Being an adult in today’s world is a tough job, and there are certain Life Skills that everyone should know to guide them through the challenges of everyday life. Can you plan a meal, change a tire, balance a checkbook, hang a picture, sew on a button, cook eggs several ways, manage pests, do the laundry, and throw a party? Can you do it on a budget?
I teach Life Skills (sometimes I call it Domestic Sciences) to kids from age 8 and up. When I teach Upstairs/ Downstairs: Dining at the Manor later this month at Cook’s Warehouse, I will be teaching formal table etiquette, but when I teach it to kids, it is all about setting the table, using your best manners, and how to eat politely. Other life skills include Kitchen Chemistry, Common Chemicals Used In The Home, Budgeting and Menu Planning, Laundry (students learn the ingredients used in commercial laundry soaps and will make a batch of soap in class to take home), Basic Mending, Out, Out, Spot! (spot cleaning and treatments for different surfaces), Personal Finances, Basic Tools and Home Repair, and more.
I’ll be modifying my class line-up for summer camp this year for In The City Camp at Emory. I’ll be adding a bit more science and nature into the lineup, including measuring and understanding the weather and making paper seed planters.
Tune up your life skills! Have a disaster plan worked out with your family. Take a class in auto maintenance or self-defense. Kids and adults alike all benefit from getting a good grounding in the basics of the domestic sciences!
Find out more about my other class offerings by clicking on the Classes tab above!
Here is a list I recently came across, how many can you check off?
1 I can sew.
2 I can tie a man’s tie.
3 I can make a meal without a recipe.
4 I can build a fire.
5 I can bandage a wound.
6 I can navigate with an IRL map (NOT Google Maps).
7 I can measure a piece of furniture to know if it fits in a space.
8 I can change a tire.
9 I know how to check oil in a car.
10 I know the proper way to fold a fitted sheet.
11 I know how to do laundry.
12 I know how to iron a shirt.
13 I know how to stop a toilet from overflowing.
14 I know how to set up a wireless network.
15 I know how to use Excel.
16 I can create a basic website/blog.
17 I know how to craft a resume.
18 I know how to cook eggs at least three different ways.
19 I know how to use chopsticks.
20 I know CPR.
21 I know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver.
22 I know how to calculate a tip.
23 I can do a push-up.
24 I can swim.
25 I can drive.
26 I can ride a bike.
27 I can do basic math in my head.
28 I can do long division on paper.
29 I can keep a plant alive.
30 I can make pasta without under/overcooking it.
31 I can tie a proper knot.
32 I can open a champagne bottle.
33 I can drive a stick shift.
34 I can use both a Mac and PC.
35 I can parallel park.
36 I know when fruits and vegetables are ripe.
37 I can assemble Ikea furniture by myself.
38 I know what to do if you spill red wine on carpet.
39 I know what to do to remove blood stains.
40 I know how to jump-start a car.
41 I know how to read and understand nutrition labels.
42 I know what to do if I get in a car accident.
43 I know how to budget. (Well, doesn’t mean you actually FOLLOW it, but you get how to…)
44 I can write letters with few spelling and grammar errors.
45 I can bargain at a flea market.
46 I can carve a turkey or chicken.
47 I know how to operate a fire extinguisher.
48 I can use a sewing machine.
49 I can successfully bake a cake with a recipe.
50 I know how to properly set a table.
51 I can adjust my Facebook privacy settings with ease.
52 I know how to treat a bee sting.
53 I understand what goes in the recycling versus trash.
54 I know how how make a soft-, medium-, and hard-boiled egg.
55 I know how to back up my information.
56 I know how to update my phone.
57 I understand how to manage/store my music and photos.
58 I know how to use an electric drill.
59 I know how to hang a picture.
60 I can install something — like a shelf or curtain hooks — into the wall.
61 I can braid hair.
62 I can throw a football.
63 I can set up a barbecue fire.
64 I can cook meat to a desired level (rare, well done, etc).
65 I know how to make a mixed drink.
66 I can do my taxes.
67 I can change a diaper.
68 I understand how to throw a punch.
69 I can actually throw a punch.
70 I can negotiate a raise.
71 I can figure out which direction points north without a compass.
72 I can navigate the subway without having to ask for help.
73 I know how to send someone a large file.
74 I know how to use Twitter.
75 I understand what a 401k is.
76 I understand how the stock market works.
77 I understand the terms of my heath insurance program.
78 I know what an abnormal mole might look like.
79 I can change a lightbulb.
80 I can read a text and recall the most important details.
81 I can do an pretty decent dive into a pool.
82 I can ski.
83 I can recognize (but not necessarily speak) languages like Spanish, French, German, Italian.
84 I know how to clean the filters in my vacuum.
85 I can replace a vacuum belt.
86 I know how to paint a room.
87 If named a state in the U.S., I could describe where it is.
88 If named a country in Europe, I could describe where it is.
89 I could draw a basic map of the world.
90 I know how to play Sudoku.
91 I know how to polish silver.
92 I know how to eat a lobster.
93 I can fix a leaky faucet.
94 I know how to use the internet — beyond Google — for finding things.
95 I am good at finding exactly what I’m looking for online.
96 I can wrap a gift (and it won’t look like someone with no fingers wrapped it).
97 I have been able to get around in a foreign country by myself with ease.
98 I can remove a splinter.
99 I know how to properly clean (the exterior) of my computer and electronic devices.
100 I understand how a mortgage works.
I score about 95% here. I never could learn to ski, and I don’t play Sudoku! What things have been left off of this list that you think are essential Life Skills? Leave your ideas in the comments!