Tag Archives: life skills

7 Critical Life Skills Checklists ~ Not Back to School Blog Hop

7 Critical Life Skills Checklists

I have tossed around in my mind over and over and over whether to do yet another checklist or just share some that I have come across. A round-up of ideas will allow you to see what others may consider important and then perhaps make your own or print off something someone else has done, right? Why reinvent the wheel? At the same time, as all homeschoolers know, every child is different and perhaps they each need their own checklist. So, what to do?

three checklists for life skills

First, I’ll share a list of some very specific ideas that I think a teen should know before leaving home, whether to go off to school, a job, or even staying at home while doing either of those. As an adult, they need to know some things.

  1. Finances: Do they know how to budget and manage money? Can they choose a bank and open a checking account? Can they get a credit card and know how to manage it, finding good rates and a reliable company? Do they know the difference between a credit card and a debit card, and when or how to use each?
  2. Automobile: Do they know how to get gas? Wash the windshield? Check the oil? Check the tire pressure? Change a tire? Add fluids when needed? Change the oil or when to have someone change it? How to address regular maintenance? If you live in a big city, do they know how to use public transportation?
  3. Apartment/House: Do they know how to clean? Dust, laundry, bathrooms, vacuum, sweet, mop? Do they know basic maintenance and care?
  4. Finances #2: Do they know how to apply for a loan, when needed? An apartment? Utilities? (This is one of the main reasons for a credit card and knowing how to manage it! You have to have a credit history for these.) How to avoid debt or use debt in wise ways, such as a mortgage? How to handle debt if you find yourself there?
  5. Food Management: Do they know how to cook? Clean up? Bake? Clean up? Make a menu? Make a grocery list? Grocery shop? Store food? Budget food?
  6. Time Management: Do they know how to take care of the things that need done? Can they schedule things? Can they keep track of important dates? Can they manage a long-term project? Can they make appointments?
  7. People: Can they talk to others in a meaningful way? Can they interview? Can they make a phone call? Can they schedule appointments? Can they order food at a restaurant or parts for the refrigerator at the store? Do they know how to communicate clearly? Can they look people in the eye? Can they stand up for themselves in a clear but kind way?

four checklists for life skills

This is far from everything a child needs to know but these are areas that you can look around and see the impact of failures. Don’t know how to handle money? Debt is crippling so many in our society. Don’t know how to speak with others? Many can’t hold jobs because their people skills are lacking. Don’t know how to manage their time? Impacts ability to complete tasks, hold jobs, finish a degree and much more. These are biggies.

But it is a far cry from everything out there. Take a look at some things that are floating around out there:

40 Old-Fashioned Skills That Kids Need to Know Today from Peace Creek on the Prairie

How To Teach Kids Life Skills from Boston Mamas

Top 5 Life Skills for Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviews from The Balance Careers

45 Essential Life Skills Everyone Should Learn from Living Well Spending Less

An Age-By-Age Guide to Teaching Life Skills from Family Education

These are just a few that I found interesting. Whether you decided to call it life skills training or Real Life University or something else all together, life skills will impact your children. So, I encourage you to be intentional as they grow and learn.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Annual-5-Days-of-Homeschool-Not-Back-to-School-Blog-Hop-2019-

Visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read about the ideas, tips, and encouragement you will find from all the other bloggers who are participating in this week’s NOT Back to School Blog Hop. Below are some links to their blogs but if you want their post from today, click on the image above to get the link up for today.

CREW @ Homeschool Review Crew – 2019 Annual Not Back to School Homeschool Blog Hop

Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses – ABC of Homeschooling

Dawn @ Schoolin’ Swag – Adding Fun to Your Homeschool Day

Erin @ For Him and My Family – Large Family Homeschooling

Lori @ At Home Where Life Happens – Learning Life Skills

Monique @ Mountain of Grace Homeschooling – Homeschooling the High School Years

Monique D. @ Early Learning Mom – Homeschooling With Autism

Yvie @ Homeschool On the Range – 5 Days of Upper Grades Homeschooling

Abby @ Making Room 4 One More – Time Management for Homeschool Moms

Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool – 5 Days of Homeschool Questions

Amy @ the WRITE Balance – Year-Round Schooling

Annette @ A Net in Time – Homeschooling.

Betty @ Lets Get Real – Homeschooling High School

Cassandra @ My Blessed Mess – Eclectic Homeschooling

Kimberley @ Vintage Blue Suitcase – Roadschooling with a Teenager

Yvonne @ The Life We Build – 5 Days of Relaxed Homeschooling

Destiny @ Some Call It Destiny – Encouragement for the Homeschooling Mom

Karen @ Tots and Me…Growing Up Together –  A Peek into Our Homeschool

Cassie D @ Deputie Tribe – Homeschooling 6 Taking Care of YOU

Kristen Heider @ A Mom’s Quest to Teach Theme: A Quest for a Great Homeschool Year

Patti Pierce – Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy – My Favorite Homeschooling Things

Wendy @ Life on Chickadee Lane – 5 Days of Nature Study

Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning – Homeschooling my final 4 

Christine @ Life’s Special Necessities – Yes! You Can Homeschool Your Special Needs Child

Sally M – Tell the Next Generation – Tips for Homeschooling Struggling Learners

Kim @ Good Sweet LoveLast Year of Elementary

Documenting Life Skills ~ Not Back to School Blog Hop

Documenting Life Skills.png

Life skills. We have talked about why pay attention to life skills, how to be intentional, what life skills look like, and today we are going to chat a bit about documenting.

Once you have a list made, if you are list kind of person, I think there are a couple of ways you could document what your children learn. Just as there are many ways to document which lessons have been completed in the core curriculum, there are many ways here, also.

  • daily journal
  • simple entry in lesson plan book
  • check list
  • photo journal
  • student-kept journal
  • binder with notes, pictures, and/or lists
  • even scraps of paper with jotted notes on them (just grab a folder to keep them all in; maybe a ziplock baggie would work, too)

These are a few ideas off the top of my head.

Planner cover

This is the planner I use.

For me, well, I like to be organized but not to be hyper-diligent about it. I like to know what is happening and have a routine for our lessons. I note things we cover, as we cover them. I am approaching life skills the same way. I have a column in our weekly plan page that is going to be for a simple entry each time I think of or notice life skills being practiced or learned.

When I have a place for documenting it, I am more diligent about noticing it and being intentional about focusing on it.

When Brenna was talking to use the other day about her family’s Real Life University, she said they have a binder for each child. In it is the list of skills by age that they want their children to learn and practice. As each one is learned, they check it off. As they practice it, they also note it. In addition, there are notes that Brenna and her husband write their children about things they want them to know and remember. There are hand-written cards added. There might be pictures added. This becomes a scrapbook of learning through the years. When their children are adults, they have a beautiful record of learning that has happened over years.

You could go and plan out when you want to focus on each skill but I think that might move the learning from true life skills into curriculum. True life skills, to me, happen in a natural context. They learn to paint because you need to paint a bedroom. They learn to change the oil because they are old enough and it needs to be done. They learn to assist someone with a filing task because they are around when it happens. They learn to save because you are teaching them through the years with their allowance. They learn to budget because you have given them money to use as they desire but you are not covering their choices when they want to go to the movies but have spent all their money on books.

All of this is discussion that happens naturally and learning that happens organically through the days of living and growing and maturing. This is why I think the notes or journals are perhaps the most effective way for most of us to teach life skills. It is still intentional – we are thinking about what they need to learn as we are doing tasks and asking them to come alongside us as we do them or holding the discussion about consequences when a choice has to be made. And when it comes to personal/interpersonal skills, MUCH of the learning is done through discussion.

So what way will work for you? It may take a bit of time to figure it out. You may have to try a few different ideas. If you are already documenting life skills, I would love to know what you do.

Come back tomorrow for the final day of this series and see a round-up of links that may be of help to you as you embark on intentionally teaching life skills to your children.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Annual-5-Days-of-Homeschool-Not-Back-to-School-Blog-Hop-2019-

Visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read about the ideas, tips, and encouragement you will find from all the other bloggers who are participating in this week’s NOT Back to School Blog Hop. Below are some links to their blogs but if you want their post from today, click on the image above to get the link up for today.

CREW @ Homeschool Review Crew – 2019 Annual Not Back to School Homeschool Blog Hop

Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses – ABC of Homeschooling

Dawn @ Schoolin’ Swag – Adding Fun to Your Homeschool Day

Erin @ For Him and My Family – Large Family Homeschooling

Lori @ At Home Where Life Happens – Learning Life Skills

Monique @ Mountain of Grace Homeschooling – Homeschooling the High School Years

Monique D. @ Early Learning Mom – Homeschooling With Autism

Yvie @ Homeschool On the Range – 5 Days of Upper Grades Homeschooling

Abby @ Making Room 4 One More – Time Management for Homeschool Moms

Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool – 5 Days of Homeschool Questions

Amy @ the WRITE Balance – Year-Round Schooling

Annette @ A Net in Time – Homeschooling.

Betty @ Lets Get Real – Homeschooling High School

Cassandra @ My Blessed Mess – Eclectic Homeschooling

Kimberley @ Vintage Blue Suitcase – Roadschooling with a Teenager

Yvonne @ The Life We Build – 5 Days of Relaxed Homeschooling

Destiny @ Some Call It Destiny – Encouragement for the Homeschooling Mom

Karen @ Tots and Me…Growing Up Together –  A Peek into Our Homeschool

Cassie D @ Deputie Tribe – Homeschooling 6 Taking Care of YOU

Kristen Heider @ A Mom’s Quest to Teach Theme: A Quest for a Great Homeschool Year

Patti Pierce – Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy – My Favorite Homeschooling Things

Wendy @ Life on Chickadee Lane – 5 Days of Nature Study

Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning – Homeschooling my final 4 

Christine @ Life’s Special Necessities – Yes! You Can Homeschool Your Special Needs Child

Sally M – Tell the Next Generation – Tips for Homeschooling Struggling Learners

Life Skills Are What, Exactly? ~ Not Back to School Blog Hop

Life Skills are What Exactly

We have chatted about the WHY of teaching life skills and some ideas about how to be intentional about life skills. Now, let’s get to the nitty gritty –

What exactly are “life skills”?

To be as simple as possible – the skills needed to live life.

Now simplicity is often good but in this case, it is too vague for me. So, let talk.

The skills can be broken down into areas or topics, if you feel you need a check list. I have seen an excellent lists, broken down by age appropriateness, followed by skill types: practical skills and personal/interpersonal skills. I have seen random lists with life skills listed (think 40 things to know before you turn 18). I have seen the question asked on social media with everyone chiming in their own thoughts. Any of these ways work!

Let me share my thoughts on skills, as they are coming out today. (Note: this is today; tomorrow may very well create a different list or new ideas. That is a beautiful thing about life skills – that list can grow and change and be personal.)

PRACTICAL SKILLS:

  • anything related to cooking: the actual cooking and baking, reading a recipe, measuring, taste testing, serving, setting the table (formal and informal), menu planning, grocery shopping, grocery budgeting, canning, preserving food,
  • anything related to house keeping: laundry (sort, wash, dry, fold, put away, iron, hang), dusting, picking up, caring for and repairing furniture, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, gift planning/shopping/wrapping, budgeting, bills, cleaning the bathrooms, doing the dishes,
  • anything related to the outside care of the home: mowing, edging, caring for and repairing the mower or other tools, plant care, gardening, planning the garden and learning what will grow, purchasing and planting, fence care, fence repair, vehicle care and maintenance, vehicle repair (not even just doing it yourself but knowing where and when to take it in), painting,
  • anything related to the long-term maintenance of the home: changing air filters, having the AC/heat unit checked and maintained, painting, taking care of the foundation (in Texas during the heat we have to make sure the foundation has plenty of moisture around it or we get cracks in the foundation)
  • anything related finances: writing checks, maintaining a checking balance, obtaining and using a credit card, bills, setting up utilities, investing, choosing a bank or investment company, saving money, “rainy day” funds, getting the cars inspected and registered
  • anything related to health care and insurance: finding a company for health and for car insurance, knowing how to read the statements, knowing what you have to pay for and what is covered, dealing with things like prescriptions or doctor visits, dealing with auto insurance claims
  • I am sure there are plenty of categories and items that I haven’t listed out here. But this list could be humongous if I wrote out every item.

PERSONAL/INTERPERSONAL SKILLS

These are quite a bit harder to put into categories or like items. For me, it includes things like keeping your temper, speaking kindly, helping others, and such. This includes writing thank you notes, writing invitations, being responsible for personal items, personal care, and interacting with older adults. This could be done through something like taking a meal to a family or serving with Meals on Wheels, volunteering at a library or teaching a class. Taking the initiative to make sure others in the youth group know about an activity you think they would enjoy attending is another way you might see this growth happening. You might see your child talking to the visitor at church or introducing themselves to a child who looks lonely at the park.

Do _life_ with your child

Not long after I decided on my topic for this blog hop, my friend Brenna Rhodes gave a talk at church about what her family calls Real Life University. Guess what it was about? Yep, this – life skills. She had a great list of what they expect their kids to know and learn and some great tips. It was just the encouragement I needed for this series. And, yes, she gave me permission to quote her and share some of her ideas. One of the things that she said that I really liked was this:

Develop every talent God gave them to the best of your ability. Do not “put them in a box.” 

So I need to ask myself – am I doing this? Am I helping my children develop EVERY ability God gave them? Am I passing along the wisdom and skills they need as adults? This is how they will grow to be great spiritual warriors and servants in God’s kingdom so I certainly need to be.

I have found that the more I look for ways to see these life skills being learned, the more I notice. They are everywhere and often happen naturally. I am working on being more purposeful with the documenting of these skills and will share more on that tomorrow.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Annual-5-Days-of-Homeschool-Not-Back-to-School-Blog-Hop-2019-

Visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read about the ideas, tips, and encouragement you will find from all the other bloggers who are participating in this week’s NOT Back to School Blog Hop. Below are some links to their blogs but if you want their post from today, click on the image above to get the link up for today.

CREW @ Homeschool Review Crew2019 Annual Not Back to School Homeschool Blog Hop

Chareen @ Every Bed of RosesABC of Homeschooling

Dawn @ Schoolin’ Swag Adding Fun to Your Homeschool Day

Erin @ For Him and My Family Large Family Homeschooling

Lori @ At Home Where Life Happens Learning Life Skills

Monique @ Mountain of Grace HomeschoolingHomeschooling the High School Years

Monique D. @ Early Learning MomHomeschooling With Autism

Yvie @ Homeschool On the Range 5 Days of Upper Grades Homeschooling

Abby @ Making Room 4 One More – Time Management for Homeschool Moms

Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool5 Days of Homeschool Questions

Amy @ the WRITE BalanceYear-Round Schooling

Annette @ A Net in TimeHomeschooling.

Betty @ Lets Get RealHomeschooling High School

Cassandra @ My Blessed MessEclectic Homeschooling

Kimberley @ Vintage Blue SuitcaseRoadschooling with a Teenager

Yvonne @ The Life We Build5 Days of Relaxed Homeschooling

Destiny @ Some Call It DestinyEncouragement for the Homeschooling Mom

Karen @ Tots and Me…Growing Up Together –  A Peek into Our Homeschool

Cassie D @ Deputie TribeHomeschooling 6 Taking Care of YOU

Kristen Heider @ A Mom’s Quest to Teach Theme: A Quest for a Great Homeschool Year

Patti Pierce – Truth and Grace Homeschool AcademyMy Favorite Homeschooling Things

Wendy @ Life on Chickadee Lane5 Days of Nature Study

Jacquelin @ A Stable BeginningHomeschooling my final 4 

Christine @ Life’s Special NecessitiesYes! You Can Homeschool Your Special Needs Child

Sally M – Tell the Next GenerationTips for Homeschooling Struggling Learners

How To Be Intentional About Life Skills ~ Not Back to School Blog Hop

How to be intentional about life skills

As you begin to think about being intentional about teaching life skills to your children, be prayerful. Ask God to direct your thoughts, to guide your ways. This is the best way to begin anything, really, so why would teaching life skills be any different. Keep in mind your purpose for teaching these life skills. Yesterday, I shared with you why we want to be intentional about teaching life skills to our girls.

Today, let’s chat a bit about what intentionality might look like.

Action words come to mind for me first:

  • look
  • listen
  • see
  • hear
  • read
  • talk
  • work
  • walk
  • act
  • practice
  • and we could go on.

A friend I know and greatly respect made this statement about being intentional and teaching life skills:

Let them help. Let them grow. Let them learn. If it is important enough for us to do, it is important enough for the children to do alongside us. – Brenna Rhodes

That really struck me. It isn’t always easy to have a child working alongside you. As an example, we just finished putting the doors and knobs back onto our repainted kitchen. Having Miss J help me was time consuming and slowing. It was slowing to teach her how to set the doors against the hinges, to screw them in, make sure they are tight, keep from dinging the new paint job, etc. Yet, she now knows how to add hinges to things like doors that might need it. She can look at how a door should go against a cabinet and tell if it is aligned right. She can tighten a screw without stripping it out. And then we did the knobs and pulls. The first few, I’ll be honest – I was worried she was going to scratch the finish because of how the pulls sit. She didn’t, though. Not one. She listened and was so very careful that I felt somewhat foolish that I had worried.

This is just one example of letting them come alongside me in my work, to do what I am doing and learn to do it on their own. Another example is going to be evident on the blog during our next round of Blogging Through The Alphabet. I have asked the older two girls to write the posts for me. They are going to split up the letters and choose favorite books to write about for older students, including designing an activity to go along with that book. I enjoy writing on the blog and so I figured, I’ve been doing this for a few years now, it is time to get them involved. Miss E and Miss L have each done a little bit once in a while but this will involve so much more – deadlines, writing for an audience that isn’t mom or sisters or dad, fitting the writing to a purpose and idea, creating a graphic to go along with it, thinking about activities that other students would enjoy and designing around that, learning how to format for the blog, and so much more. But this is a life skill in the digital age, isn’t it? Not necessarily the blog format but all the other stuff? Those are life skills, I am doing the Blogging Through The Alphabet anyway, so why not use the opportunity to teach them these life skills.

I hope you are seeing that I am trying to include the girls in what I do every day. Yes, learning how to care for a house or mow the lawn or do the laundry are important skills. But life skills are so much more than that.

Did they have a great class with someone? Have them write a thank you note.

Did they enjoy the sermon? Stop and talk with the preacher about what they really liked about it, the point that they got from it.

Did they can pickles? Allow them to share the jars with others. Miss J took all but one jar of the first batch of pickles we did and gave them away. She wanted to share her bounty with others. We may be buying pickles this year but that’s okay. Her skill of giving, showing love, talking to others (She had to give each person the jar and tell them what they were, where they came from, and why she was giving them pickles.), planning (She wrapped each one with a ribbon and had to remember to take them.), and so much more.

Do they want to learn a skill you don’t know? Allow them to ask around in safe community places (church would be where we begin) to see if there is someone who could teach them. This is how Miss L ended up in debate last year. And she learned SOOOOO much from that debate class. Life skills galore!

I am starting to get off track here but do you see how something that happens in every day life can be the gateway to learning a whole host of life skills? You just have to be looking for it and paying attention to the actions that you are doing anyway. Something simple can really be used to great advantage when you begin thinking about life skills.

You have probably heard the saying that goes something like this:

If you don’t teach them to serve God, the world will teach them not to.

If we don't teach our children to serve God, the world will teach them not to. Be intentional.

This is great motivation for teaching life skills and all that comes with them. Tomorrow, let’s chat about what life skills are. Specifically, what life skills look like. I have given you a sneak peek here, I guess, though my rambling. Tomorrow – specifics!

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Annual-5-Days-of-Homeschool-Not-Back-to-School-Blog-Hop-2019-

There are many more tidbits to be found on the link up for the Not Back To School Blog Hop. Be sure to visit the post on the Homeschool Review Crew to read other articles and get loads of information to encourage you on your homeschool journey.

CREW @ Homeschool Review Crew2019 Annual Not Back to School Homeschool Blog Hop

Chareen @ Every Bed of RosesABC of Homeschooling

Dawn @ Schoolin’ Swag Adding Fun to Your Homeschool Day

Erin @ For Him and My Family Large Family Homeschooling

Lori @ At Home Where Life Happens Learning Life Skills

Monique @ Mountain of Grace HomeschoolingHomeschooling the High School Years

Monique D. @ Early Learning MomHomeschooling With Autism

Yvie @ Homeschool On the Range 5 Days of Upper Grades Homeschooling

Abby @ Making Room 4 One More – Time Management for Homeschool Moms

Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool5 Days of Homeschool Questions

Amy @ the WRITE BalanceYear-Round Schooling

Annette @ A Net in TimeHomeschooling.

Betty @ Lets Get RealHomeschooling High School

Cassandra @ My Blessed MessEclectic Homeschooling

Kimberley @ Vintage Blue SuitcaseRoadschooling with a Teenager

Why Life Skills? – Not Back to School Blog Hop

Why Life Skills.png

I am participating with the Homeschool Review Crew in the annual Not Back to School Blog Hop. Why this name? Well, most of the Crew school year round. We understand that life and learning go hand in hand so we don’t ever really go “back to school.” We press on with different things, different seasons, different schedules, but we are always learning. This is what inspired me to talk a bit about “Life Skills.” Today is the WHY?

Why Life Skills?

What is important about them? What are they? Why bother?

For our family, it all goes back to looking at our purpose. Why are we educating at home to begin with? We have two goals for the three giggly girls. That’s right. Two main goals –

1 – To seek to serve God in all that they do

2 – To be well-rounded, knowledgeable, capable adults.

That’s it. Everything else falls under those two main goals. Yes, they are big but they are what is most important. If they aren’t serving God, nothing else matters. If they are AND they know how do “life,” well, I think we have some pretty special ladies on our hands when they reach adulthood.

So that is the WHY of life skills. It is truly that simple.

But let me break it down just a tad more for you. Because we have the first goal, we want to be intentional about the second. That way, they will be well equipped to serve in God’s kingdom. That is what it is all about.

So, life skills are those things that we need to know how to do in every day, real life. They can be as simple as picking up a room to as elaborate as fixing an engine. We will tackle some specific ideas on these tasks later in the week so definitely come back for that.

As you become Be aware, though, that the devil is lurking and seeking those he can devour. This includes our children. So we HAVE to be intentional about equipping them to serve God and being prepared to be adults who serve in God’s kingdom with their abilities. Seeking opportunities is key to this. And that is what we will look at tomorrow – how to be intentional and seek opportunity for equipping our children with the skills they need to be capable adults who serve God.

As you begin down this path, this being intentional about teaching your children life skills, the best way to start is with prayer. May God bless your work as you become intentional about life skills.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Annual-5-Days-of-Homeschool-Not-Back-to-School-Blog-Hop-2019-

A few of the Participants:

CREW @ Homeschool Review Crew2019 Annual Not Back to School Homeschool Blog Hop

Chareen @ Every Bed of RosesABC of Homeschooling

Dawn @ Schoolin’ Swag Adding Fun to Your Homeschool Day

Erin @ For Him and My Family Large Family Homeschooling

Lori @ At Home Where Life Happens Learning Life Skills

Monique @ Mountain of Grace HomeschoolingHomeschooling the High School Years

Monique D. @ Early Learning MomHomeschooling With Autism

Yvie @ Homeschool On the Range 5 Days of Upper Grades Homeschooling

Abby @ Making Room 4 One More – Time Management for Homeschool Moms

Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool5 Days of Homeschool Questions

Amy @ the WRITE BalanceYear-Round Schooling

Annette @ A Net in TimeHomeschooling.

Betty @ Lets Get RealHomeschooling High School

Cassandra @ My Blessed MessEclectic Homeschooling

And there are more tidbits you can learn by checking out some of the posts on this Linky.

 

The Kingdom Code (financial education) ~ a Crew review

The Kingdom Code review

Financial education is something that should not be neglected yet is often not considered as important as other subjects. At the Teach Them Diligently convention held in Waco, TX, we stumbled across a little gem of a company – The Kingdom Code. They offer a course in financial education through the formation of a business run fully by the students and working on personal and business budgeting in the process. Their The Complete Starter Kit  looked so wonderful. We were unable to purchase it that weekend but definitely had it in our sights for later this year, hoping to find a place to have it fit in our fall schedule.

the-kingdom-code-logo-

When we got home and I opened up my Homeschool Review Crew email, I found that The Kingdom Code was the next vendor we were being asked to take a look at. Now that is not a coincidence! We were very excited, especially my 15 year old daughter who had two business ideas in her head that she wanted to figure out what to do with. We were thrilled to be chosen to be on this review.

The Kingdom Code is a company that was designed to help educate students at a young age about budgeting, spending wisely, managing money, and running a business. What a great idea! Geared towards grades 3-6, it can easily be adapted to work for older students. If you are looking to make it a high school credit, you may decide you need to add an additional budgeting book to it but there is a lot of meat to this program all by itself.

All three of the girls decided that they wanted to work through the program after it arrived and we were happy to accommodate that as we understand the importance of learning to handle money wisely. And the earlier, the better. We receivedThe-Kingdom-Code-Complete-Set

There are free lesson samples available on The Kingdom Code website.

The Kingdom Code textbookThe textbook came as part of The Complete Starter Kit. This 240-page, spiral bound text has 27 lessons that are recommended to be taught no faster than one lesson a week, through two sessions. There are a number of features that I find to be a huge asset. Each lesson has a different character focus, such as seeking wisdom, having courage, showing honor, or being thrifty. This is a code of honor that Kingdom Code Kids are encouraged to follow and is put into a Biblical context, with a focus on trusting in God to guide and provide. There are Bible verses in each lesson to help students frame the information in a Godly manner. There are studies of people who have created businesses and done well with them, highlighting that success but not ignoring the failures and struggles along the way. There are letters from “Aunt Jimmi” which helps students see the idea that is being talked about in the lesson and putting real life experiences to it. There are discussions, worksheets, additional research, and so much more!

Two pages from The Kingdom Code text

Each lesson follows approximately the same set-up. Starting with a proclamation, the students begin their worksheets, have a quest for the clue (often historical in content and leading to the character focus of the week), learning the code of honor, applying that to their business or life, marking the treasure map and then going through some On Your Own activities. There are a few other parts of lessons that will come in but these are the main ones.

Two pages from The Kingdom Code textFollowing the On Your Own activities is a recap of the Kingdom Keys for the lesson and then some additional Bonus Code Work. These are activities to help the student internalize the ideas even more. Some of these are hands-on and some are more abstract. For example, you might write a jingle to remember the JOEYS letters for budgets, write a letter of encouragement, take a trip to the bank, make a flipchart or have a discussion. Each lesson also includes vocabulary words that are important to financial matters and the Code of Honor, including words like financial, entrepreneurs, taxes, pride, and perseverance.

The Kingdom Code Teacher's Guide coverThe Teacher’s Guide is a black and white set of 132 pages, hole punched and ready to go in a teaching binder.  After the listing of what all is included and A Note to the Teacher, there is an Introduction that gets you started with step-by-step instructions. This walks you through the purpose of each part of the lesson and each of the additional materials that go with the program. (These additional materials are found in the Student Packet.) It is a bit intensive up front to set it all up and get familiar with the program.

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Lesson example from the Teacher's Guide for The Kingdom Code

Next in the Teacher’s Guide you get the lesson plans. These are extensive lesson plans and are set up for two sessions per lesson for most lessons. This gives you a full year’s worth of financial curriculum. Each lesson gives you the objective, learning goals, and essential questions, a list of materials, any suggestions or reminders, and the two days worth of lessons. There are specific instructional materials for each part of the lesson and each activity for the lesson. It is very thorough. You also have the answers to the worksheets and suggested enrichment. At the end, there are some assessments and feedback cards, with a few other blank forms that may be needed.

The Kingdom Code map for progress tracking.

The Student Packet is intended for use by one student as the materials are consumable. This is where you find the worksheets to go with each lesson. There is a map for tracking progress by using stickers. There is a set of stickers to use with setting up the budgeting part of the program. There are flashcards to help students learn and remember the vocabulary for each lesson, noted with the lesson number. This is where the “rubber meets the road” so to speak – these forms, notices, worksheets, and vocabulary become the part that is carried with the student throughout their lifetime. The instructions for setting it all up are found in the Teacher’s Guide.

There are several forms and notices available on the website for those who have purchased the curriculum and are customers of The Kingdom Code. These include calendars, ledgers, income statements, and more.

The Kingdom Code JR Budget Kit

The JR Budget Kit is a small package that includes a budget poster, a sticker set, six coloring pages, budgeting percentages page, and instructions on using the budget kit. It is a simple way to begin budgeting and helping students learn to allocate money. It uses the same budgeting allocation as the business kit, only does not include putting money into the business. It is appropriate for very young students with guidance from parents.

The Kingdom Code Coloring Book20190616_210334

The Kingdom Code Coloring Book is a 32-page book of coloring pages for students that may be too young for participating in the business part of the program but are listening to the lessons. They can color pictures of bible verses, knights, treasure boxes, budgeting shields, and more. It could be very good in combination with the JR Budget Kit for younger students, though some of the pages are the same.

All of this comes together to be a practical application of financial literacy. We started really strong with the program and everyone is pleased with it. It is not difficult to teach, nor is it difficult for older students to work through on their own, though they will need guidance along the way. We have spent two days per lesson so far and feel that it is a fairly comfortable pace during full school days. Days can include reading text, discussion, brainstorming, or completing worksheets, among other activities We slowed down when it came time to really figure out what business was going to be pursued to get that solidly in place.

The Kingdom Code activity

The focus of The Kingdom Code for the first business is a service based business. This is a great idea for younger students but it was a difficult thought for the older girls when they already had ideas for goods based businesses. But, after we took an extra couple of days to think about what service based might look like (not everything has to be mowing lawns or cleaning houses), some good ideas were come up with. Miss E realized that she was actually already do a service-based business – sign language interpretation.

Miss E signing to a player at a baseball game.

Miss E signing to a player at a baseball game.

She took this idea and will be working further with it. It was quite a realization to discover that, without the formal recognition and paperwork, you are already working as a volunteer business. She is planning on teaching her younger sister sign language this coming year and that will be where she takes this program next – applying the business building materials to her job as sign language interpreter and instructor. We had planned to have someone teach Miss J anyhow, so Miss E will be earning pay for this service.

We are pleased with the program and plan to pause with it for the remainder of the summer as the girls’ camps, missions, and conventions are starting. But, come fall, this will be on the curriculum list for high school, middle school, and elementary. I plan to have Miss E read a book on personal finance that we really like, as well as write a paper or keep track of budget for a few months, in order to grant her a high school credit.

Miss E looking at the Student Packet.

Miss E looking at the Student Packet.

I am going to close this out by letting Miss E have your ear/eye for a bit to give you her review of the program.

Miss E’s review:

I really liked this curriculum. I think that our whole family wanted to do the goods based business first rather than the service based, but I enjoyed the first few lessons just the same.

Something that I would change would be the worksheets for preparing your service business. I don’t see any reason to come up with 5 different businesses, then narrow it to 3 without even doing anything with them, and then working out the barest minimum of a plan for all 3. I personally had minor problems with the service based because our family’s schedule during the school year is full of commitments and on top of that, a number of my commitments were service jobs that I did not charge for.

I do understand that the curriculum was not designed for a high school freshman like me, but I think that it would work with a little bit of tweaking. The material was a little bit easy for me, except for figuring out a service based business. I would enjoy seeing a higher level KCK curriculum.

One thing that I really enjoyed about this is that it brought God into everything. Again, it was not talking about God on my level of comprehension, but a younger level. To be honest, I never really thought about what to do with the money once you had earned it. Obviously, you spend some for the business, give some to God, and save some, but I never thought about how much goes where.

I really want to learn about managing money and a business because I might want to own a business someday. Or I might sell bracelets or something. And even if I don’t, it is still a really good thing to know.

As you can see, this appeals on many levels and is guidance that is much needed in our society. One of the things I was blessed with growing up is strong financial stewardship examples. At Home Dad and I have talked often about the best way to pass Godly financial stewardship on to our girls. The Kingdom Code is helping in that goal.

I also have a code for you to use when ordering to receive 10% off of your order on The Kingdom Code webside. I do not know for how long this code will be good so don’t hesitate in using it. This is a worthwhile curriculum.

Coupon Code:  10TKC33

Blessings
Lori, At Home.

Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew to see what other families thought about The Kingdom Code
program.

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Life Skills – painting

after painting

Life skills need to be taught. These can run the gamut, from cooking to laundry to maintenance to upkeep. We have finally tackled the painting of the kitchen after a leak last fall that required a new roof.

We involved our girls in most of the work and decisions, so that they will gain the life skills they will need later on.

When we were talking about paint colors, they we there and gave their input. We chose white for the walls. Cabinet color is still being decided on because we can’t paint those yet. But they see the samples up and add their two cents when we decide to remove one of them that doesn’t seem to be working.

They helped prep the walls and ceiling, from clearing out to cleaning and dusting to taping off.

They painted. And painted.

before painting

They helped choose light fixtures and then learned a bit about how to change out a light fixture, including where the breaker box is and what the switches in it mean.

light fixture work

They helped clean up and put things back into the kitchen.

And they accompanied us on fact-finding missions to the paint stores while we were figuring out how to do the cabinets when we have warm enough weather to be able to open windows while working or keep the garage door open while dealing with the cabinet doors out there. They will be a part of the cabinet work, also.

Do you include your children in learning life skills? What have they learned recently?

One of the events in the Lads to Leaders program is about home skills. For the girls, it is called Keepers (as in keepers of the home). For the boys, it is titled Providers. There are wonderful, necessary skills taught in each on, as well as the idea of serving others with these skills. I really like this program and all it is teaching. My girls worked on Keepers this year and did the section about food preservation. They had to get and put up 10 containers of a food, including giving one to someone who might need it – a widow or widower, a family who is struggling financially, a single person who might need it, etc. I wonder if painting would have fit under part of the Providers program (they can do one Providers activity, as well).

We will have time for that, though, as all three girls would like to update their rooms. One of the girls is going to downsize her items significantly so we can put a larger bed in her room and it can serve as a guest room as needed. Lots of painting will probably happen soon. So the life skills they learned will be coming in handy.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

 

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