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Saturday, July 25, 2009

25 Skills to Teach Your Kids

There are kids all over this weekend. What I really find interesting about them is the wide range of skills that even some of the little kids seem to have. Our kids ended up pretty skilled (in spite of us) but if I had a list to check off the skills they needed to learn it probably would have been a more organized, comprehensive education for them. Here's 25 things that all kids should know how to do:
  1. How to swim.
  2. How to read a map.
  3. How to shoot (and be very familiar with guns and gun safety).
  4. How to camp in the wilderness.
  5. How to fish and hunt.
  6. How to work (for the sake of work, not because they are bribed or yelled at to do it).
  7. How to speak and act properly with their peers and adults.
  8. How to ride a bike.
  9. How to make their case (ie: defend themselves or argue a point) appropriately and effectively (ie: using logic, facts, and persuasion).
  10. How to take care of animals and other people.
  11. How to travel across town, by public transportation, by themselves.
  12. How to perform CPR, call 911, and provide basic first aid.
  13. How to cook simple meals (and use a knife, stove, etc).
  14. How to fight (not only the physical boxing or karate skills but how to avoid fighting if at all possible as well).
  15. How to avoid dangerous situations and what to do if they find themselves in such a situation.
  16. How to grow and harvest a garden.
  17. How to learn for the sake of learning (ie: reading, math, logic, and research skills).
  18. How to earn, spend, and save money.
  19. How to do all jobs around the house (wash clothes, do dishes, clean, sew, mow the yard, make simple repairs, etc).
  20. How to start, run, and profit from their own business.
  21. How to eat right and stay physically fit.
  22. How to be responsible (this is usually taught incrementally with more and more responsibility as earned).
  23. How to shop, spot deals, determine "deals" that aren't so good, and overall be a wise consumer.
  24. How to set and attain goals.
  25. How to be emotionally well balanced (control anger, have a positive attitude, etc).

Actually the Boy Scouts were onto something when they listed these and many other skills that make for a well-rounded person. Parents, of course, are kid's best teachers and kids really are a reflection of the time and effort invested in them by their parents. I am always amazed at kids who are home schooled from a young age--it seems like parents who home school their kids really do have to put a lot of time and effort into creating pleasant, interesting individuals that you would want to be around because they are generally around these kids 24/7. The best part about teaching your kids these and other valuable skills is that they will grow up to be responsible, smart individuals who will be able to make a positive impact on society (and on their own families).


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