What Every Student Should Know

My daily occupation is to be a mother and homeschool teacher.  It keeps me busy; in fact, so busy that I've struggled to keep up with this blog.  My writing time and my homeschool planning/recording time compete with each other, but such is life. 

As I was reflecting on all of the activities that we do together as homeschoolers, I realized that I concentrate heavily on traditional academics (reading, writing, mathematics, the sciences, social studies), and I supplement art, music, physical education, foreign language, drama, home economics, and so forth.  That is the model with which I am the most comfortable.  Should anyone suddenly give my kids a standardized test, I want to be ready, pencil in hand!

However, part of the very reason why many folks choose to homeschool - and indeed, what all parents try to do - is to impart the wisdom of good habits and character traits to their children, and to have their children be able to function well in daily life through the years.  Academics are great, but they must be combined with strong social and emotional and practical skills.  Isn't that what we all ultimately want: happy, confident kids who grow up to take care of themselves (as much as they can) and make a positive contribution to society?

So with that in mind, I thought about my "checklist" of what I'd love for my kids to know in order to succeed in the real world, at least as much as I can foresee of the real world before my kids are ready to enter into it.  Here's my short and inexhaustive list, in no particular order:

Health skills:
To know what nutritious food is, and to want to eat it.
To take care of their teeth, skin, heart, and other body parts.
To learn when to seek medical attention.
To know moderation in consumption.
To understand sex, biologically and emotionally.

Practical skills:
To know how to save money and spend wisely.
To learn how to be organized around the house.
To learn how to fix simple machines.
To know how to write well and speak articulately.
To have a healthy knowledge of science.
To be able to create at least one kind of handcrafted thing that they are able to share.
To be aware of current and historical events enough to have an intelligent opinion of them.

Social skills:
To be able to give and take compliments.
To exercise self-control.
To keep promises and commitments.
To be generous, understanding, and trustworthy to others.
To be polite to all people in all stations of life.
To be sympathetic, and to take the underdog's side.
To be aware of the people and problems in the world around them.

One more thing, but I am not sure what category this would fall under: the ability to choose and cherish a worthy life partner.  There are few other things in adult life that influence our happiness (or unhappiness) as much as what partner to whom we choose to devote our life.

There are a million other things that I am forgetting right now, but I have a few more years to go.  Today, Lolly wrote down where she lived (from street to galaxy), how time interconnected (from minutes to millennia), and what holidays were in what months.  It's a start.

What's on your checklist?

1 comment:

  1. To be respectful of others and expect the same in return


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