When I was a careers adviser, I did a course on careers education where we were set an exercise to try and fit careers education into the curriculum alongside all of the other statutory stuff schools have to teach. It really made me realise how little time schools have to fit in the practical life skills that all kids would benefit from learning. Now that kids are off school for the time being, it seems like a good time for them to learn some practical skills that will be useful for the future. I’ve put together a list of all of the life skills I think primary school age children should learn. Some of these are things I have already taught my kids and some we’re hoping to cover while home schooling.
Financial Life Skills for Primary aged children
Money makes the world go round but isn’t something that schools have much time for in the curriculum. Teaching your kids about money is a great way to get them using maths in the real world and help them understand why maths is important. Santander have this great list of books about money for kids and NatWest have some great home learning resources about finances. You might also want to consider a prepaid cash card for kids instead of cash.
- What taxes are
- How a bank account works
- What interest is
- How a mortgage works
- What our household expenses are
- Benefits the government provides
Life Skills Need to Run the House
Many students these days arrive at university with no idea how to look after their new homes. The skills below should make sure they can do the basics as well as taking some pressure off parents while they are still living at home.
- How to do a load of washing
- How to wash up
- How to clean the bathroom
- How to empty the bins
- How to do the hoovering
- How to load the dishwasher
- Change bed sheets
Home and Vehicle Maintenance Life Skills
While we live in a society that tends to “get someone in” for a lot of our home maintenance, there are some jobs that we should all really be able to do ourselves.
- Mowing the lawn
- Hanging a picture
- Painting a wall
- Checking car tire pressure
- Checking car oil levels
- Filling up car screen wash
- Painting fences/decking
Gardening Life Skills for Kids
I can remember as a child, I was always amazed that my Mum seemed to know the names of every plant we saw. As an adult, I know more than I did, but still not as much as her. I’d like to pass what I do know onto my kids along with some other basic gardening skills.
- Identifying common plants
- Planting seeds
- Growing fruits and vegetables
The Ultimate Life Skill: Cooking
Luckily my kids love cooking and my oldest can already do lots of these. I’d like to get them both to the point they can do all of them with limited supervision.
- How to make a cake
- How to make a basic pasta dish
- How to cook eggs in 3 different ways
- How to make bread
- Make tea and toast
The Skill to Make Healthy Eating Choices
While we’re at home all the time, my kids are of course demanding snacks what seems like every 3 minutes. I’m hoping that if I educate them about food, they might understand why I wont let them eat ten kitkats a day! I’m also hoping it might help my fussy daughter to consider eating a wider variety of foods.
- Learn food groups
- Understand food labels
- Understand the relationship between everything and food
- Understand how food effects health
Physical Life Skills for a Complete Childhood
While they may not use all of these in adulthood, I think these are skills that will enhance childhood as well as coming in handy if and when they have kids of their own. My kids were very impressed when I demonstrated a forward roll last week! These also work well as part of a family sports day.
- Skip with a rope
- Roller Skate
- Ride a bike
- Ride a scooter
- Hula hoop
- Do a cartwheel
- Do a forward roll
The Skills Needed to Understand the World of Work
As a former careers adviser I might be a bit biased on this one but I think its important for primary aged children to start to learn about what is involved in choosing a career and getting a job.
- Understand the some jobs require certain qualifications
- Understand what a CV is
- Understand what a job application form is
- Understand what an interview is
Miscellaneous Life Skills Children Should Learn
While having a miscellaneous category always feels a bit like cheating to me, these are important skills that don’t quite fit in anywhere else.
- Learn to Sew
- Read a map
- Read a compass
- Time management
- Learn their own address & phone number
- Writing formal letters
- Wrap a present
Have I missed any? Let me know in the comments!
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