a kid learn about the human body without preparing a meal?
How can a kid value how fast human history changes unless he can read the thoughts of the founding father in their handwriting – cursive?
How can a child not be saddled with debt and stress the rest of his life unless we teach him now how to save and when to spend?
Look at some of these other reads:
- Essential Life Skills – A Homeschooler’s Other Curriculum
- How to Know What A Homeschooled Child Should Learn Yearly?
- How to Mesh Your Personality With Homeschooling When They Collide
- Homeschooling Kindergarten : What Subjects to Teach and For How Long?
- Teach Your Homeschooled Teen the Art of Studying (without nagging)
- 6 Best Homeschool Hacks Teaching Multi-Aged Children
We don’t have to make a choice between academics or old-fashioned practical skills a child should know. We want them both!
Hugs and love ya,