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My husband co-authored this post, since he came up to me and dictated this experience with our 4 year old daughter, Marley.
Marley and her dad went on an assignment/field trip together to the grocery store. He told her they needed supplies and ingredients to make tacos. He went over the supplies they needed and he let Marley push the mini grocery cart (which I think is adorable when the stores have them). He said he had the time of his life watching her look for the supplies and teaching her about picking items that are good quality and reasonably priced. She paid close attention and was very interested in his methods of shopping. He taught her how to tell if an avocado is ripe to use. He even tested her to see if she understood and she did a great job picking out our avocados. My husband came home and told me about their experience with so much enthusiasm. He told me he is enjoying homeschooling. He also pointed out to me that he knows full grown adults that aren't very knowledgable in efficient grocery shopping.
I have been told on several occasions that the upcoming generations are lacking in life skills. Many teenagers and college aged kids are growing up without learning how to take care of themselves on a daily basis. Some skills that are being overlooked in traditional education are: Cooking, cleaning, shopping, doing laundry, simple problem solving, and being responsible to carry out tasks on their own. I have also recently heard employers say that it is difficult to find employees, even college graduates, that can handle a problem by themselves.
Why are kids not learning these basic concepts? Too much television? Cell phones? Video games? Lack of daily responsibilities? Too much time spent on homework? I do not know the reason for this oversight, but I do know that these life skills are more easily learned at home and through family interaction. I also know that life skills are not only valuable in the home. These skills create a sense of responsibility and confidence. They teach people the value of a strong work ethic. Those lessons and skills are priceless and will inevitably create a more successful person in all aspects of life. We are grateful for the flexibility of homeschool, so that we may focus on those life skills and make sure our children are growing up to be self sufficient.