Life Skills Categories – Part #1

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Whether you are still planning your upcoming homeschool year or have already started it, keep in mind adding life skills to your homeschool day. Life skills can be taught by example or as actual lessons, as mentioned in THIS post. To make it a little easier keep in mind that life skills can be broken down into different categories.

Life Skills Categories

Breaking down life skills into different categories can make it easier to think about and easier to plan. It is also important to remember that life skills are not just task or skill based but also character based. Here is a basic list of categories that life skills can be broken down into.

  • Character Based Skills
  • Home Care Skills
  • Home Making Skills
  • Transportation Skills
  • People Skills
  • Organizational Skills
  • Time Management Skills
  • Money Management Skills
  • Self Care Skills

Character Based Skills

Character based skills are those skills that are not “task” driven but can be task related. You can easily tie a few character skills to any task based skill that you might want to teach. These skills might include:

  • Honesty
  • Hard Work
  • Responsibility
  • Patience
  • Compassion
  • Gratitude

Home Care Skills

Doing chores seems to just be part of childhood. I know I did my share of them growing up and that my kids have their own to do weekly. In our house we consider chores as something that every member of the family does because they live in our home. We start young by doing the chores ourselves and letting the kids “shadow” or pretend to do the chores along with us. My daughter loved “sweeping” and “mopping” with the child-sized versions along side me when she was a toddler to preshooler. She easily transferred to the real thing, with very little prompting, because it was fun and she had seen Mom do it over and over. Yes, the excitement wore off, especially now that she is 14, but she still does a good job. This is because she was taught how, by example and instructions, and also taught to be responsible for her chores and to work hard at it so the job is completed correctly. Any task that is done to take care of a home, from the simple to the complex, can be put into the “Home Care Skills” category. Some of the home care skills might include:

  • Washing Dishes
  • Picking Up Toys and/or Other Personal Items
  • Sweeping
  • Window Washing
  • Changing the Furnace Filter
  • Cutting the Lawn

Home Making Skills

Home making skills are a little different than home care skills for our family. Sewing a button on a shirt, baking a pie and ironing a pair of pants are typical tasks that fall into the home making category for us. For me personally it is the difference between caring for a home and making a house a home. Learning to sew, knit, or crochet takes patience and hard work. So does learning to bake a cake or prepare breakfast for the entire family. These are not any gender specific skills either. I plan on sending both my daughter and my son out into the world able to sew, cook, bake and make a home for themselves and their future families. Some of the home making skills might include:

  • Basic Sewing
  • Meal Planning
  • Cooking
  • Baking
  • Ironing Shirts/Pants/Skirts
  • Gardening

Transportation Skills

We use different types of transportation even from a young age. Both of my kids have ridden bikes since they were around 3 years old. Now they use the bikes as transportation around the neighborhood and to friends’ homes nearby. My daughter is also getting ready to start driver’s training shortly. Yikes! But all of the vehicles we use need to be maintained, filled with fuel and driven/ridden properly. These are all skills that fit into the transportation category of skills, whether the vehicle is a pedal bike, car or scooter. Some character based skills, like responsibility, reliability and honesty, are also a part of this category.

People Skills

Learning to socialize isn’t just a “homeschooling” issue but an every person issue. How to deal with and interact with people can be difficult for many people to learn. We can teach people skills by setting a good example and also by discussing how to deal with situations before they happen, as mentioned in THIS post. Many of the skills associated with dealing with people need to include character skills too like compassion, empathy, and respect. Don’t forget that we are teaching children and that we can’t expect the same from a 3 year old as we do a 10 year old. We need to remember to model the behavior that we expect them to have.


I’ll discuss the rest of the skills mentioned in the next post.

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