Practical Life Skills (or Incorporating Chores into Your School Day)

We all know we don't have to be homeschoolers to teach our children practical life skills, but it does give us additional opportunities since we can incorporate many of them into our school day. Here are a few ways to integrate chores into your math, science, health, and art curricula.


Math: fractions, measurement, money
Science: food chemistry, bacteria
Health: personal health, nutrition
Life skills: cooking, decision making, food safety
We're not only covering health, math, and science concepts, our children are also learning how to properly and safely prepare food. Plus, when children are involved in the meal planning and the grocery shopping, they are also learning important skills such as decision making and money management.


Math: sorting, measurement
Life Skills: problem solving, personal care

Sorting lights and darks, loading clothes efficiently, measuring detergent, and folding clothes are all skills that have to be learned. Younger children can help by sorting their dirty clothes, matching up their clean socks, and folding simple items like washcloths and small towels. When your children are old enough for the task, let them be responsible for washing their own clothes.


Science: chemistry, natural resources
Health: environmental health
Life skills: general hygiene

As adults, we take for granted the things we know how to do–like washing dishes, cleaning behind the faucet, and vacuuming floors, but these are all skills we had to learn. Make it educational by talking about germs, the dangers of chemicals, and how important it is to care for ourselves and our environment. Younger children, with the help of an adult, can start by organizing and cleaning their rooms.


Math: measurement
Science: complex machines
Life Skills: home economics, sewing, safety

When your child is ready to handle a large needle safely, invest in a couple of yarn needles, yarn, and plastic canvas. Once that's mastered, let them try hand-sewing with smaller needles and felt or fleece. Once your child is ready for a sewing machine, let them try it. If you've never used a sewing machine yourself or don't own one, talk to other homeschoolers. Chances are someone you know would love to host a sewing day.

Let your children help out as much as possible. It's sometimes easier to do things ourselves, but taking the extra time to teach our children practical life skills will help them become prepared, independent adults. Let them help out in the garden, feed the pets, help with the shopping, and clean out the car. Whether it's making dinner, washing dishes, sewing on a button, or pulling weeds, when kids help with the family responsibilities, they are learning valuable lessons and skills that they will carry with them into adulthood.

  • Published 22 February 2012
  • Updated 09 January 2022

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