Teachers across the country will be sending work home for your children to complete over the course of lockdown. Whilst this is important, you could also use this opportunity to teach them life skills that they wouldn’t get to learn otherwise. And remember there is no pressure, do what you can do, we are all in the same boat!
Learn how to learn
One of the most important life skill of all is the ability to learn. Nurturing a willingness to gain knowledge, will stand your child in good stead for the rest of their lives.
Teaching your kids how to learn can be more valuable than telling them what to learn, so if you do one thing with them during this time, make it this one. There are loads of resources online to help you out, and you might learn a thing or two yourself along the way as well.
Children start to learn this vital skill from day one, but there’s plenty of scope for improvement for all of us. Teaching children to read social cues and articulate exactly what they mean, want, or need will be beneficial later on in life.
Taking the time to talk with and listen to your child on a regular basis will yield incredible results. Kids want interaction with an interested adult – one that isn’t holding a smartphone or otherwise distracted. Providing them with this quality time will improve their lives, both now and in the future.
While many may not like them, they are an essential part of life. The thing with household chores like cleaning, washing, vacuuming, etc. is that if you actually take the time to learn how to do them, they become a whole lot more rewarding and could be enjoyable.
Teaching your youngsters how to do these basic tasks will help with their independence and give you an extra pair of hands to help around the house. Just don’t get too carried away and delegate everything to your seven-year old!
Being able to conjure up something delicious at the drop of a hat is a skill worth having. With more and more of us cutting back on our visits to the supermarkets at the moment, having the ability to cook from scratch is more important than ever.
What if you’re not that great in the kitchen yourself?
Then why not learn together? There are tens of thousands of recipes, courses, and videos online, with most of them offered for free. No excuses…get cooking!
Teaching your child basic first aid is a great way of empowering them, and it can have some very positive knock-on effects as well. Not only will first aid education enable them to help others in times of need, it’ll also give them a broader overview of the importance of good health and what it means to be fit and well.
The British Red Cross has a great site aimed at five to 11 year olds that will help walk your children through the primary principles of first aid. Check it out.
Budgeting and money management
This may seem rather dull, but there’s never been a better time to talk to kids about the importance of budgeting and money management. Many parents choose to start with pocket money and the fundamentals of saving to buy larger items a child may want, but you can go further.
Kids are able to grasp much grander ideas than we give them credit for. Sowing the right seeds now could mean the difference when they are older.
Lots of us are cracking on with the DIY to-do list during this period of lockdown, so why not involve your kids and teach them a thing or two along the way. Try teaching them to change plugs and hang pictures with proper adult supervision.
You could also teach them how to use the tools in your toolbox safely. Starting with basic items such as screwdrivers and spanners, highlighting the importance of handling them correctly as you go.
Critical thinking sounds like a tough subject to tackle, but it’s really not that difficult at all. Many children have a fantastic grasp of problem-solving already, brought about through hours of play. Again, communication plays a huge role here, and parents should be asking ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions as much as they’re asking ‘what’?
Check out Brian Oshiro’s excellent TED talk on encouraging critical thinking to find out more about how you can make your child better at what many consider to be an essential skill for the 21st century.
Being a wise consumer
This could tie in with the money management section above, but being a wise consumer actually warrants a section of its own. Show kids how to navigate comparison websites, explain why shopping around is so important, and detail why prices can vary so much as part of their consumer education.
Do you have any top tips to aid children learning from home? Send them through to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can share them on our social channels. You can also find our top tips for looking after children in the pandemic here.