Can you smell spring in the air? We are loving these warmer days! Going outside without the baggage of mittens, hats, coats, and boots is wonderful! With nicer weather, we often take our school work outside! We also take advantage of the freedom to teach life skills based on some of the spring work we need to catch up on around the house as we enter a new season. Here are some useful life skills suitable to teach in spring.
I am amazed when I talk to friends or family who work in supervisory positions when I hear them talk about the young adults who are entering the work force. Many of them don’t know how to do even the most basic skills: washing laundry, grocery shopping, paying bills, personal hygiene. It has reminded me that life skills should have a priority in our homeschool.
For more ideas an overall list, see 50 Life Skills That Should Be Taught At Home.
Video: Useful Life Skills Suitable to Teach in Spring
Here are some ideas of life skills that are suitable to teach in spring. Now when I say “teach” I am not thinking of taking kids by the hand and leading them step by step through these tasks. Rather, these are things that we as a family typically do in spring and we like bring our kids alongside to learn with us…and sometimes, to figure it out themselves! Kids don’t always need us to hand feed them everything. it’s also good for them to see what needs to be done and learn how to do it by problem solving.
One of my favorite times of the year is when we can get out in our garden and plan where everything will go. We feel a sense of pride and satisfaction in growing our own food! And the older I get, the more I want to grow more flowers and herbs as well. Gardening is a skill that know matter how much you already know about it, you can always learn more and expand your knowledge. Here are some ways our kids help with outside work and in our garden.
- Pick up sticks.
- Hoe the garden.
- Use the wheel barrow to dump weeds and compost.
- Furrow a row for planting seeds.
- Plant seeds.
- Water the garden every day and watch the sprouts come up.
- Identify different garden plants by leaf or flower.
- Pull weeds.
After winter, our vehicles need some maintenance. Use this time to teach the kids how to give the car a complete wash. Give them a bucket of soapy water and some rags and let them go to town. Show them how to use a shop vac and vacuum it out too!
Sure, they probably won’t do it as well as you would, but they are learning and hopefully, having fun doing it! Do it along with them. Encourage them to take pride in their work. It might help them to keep the inside of the car cleaner if they take part in the work of cleaning it out!
Middle Kids-It’s a really handy skill to be able to pump a bike tire and fix a chain that comes off. You can teach this to the kids or encourage them to figure it out on their own either by trial and error or by checking YouTube.
Older Kids-As teens enter driving age, teach them how to use a jack and change a car tire. They should also know how to jump a car with jumper cables in case they would ever be out somewhere with a disabled car.
As we come out of our homes from our winter hibernation to go out and about more, let’s involve our kids in our errands around town.
It always bugs me when I walk past a young kid or teenager on the street and they don’t even look at me or say hello. With our high tech culture, it can be easy for everyone to hide in our own little worlds and have no human interactions.
Encourage your kids to be courteous to people they see when they are out. Look people in the eye, say hello. When appropriate, model for them how you introduce yourself and greet someone on the street.
Have you involved your kids in your shopping experience? Spring is a great time to show them how you make a grocery list, compare prices for items, and make change.
When we are at the check out counter, before the register shows how much change we will get, we make a game to see who can guess the change first. It’s a quick way to help them think about how much they need and to mentally tabulate how much change would take them up to the next dollar on any purchase.
Older Kids– This is the time of year to be looking for a summer job and filling out applications. Role play interview questions with your teenager and discuss ways to perform well in a job interview.
What type of spring cleaning do you have on your list? Involve your kids in the work! Help them understand that every spring, we need to spruce things up a bit and these are the typical maintenance jobs we do around the house this time of year. Here are some spring cleaning items on my list.
- Wash windows
- Dust cobwebs in ceiling corners
- Clear, organize and wipe down shelves in refrigerator and pantry
- Use screwdriver to tighten knob on hardware
- Wipe down baseboards
- Organize bookshelves
- Wipe down walls
- Organize drawers and cabinets
Warmer weather means it is time to switch out our winter clothes. This can sometimes be a dreaded job for moms with lots of littles because it takes SO much work.
As my kids get older, they want to switch out their own clothes at a younger and younger age. Maybe it’s because they have older siblings? I usually hesitate to allow them to switch their own clothes, because I am afraid of the mess they might leave behind for me. Surprisingly, though, my 7 year old switched his clothes over this year and although I still had to come after and finish up, he saved me a ton of work!
So, even if you have to follow up with their clothes, and get rid of things or make a list of what they need, it is a great decision making skill for them to decide if something is too small, too big or what they should give away or keep. They can also make a list of what they need.
Since they are switching over clothes, it might be a good time to brush up on the job of washing your own laundry. Show them how to run the washer and dryer. Teach them how to hang clothes on the line. If they already do their own laundry, remind them to regularly wash sheets and pillowcases.
It’s always a good time of year to teach kids to cook. Cooking is and will always be a daily part of life, so it is such an important skill to learn.
Kids can always be learning the basics: how to crack an egg, use a vegetable peeler or can opener, slice vegetables, follow a recipe, pour and measure.
Additionally, this is a nice time of year for them to try to put together some salads. Put together a tossed salad or pasta salad. After the pasta and the Italian dressing, let them choose what they like to eat in their pasta salad.
Younger kids might enjoy slicing fruit for a fruit salad. If they are too young for a sharp knife, many fruits can still be cut with a butter knife. The fun thing for kids in making salads is the color. All the colorful fruits in a fruit salad are fun and pretty for them to make.
Or, how about a smoothie? Have them find a recipe or better yet, pick out their own fruit, yogurt and ingredients and experiment!
For more ideas of life skills, I did a post on 50 Life Skills That Should Be Taught At Home which you may also enjoy.
I hope this has helped give you inspiration for useful life skills suitable to teach in spring. What would you add to this list? Leave a comment and let me know what kinds of skills you are learning in your home. I love hearing from other homeschoolers!
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Hi, I’m Sheri! I am a Christian saved by grace, married to my high school sweetheart, and a thankful mom to ten incredible kids. I’m a former public school teacher who never thought I would someday be a homeschool mom! Drawing on 13+ years of homeschooling experience, follow along to find help for getting started, tried and true homeschooling advice, life skills learning, simple Morning Time ideas, and interviews with everyday homeschool moms just like you!