Learning is a critical part of growing up but it includes much more than just Math, Science, and Language skills. These academics are incredibly important, but there are other important aspects of developing a young child into a man or woman ready to take on the world as fully independent adults. Many important skills such as confidence, creativity, and socialization can only be developed through other activities beyond what is generally taught in school today. Here are a few examples that we think essential for you to work with your child to explore while they are growing up.
Here's some advice we got from a few of our favorite dad bloggers. Kids do their learning in school while parents work to keep the family going. Behavior and doing their chores take up home time. While the kids are doing their tasks, fit these five things in that children should learn while they're young.
With so many education departments fighting for funding, the arts have fallen by the wayside. Whether it's playing an instrument or just being in the glee club or school choir, music lessons are a must. Outside of school, with so many families, when the going gets rough, something useful falls by the wayside. Sometimes it's insurance, sometimes the boat or RV, and sometimes it's civic affiliations or music lessons.
Music, as well as all the arts, give children a chance for expression, a place to learn the joy of music and all the arts. They learn not just how to sing or play an instrument, but how to work with other people to affect a certain outcome. They learn how to reach inside themselves for the inspiration they need. They learn that one voice really can make a difference.
How to Cook a Small Meal
Mom usually does all the cooking, so small children expect the food to be there automatically and taste great. However, even small children are capable of making toast, frying an egg, or patting a hamburger into a patty and frying it. Most children can pour a bag of frozen vegetables into a pan, fill it with water, and you can teach them how to turn the knob on the stove to medium.
Children need to know how to use a potholder, how to use low to medium heat upon which to cook, and how to time what they're cooking. These basic skills will teach them how to rely upon themselves for basic food when the going gets rough and mom isn't there to help.
How to Do Laundry
Most parents just do the laundry themselves on their days off work. Kids are shooed out of the way so dad can get on with it. This is the wrong attitude. Kids need to know how to take care of themselves. You've taught them to clean their room, putting everything in its place. Take it to the next level, and teach them to do their wash.
If you have to keep a spare chair in the laundry room for them to reach the knobs, then they can easily see what they need to know. Show them how to put the clothes in the drum of the washer properly, put the detergent and softener in their proper cups, how to turn the knob to cold water, to medium load, and to 15 minutes wash time. The dryer is even easier. All they have to do is set the time. The best of luck getting them to fold their wash.
How to Care for (basic) Wounds
Nobody actually likes the sight of blood, kids much less than adults. Teach them how blood clots in usually three minutes. They need to know how to clean a wound so it doesn't become infected. They need to know how to bind it or bandage it for the same reason. As time goes on, show them how the healing process closes the wound as well as when it's healed.
How to Plant Food
Lots of kids learn to plant a seedling in a milk carton in elementary school. However, it's generally a parent who plants it outside when the plant has rooted. Kids should learn how to plant food in order to sustain themselves in adulthood.
What they need to learn most is how to root seed and then how to plant the rooted seedling. Kids need to know how deep to plant seedlings or even seeds themselves. Weeding should be part of the child's education, as well as how to judge if the fruit or vegetable is ripe enough to pick. Children should know just how much water is enough.
How To Balance A Checkbook
While this edges into the academic side of things with math skills, money management is a critical skill that too many young adults simply don't understand. This is true too for a lot of adults as well. Managing a checkbook - or more specifically managign a family budget is something that goes beyond simply learning how to save money. Instead, it is about being able to compare different types of bank accounts, interest rates, and the ability to schedule, plan, and forecast so they will be prepared to make important larger financial investments in the future such as college tuition, cars, and even a house.