I’m over halfway through my homeschooling career as a homeschool Mom, which is a very strange thing to realize. Through the years I’ve come to realize there are many necessary skills we don’t think to teach as a homeschool parents. Necessary life skills they need to know. We talk about preparing our kids for life and teaching them to cook and do laundry, but have we prepared them to survive in a college classroom? I set myself a challenge to find all of the needed skills I had to teach my child before they graduated. That’s what this series is all about, the skills you need to teach your homeschool kid.
Hi, Future Ticia 2023 here, over the years I started tagging posts that are useful for homeschoolers as homeschool how to, so this series expanded out beyond just things you need to know to prepare for college, into things we homeschoolers use all the time that we don’t think about teaching, or useful tools like a homeschool office or a spelling board.
So, I’m updating this post 5 years later, when I’m almost at the end of my homeschooling career with all of the ideas I use all the time in homeschooling at different times in our homeschool career.
(there are a few affiliate links in here)
For the next five days, I’m going to either post new content or update some old posts working through how I taught each skill your child needs to know. If it’s an old post I’ll be updating it with what else I’ve learned, and as I think of more skills to add in, I’ll add them to this series. It’s kicking off with five skills you need to teach your homeschool kid.
General homeschool how to
These are posts generically about homeschooling whether it’s about starting or little tips and tricks as you homeschool
- So You’re Thinking about Homeschooling– this is a collection of books I found when I was thinking of homeschooling or that I read as I started homeschooling
- Introduction to Homeschooling– back in 2020 when a large number of people started homeschooling, my co-op did a series of how to start homeschooling posts and videos
- Everything I needed to know about homeschooling I learned from Batman– some tongue in cheek advice for homeschooling, that actually is helpful, if silly
- Get the most out of your field trip with notebooking– I love this tip
- How to teach highly distracted kids– for years this was my most popular post, and for good reason, there are so many great ideas in here
- Defeat the winter blues– I don’t know if you struggle with winter, but I do, these are the tips I do to get better with it
- 10 Things Every Hands on homeschooler needs in their life– while I don’t use a lot of these now that my kids are in high school, all of them were used frequently back in elementary school
- The organized homeschool challenge-a great way to get your life under control
- Homeschool Inservice Teach by Dennis DeNoia– I love this book, so much, it actually was added into my 10 books to read post…
- Plan your homeschool year– get organized to start off the year, and help you keep organized
- Morning Time for Middle School– Morning time isn’t just for elementary kids
- Homeschooling preschool– I’ve got a whole slew of preschool posts that fall into the how-to category you can find here
- How to do independent projects with your middle school child– Oh man, I totally forgot about this one, that is such a good post
- 20-minute homeschool schedule– This was life-changing for my kids
- Homeschool planner you cannot lose–
This first homeschool how to section is useful tools you can make for your homeschooling and use over and over again for the years to come:
- Mini-office– back when I was a public school teacher we would make a mini-office for our students that had handy reminders and could also be a way to cut down on visual distractions, my example is geared more towards early elementary, but you can adapt it for older grades
- Writer’s notebook– a collection of useful things for editing papers, great for upper elementary and middle school students
- Interactive history notebook– my example is for history, but this can easily be adapted to other content areas for kids
- Portable writing center– I loved this as a way to encourage early learners to write
- How to make a wall map– you’ll see this mentioned over and over again in history lessons, admittedly my wall map isn’t hanging up, so that we can more easily write all over it
- how to make a reusable timeline– I loved using this in our history lessons so I didn’t have to make a brand new timeline every year, I also used this in my Sunday School
- Fine motor skills game– great for preschool and kindergarten
- homemade memory game– this was created when the kids were in preschool, but you can adapt it to higher level skills
- homemade spelling board– if you use All About Reading or All About Spelling, this is great for you
Soft learning skills
There are a lot of soft skills we don’t tend to think about teaching, things like reading comprehension, how to take notes, but are very important for your students to learn, most of these to start off fall under reading, but they really are for every academic subject
- How to build reading comprehension– Confession, I didn’t think this was necessary until I started thinking about SATs and driving tests. This is the skill of looking for those annoying details they like to put on tests, not the skill of understanding a book you’ve read and told about the plot (that is actually a different skill).
- How to take notes– I distinctly remember learning this skill. It’s one you’ll use all of your life until you die. Unless you plan to stop learning, I don’t recommend that. Jeff takes notes at his work as he goes to continuing education. I take notes at church and at lectures. You will always take notes
- How to take tests– This is the post that started it all. My kids ran into their first ever “traditional test” and bombed it. That’s when I started thinking about skills I’d forgotten I’d learned.
- How to write a research paper– This skill grows as your kids get older. I originally wrote this when my kids were in elementary school. My standards for their research papers have grown since then.
- How to edit your paper– This is a hard skill my kids are still working on. They hate editing, but they will need it all of their life.
- Teach your kids how to cook– oh this one isn’t specifically starting in reading! It is however insanely important!
- How to give a presentation– useful in so many subjects
Ideas specific to subject areas
I could have put these up in the vague homeschooling, but most of these went with specific subject areas, but not enough (right now) to get their own area
- Using notebooking pages in nature study
- How to teach reading to multiple children at the same time– I taught three children how to read at the same time (and technically I taught an entire classroom of kids at the same time)
- How to memorize the continents– While this is specifically intended for geography, I know of a few ways you can generalize this out, I need to check sometime to see if I wrote that in the post…
- How to get the most out of your timeline
Okay, that’s everything I have tagged Homeschool How To, but as I was prepping this post and looking for pictures to add in, I discovered a whole slew more of posts I should have tagged homeschool how to (like that homeschooling high school with college in mind).
But, it’s been a long week, so I’ll find the rest later.
Originally published April 8, 2018 and republished in 2023