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The National Geographic encourages parents to teach valuable life-skills during homeschooling, equipping our youth with excellent skills early on!


Global (07 May 2020) – As adults, we look back at our schooling and can find moments where the system failed us. Leaving school and getting a first job, is very exciting but having to do your first tax return, an actual nightmare!

Schools these days, have a subject called “Life Orientation,” which is supposed to help prepare the youth for life after school, but having actually taken the subject (a compulsory), I can vouch that I was not prepared enough for life after school.

The National Geographic website recently shared an article that encouraged parents to use this homeschooling time to teach life-skills. The kind of life-skills that are actually useful! Like how to check the oil and water in a car, how to change it or how to change a tyre.

We brainstormed a few things we would have loved to know sooner; we hope these inspire you and your children.

1. How to negotiate an employment contract or raise.

The very first time you get an employment contract, you are just so happy to have a job, but did you know you can negotiate and work through the contract with your employer. This skill is essential, and many only learn to do it much later in their careers. The same goes for negotiating raises or bonuses.

2. Taxes.

Even the most successful adults have trouble with this one. Most people pass the responsibility off to a tax specialist (which is helpful)skills but knowing the basics is vitally important and not taught in school. We are taught about taxes, we have an idea what they are used for, but how to do your own return, it’s not happening!

3. Budgets and Saving.

When you get your first salary, its the most exciting thing and you quickly buy that one thing you have always wanted, but your parents always said no. The thing is, if you start budgeting from a young age and saving for emergencies or the future, by the time you reach 30, you could be very well off.

Budgets are something most young adults only take seriously when they decide its time to be an “adult.” They say if you start saving for retirement before the age of 25, you can set yourself up to be very comfortable. Not to mention having a substantial emergency fund in place for times of trouble can be helpful. Many are only learning that lesson now.

4. Changing a Tyre.

This is an easy life-skill that you can learn at any age. It is vital to know, especially because South African roads can be dangerous. Parents should use this lockdown time to remove the tyre from the family care and do a demonstration to anyone who will listen.

Allow your child to try for themselves, even if they are too young to properly secure the tyre. Knowing is essential and as they get older, they can practice.

5. Checking the Oil and Water of a car, and how to change it.

Again, this is a simple skill that can be done now without much effort. Call the children and teens in, and give a demonstration. You could also demonstrate what those warning lights look like inside the car.

6. How to hang a picture, drill, fill a hole, and other basic house tasks.

Many people rely on handymen for even simple tasks. If you teach your children the basics of household tasks, they can add on to that as they get older. It starts with one picture, and the next moment, you are DIYing everything. Not a bad skill at all!

7. Growing your own food.

Even if you just grow herbs, being able to grow your own is a deeply rewarding skill. As a family, you can use this time to grow things. It can be a great project to bring the family closer.

Lettuce and Radishes are fast crops, so those will show your children quick rewards in the garden.

8. How to make a fire.

No, we don’t mean using sticks and flint, like in Survivor, just a good fire for a Saturday braai or to make the house warm and cozy. Not all fires are created equal, and it’s a good skill to have.

If you teach your children, they can learn how to deal with wet wood, how to build a structure the is optimal for oxygen to flow through. Making a fire is impressive, even in South Africa, where it is an ordinary skill that people don’t think twice about.

So there you have it, if you get a little tired of homeschooling, any of these skills could change things up a bit. If you find you are lacking in any of these skils, YouTube is a fantastic resource; you too can use this time to learn essential life-skills also.

What life-skills are you teaching your children, or what do you wish they taught you in school? Let us know in the comment section.

Source: National Geographic 
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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