There’s much more to life than those basic subjects, and unless you have an exceptional teacher who is willing to break out of the mold, your child isn’t learning the crucial things he or she needs to learn in life.
Think about your own experience for a moment. When you got out of high school, did you know everything you needed in order to survive in life, let alone succeed? I didn’t.
Being in Rhode Island for 16 months to finishing up my bachelor’s degree then Atlanta for 5 months (Marriott Management In Training program after college) alone taught me a lot.
I promised myself that my child would never be as naive and unprepared as I was. Because we homeschool, we have the privilege to customized our children education as we please for the most part, based on North Carolina Department on Non Public Education (NCDNPE)
What follows is a basic list that all children should know before reaching adulthood. There will probably be other skills you can add to this list, but at least it’s a starting point.
Social– Things will not always go as planned. But they can be changed for the better. Find solutions instead of complaints. And most of all, learn to believe in yourself, and to block out negative self-thinking internal and externally.
Spiritual- Whether this is a higher religious purpose, or the purpose of making your family happy, or the purpose of finding your calling, having a purpose in life is extremely important. Teach your children the importance of this and show how to do it yourself.
Be intimate: Teach by having an intimate relationship with your child, and model it with your spouse or other significant other (within appropriateness). Teach them the skills for developing these types of relationships, talk about the importance of it, and how to get through the bumpy parts as well. There are bad times in every relationship, but with the right skills of communication, empathy and compromise, they can get through them.
Environmental includes living in harmony with the Earth by understanding the impact of your interaction with nature and your personal environment, and taking action to protect the world around you. Protecting yourself from environmental hazards and minimizing the negative impact of your behavior on the environment are also central elements. Leading a lifestyle that is respectful to our environment and minimizes any harm done to it is a critical part of this dimension of wellness.
Educational– One of the most important skills not taught in school. These days, we are taught to be robots, to listen to the teacher and not to question, to accept what we are told and not to think, to be good employees and to shut up. If you’re an employer, you might want your employees to be like this, and if you’re a politician, you might want your citizens to be like this. But is that how you want your child to be? An unquestioning, naive, ignorant citizen/employee/student? If so, carry on. If not, just start introducing the habit of questioning why? And the skill of find out the answer. And how to question authority — there is no one right answer. Conversation is a good way to accomplish this skill.
Financial-This is something to teach them from an early age. How to
shop around to get
good deal, to compare between products of different prices and quality, to make things last and not waste, to control impulse buying. When we go out and do a shopping spree, including before Christmas, we are teaching them just the opposite. Teach them the responsible use for money and credit, and how to avoid it when it’s not necessary, and how to avoid getting into too much debt, and how to use a credit card responsibly.a
Physical- People who lead an active life are more likely to live longer and less likely to develop serious diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Exercise not only makes you physically fitter, it also improves your mental health and general sense of wellbeing. There are so many fun ways to sneak it in your child brain as a fun thing to do.
Today’s kids (and their moms) report being surrounded by healthy eating messages. In fact, when asked about where they are learning about “healthy eating”, kids (8-11) cite many different sources.2 Of these, traditional venues (parents, teachers, medical personnel) reign supreme. Global Kids Study
Nutritional- It is directly linked to all aspects of their growth and development; factors which will have direct ties to their level of health as adults. Almost certainly helping them to live longer. Countless studies show that what someone learns as a child is then perpetuated
I call those the 7 branches of Wellness. Here are a few other ideas! throughout their life.
- Auto. Why cars are needed (no, not to look cool), how to buy a practical car, how to take care of it. How the engine works, what might break down, and how it’s fixed. Should be taught to both boys and girls (that should be obvious, but I had to say it).
- Household. How to fix things around the house and keep things maintained. Plumbing, electricity, heating and cooling, painting, roofing, lawn, all that good stuff. The tools and skills necessary to do just the basic maintenance and repairs. And how to know when to call a professional.
- Cleaning. Too many adults grow up without knowing how to do laundry, to clean a house properly, to keep the house clean and uncluttered, to have a weekly and monthly cleaning routine.
- Organization. How to keep paperwork organized, how to keep things in their place, to to keep a to-do list,how to set routines, how to focus on the important tasks.
A note on how to teach these things: These points should taught by setting examples, by conversation, by showing, and by allowing the child (or teenager) to do these things on their own (with supervision at first). Once you’ve talked about the skill, showed your child how to do it, and let them do it under supervision a few times, give your child the trust to do it on his own, and to learn from his own mistakes.
Let’s Build a stronger generation~ QC Supermom