Life Skills Every Southern Child Should Know

Abigail Van Buren

If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.

— Abigail Van Buren

I was listening to a radio show recently where the host was telling a story about how his 19-year-old son didn't know how to send a letter. He had never addressed an envelope, put a stamp on it, and taken it to the Post Office. While that sounds completely foreign to me, I understand that in this tech-driven, automated world we live in, some kids may not have those old-fashioned and common-sense skills we learned in Home Ec and Business Ed classes back in the day. So, while we're home-schooling anyway, why not add your own Home Ec and Business Ed classes to their curriculum? You may even learn some new skills along the way. Here are some ideas to get you started but choose chores that your age child can handle. Remember, you're making memories so have fun!

Boy Mowning Lawn
H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty Images

Household Chores:


  • How do use the washing machine and dryer (don't forget the lint trap)
  • How to fold sheets and towels
  • How to iron a shirt and care for an iron
  • How to sew a button
  • How to remove stains in clothes and carpets

Etiquette and Written Communication:


  • How to change a flat tire
  • How to wash and wax the car
  • How to read a paper map
  • How to put the chain on a bicycle
  • How to check tire pressure

Handyman/Handywoman Tips:

  • How to use a hammer and remove a nail
  • How to use an electric drill and screwdriver
  • How to properly paint a wall
  • How to hang a picture
  • How to use a fire extinguisher (check the expiration date)
  • How to check the smoke detector



  • How to create a budget
  • How to write a check
  • How to save money
  • How to balance a checkbook
  • How to make change


  • How to plant and grow herbs, flowers, and vegetables
  • How to use and care for the lawn mower and weed eater
  • How to mow and edge the yard
  • How to mulch
  • How to blow the driveway
  • How to rake and bag leaves
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