This is not about making homemakers!

There is nothing wrong with homemakers. But my decision to teach life skills as a part of our homeschool has nothing to do with raising a homemaker. I have 2 sons and 1 daughter. They all get the same lectures/lessons.

It’s about my husband not knowing how to budget when we first got married. It’s about my college workers not knowing how to file taxes. It’s about me having to explain sales tax to way too many college students that argue prices with me. It’s about a friend of mine hiring a maid because she honestly didn’t know how to clean her home.

Life skills have become so devalued in our culture that it is reduced to a one-semester elective in high school. We have students that can tell you how to find the square root of irrational numbers, but they can’t balance a checkbook.

I SEE IT AT MY WORK ALL THE TIME! It’s a blessing to work on a college campus when you are raising children.

Unapologetically, I am teaching my kids to track their spending, to save money, to comparison shop, pay their taxes, clean their home and take pride in a clean home, cook, sew, and garden.

This doesn’t mean that they do any of this with a joyful heart. They hate cleaning as much as the next person. They would rather buy a burger than make one. But they can tell you that’s it’s cheaper to make one. They can tell you that a clean house is a pest free house and that people are usually healthier in a clean home.

My oldest can sew on a button and will never have to ask a friend to do it for him. My daughter can make a quilt and will always be warm for it. My youngest, only being 3, knows to wash fruit and vegetables before cutting them. He also helped me pick out seeds for us to grow together. None of my children will go hungry because they know how to grow their own.

I worry about my “work children”, though. I had to teach Dave Ramsey’s snowball method to a few of them so that they could get a handle on their debt. I praise the customers that tell me they spent their weekends and/or break working so that they can eat the rest of the semester while reminding them that there is a food pantry on campus if they ever get in a pinch for food. I had to hem 2 pairs of pants, fix a coat zipper, and sew on a button for a coworker that can’t sew; neither can his wife.

I read my sister’s facebook statuses and cringe: “Don’t know how we’re going to make this paycheck stretch”. But they check in at a diner a couple statuses later or post pictures of the new home decor they had just bought. Priorities.

My dad taught me how to sew. My grandmother encouraged me to crochet. Chores were a huge part of my upbringing as my parents didn’t do anything. I started cooking, doing dishes, and washing my own clothes as soon as I could reach things by standing on a chair. When I was 14, Dad showed me how to balance the household budget. Mom taught us how to grocery shop and comparison shop. How to figure out the unit price and know how much your total was going to be before the cashier told you.

I’m not successful. This isn’t a post to pump up my own self-importance. I’m 120k in debt between the house and hubby’s college loans. We have been in survival mode more times than I care to admit.

I teach my kids these life skills prayerfully and with the hope that they don’t have the same struggles that I have had.

What life skill do you wish you had learned before becoming an adult?

One thought on “Teaching Life Skills

  1. I encourage the kids to pitch in WITH me so they can learn. It’s not always easy and sometimes I set out expectations and consequences and MAKE them do it. They have mastered a few skills and probably do more chores than most of their friends, but we still have a long way to go.

    I’m tired though. It’s not easy when there’s all this resistance… 🙂


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