Friday, December 18, 2015

Independent Living Skills: My Favorite High School Homeschool Course

Photo: Chuck Marean

Independent Living Skills High School Homeschool Course 

When I taught my son in high school, each semester we had an Independent Living Skills class.

I loved it, though he didn't care for it at the time.

As one point or the other, I had located an old, old, old, high school homemaking book. It covered how to clean almost anything, basic cooking methods, essential first aid techniques, and grooming. We used that book as a primary textbook. 

When he grew up and had kids of his own, I gave him the book to use someday with his own kids. While some things were outdated, such as the washing machine instructions, the basic information was sound.

Is There Life After Housework?
Another resource we used was Don Aslett's Is There Life After Housework?: A Revolutionary Approach to Cutting Your Cleaning Time 75%.

This is a fantastic book to use as a  homeschool textbook but is also helpful for anyone that has a home to take care of (I used the previous edition, which is no longer in publication).

It teaches how to do housework in the least amount of time while still doing a really good job. There are even suggestions for creating your own home business cleaning other peoples' houses if you are interested. This is one book I kept, and I refer back to it when I have a cleaning job I don't know how to handle.

What My Son Learned in this Course

The How-to Cookbook for Teens
He learned to clean the house. He learned to use a broom, vacuum cleaner, mop, and more. Eventually, he had the responsibility to do half the housework each week and all his own laundry.

We had cooking lessons, where he was required to plan a meal, create a shopping list, comparison shop, and purchase what he needed for the meal, then cook the meal. I helped the first couple of times, but then he took off and did his own planning, shopping, and cooking.

Again, at the time, he wasn't very happy about it. Later, though, he was thrilled he had learned to care for a home and cook meals when he married and his wife couldn't cook (she is a very good cook, now). It saved them tons of money because he could prepare their meals while teaching her, and they did not have to eat sandwiches or eat out all the time.

How Rude!: The Teen Guide to Good Manners, Proper Behavior, and Not Grossing People Out
How Rude!: The Teen
Guide to Good Manners,
Proper Behavior, and
Not Grossing People Out
He learned to mend a seam in a garment, sew a button, and fix a zipper. After he was married, he used the sewing skills he learned to sew up a Obi-Wan Kenobi costume that was fabulous.

He learned to keep a checkbook, to plan for expected expenses, and prepare for the unexpected expenses that happen in life.

He learned manners, how to greet someone older, to stand when an adult enters the room, to offer his seat to older adults, to say thank you, you're welcome, and basically just how to be a decent person. Manners make him more pleasant to be around and are helpful his entire life long.

He learned how to change a tire and how to change or jump a car battery. These are important skills, even for girls. Otherwise, your precious daughter may be stranded without help.


Living skills are vitally important for all students, both boys and girls. This highschool course gives homeschool students the opportunity to learn skills they will need as adults living in their own homes and raising their own families.

Yes, this class helped me out, since it took some of my workload off me, but more than that, it helped prepare him for adult life--which is the responsibility of all parents whether they homeschool or not.

Links to Sites that Teach Living Skills

The site links below all have good solid information that can be used to create your own independent living skills course if you don't have access to an old homemaking textbook.
Can you think of any skills that need to be added?


  1. What a good idea to include this in your curriculum. I did studies like that many years ago in High School, the things I learned there always come back to me, especially in the area of cooking.
    Blogger's Pit Stop

    1. Hi Kathleen! Thank you for commenting. I did studies like that in High School, too. Both Home Economics and Home & Family Living. The course content has definitely been helpful to me throughout my entire life.

  2. I think this is a fantastic idea! My husband and I were just discussing how our grandsons, who are 10, have no responsibilities around their house yet. They are not home-schooled, but they still need to have some homemaking skills to become responsible men. Debbie from Blogger's Pit Stop

    1. Hi Debbie! Thank you for commenting. Life skills are needed by all children, both boys and girls.

  3. This just seems like common sense, all schools should teach this. I moved away from home and had car issues and didn't even know how to open up the hood or where to put the wiper fluid, sewing, cars, cleaning, cooking, all should be taught like this.

    Thanks so much for stopping by the Bloggers Spotlight over the holidays, your pin was added to our group board. Check back next Thursday to see who was featured and link up again.

    1. Hi Hil D. Thank you for commenting. I totally agree that all kids need to learn these things. I'll be back to participate in the Bloggers Spotlight again.