Big 5 and Life Skills

I did not know that “Life Skills” was an actual subject area until I started researching homeschooling! Since learning about it by browsing Facebook groups and blogs on Homeschooling, I have come to the realisation that it is quite an important subject to include in your homeschool routine. I also appreciated that the content in this subject area depends on what you value as a family and that a lot of it is common sense 🙂

Ever since my husband and I heard about “Life Skills”, we have talked about a few things we wanted to teach:

  1. Instilling habits: waking up on time
  2. Personal hygiene
  3. Tidying up (at home and outdoors)
  4. Money management – spending, saving, giving
  5. Surviving in the woods (my husband’s idea!)

This is just a small list, there are lots of information out there on the internet if you need inspiration. I found that beginning to think about “Life Skills” in general was a good first start and then thinking through what you want to teach your children (some immediately, some eventually) depending on their age and ability levels.

I read a post on this lovely blog where the author talked about something called “The Big 5” which I was intrigued about and subsequently copied. Basically, you trace your husband’s hand onto a piece of paper and write five things on each finger of activities (or life skills) they need to do as soon as they wake up. My list was:

  1. Wake up at 7 am (my kids are early risers)
  2. Tidy your room (the first couple of weeks, this had to be taught as they were normally used to me doing it, plus their duvets are quite big and heavy).
  3. Take off pyjamas and fold them neatly
  4. Put on new clothes
  5. Bathroom and brush teeth

And then, if they completed all five of these activities, they get to…give Daddy a Hi-Five as a fun reward!

A laminated copy of the Big Five is on their bedroom wall.
They were enthusiastic about the activities on the first week but later (as human nature would have it), they started to slow down and even complain/whine about it. However, my husband and I have been encouraging them every day, sometimes with words or actions – sometimes this meant folding someone’s duvet if they were too tired that particular morning.
We plan to change up the activities as time goes on but for now, I think this has been a good, first, tiny step towards developing sound habits and life skills.


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