A few weeks after my oldest son went away to college he called to thank me. What in the world would cause an 18 year old young man to call his mom and thank her? It was laundry, and the fact that he was one of the few people in his dorm who actually knew how to do it.
Over the course of that year, he also realized that he was in the minority of people who could clean a bathroom, change the oil in a car and change a tire. It was an eye opening experience for him.
Long ago, my husband and I determined that when it was time for our children to leave our home, they would be functioning adults. So we began to keep a mental list of the things we wanted our children to learn before they left our home. Pretty much anything we could do, we wanted them to learn to do.
We figured we had at least 18 years so we didn’t need to rush or stress out, we just needed to be diligent about including them in our work.
Here are a few things that we feel every person should know how to do before they leave their parents home (in no particular order)…
1. Hand wash dishes
2. Clean a bathroom
3. Do his own laundry
4. Change a tire
5. Sew on a button
6. Use a hammer
7. Write a check
8. Cook several meals totally from scratch
9. Balance a checking account
10. Mow and “weed eat” a lawn
Obviously, this list is far from complete, there are the intangible character traits that need to be developed and other things that are important to individual families. But this is a good starting place to help your child be a blessing instead of a burden to other people when he leaves your home.
I want to encourage you and your husband to come up with a list, written or mental, of what skills you want your children to have before they leave your home. That day will come sooner than you think it will.
Angi Schneider is a minister’s wife and homeschooling mom to 5 children and 1 adult child. She and her family have a small homestead where they garden, raise chickens and bees and blog about their adventures at SchneiderPeeps. Angi is also the author of the new ebook series, The Busy Moms Guide, and the first ebook in that series, Taming the Laundry Monster is now available.