Day 13: SKILL SCHOOL: teach your kids these 5 PRACTICAL LIFE-SKILLS!

~Our 19 DAY JOURNEY of inspiration, activities, and resources continues!~

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Among the many practical life-skills my dad taught me growing up, there are a few that really stand out to me now that I am a parent: don’t scream unless you are dying (or at least bleeding), chew with your mouth closed, and always open with a joke. He also taught me to obey my father and mother, so I feel it entirely necessary to kick off today’s discussion about skills with this very poignant YouTube clip:


This was already a hot topic before Covid19 turned our lives upside down. For a decade or more, we’ve been asking: “Are our kids learning enough practical life-skills in school? Do they really need all that testing? What about the blue-collared worker? Is college really necessary for everyone? Why are adults having so much trouble. . . #adulting?” 

I can’t answer all of those questions (although I have lots of opinions on the topic). But I think we can all agree that now, more than ever, we are seeing first-hand our incredible need for —and lack of— practical life-skills in our families and in our society. Suddenly, the conveniences of our modern-day-lifestyle that we have taken for granted have become paramount and far less . . . convenient, and maybe not even safe! We’ve forgotten the fundamental skills that were the difference between life and death only just a generation or three behind us. For my great grandmother, gardening and bread baking weren’t hobbies —they were survival skills. Today, the only thing most of our kids know about bread (a world-wide symbol of life itself) is that it’s delicious, full of gluten, and that it comes from a plastic bag at the grocery store.


So, let’s rise to the occasion and learn how to bake bread with our kids! Let’s plant a victory garden, teach our kids how to do their laundry, and build that shelving unit ourselves! (I feel like I’m writing an advertisement for The Home Depot —more baking, more doing, that’s the power of Holistic Homeschooling). Let’s use this awkward and dark season to confront with our hands what we’ve been thinking and talking about for over a decade: giving kids practical life-skills along with academic ones. (When life gives you . . . okra . . . make up a big ole pot of gumbo!?)

Teaching our kids to use their hands (and hearts) as well as their brains is at the center of Holistic education, and the philosophy for which I named this blog. So join us in teaching our kids some valuable, empowering, and maybe even life-saving practical life-skills!


1.) Gardening

Plant a victory garden! It’s the ultimate life-giving skill to teach your children, plus there are all kinds of science lessons that will sprout up along the way. If you are new to gardening, I have some links below to get you started.


Where to start?

  • My absolute favorite book about gardening and the backyard homestead (you will need no other gardening resource, or farming resource for that matter):

self sufficientclick here: Amazon Prime link

2.) Cooking

If you are new to cooking with your kids, don’t get overwhelmed. Start small. Teach your kids how to boil or fry an egg. Teach them how to wash, cut, and sauté vegetables. Teach them what it means to boil, simmer, bake, broil, grill, poach, and steam. 

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Where to start?

  • Cookbooks (how to choose??)
  • Jamie Oliver (my favorite cooking teacher) Cooking Tutorials on YouTube (these playlists are GREAT!)
    • COOKING WITH KIDS playlist (below)

    • STAY HOME; NEW COOKING SKILLS playlist (below)

3.) Baking

“On your marks, get set, BAAAAAKE!” 


Where to start?

  • “Granny Hat’s” Whole Wheat Bread recipe: You’ve got to try this bread! It’s worth it just for the aroma! Click here: A Piece of Bread Could Buy a Bag of Gold
  • Make a Sourdough Starter: Watch this video from the queen of sourdough bread —seriously, I wish you could taste this stuff… it shouldn’t even be legal. And at Thanksgiving, she chops it up and makes her own homemade sourdough stuffing!!! Sorry, I get carried away when I’m talking about bread. Check out part one of her tutorial below: 

  • Mary Berry & Paul Hollywood’s The Great British Baking Show Masterclass show on Netflix, (for older kids), click here: The Great British Baking Masterclass
  • Jamie Oliver’s first episode on the playlist above (in cooking section): “Stay At Home, New Cooking Skills”

4.) Cleaning

If you haven’t already, get your kids started helping you with the housework!

Where to start?

  • For all kinds of cleaning and organizing tips, go pro with Marie Kondo on her Netflix Show, click here: Tidying Up
  • This by-age Chore Chart from

5.) Laundry

Teach your kids to sort the dirty clothes into loads, show them how to load and run the washer and dryer, and start teaching them how to fold their own clothes! Even kids as young as two or three can start by matching socks.

Where to start?

  • Do the laundry with your kids
  • Fold like a pro with Marie Kondo


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Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~




6 Replies to “Day 13: SKILL SCHOOL: teach your kids these 5 PRACTICAL LIFE-SKILLS!”

  1. So much to love in this post and bringing in Napolean Dynamite and Marie just made me laugh?? Don’t scream unless you are bleeding! Hilarious and wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that! Another blockbuster post.

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