Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Accomplishments by age 18

In response to my Homeschooling and Preparedness post, a reader sent in a list of what she wants her children to be able to do by age 18:

• Be able to change a tire
• Make a good dent into reading the 'Great Books' list (Dickens, Twain, Homer, et al)
• Discuss the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers
• Can food you have grown yourself
• Butcher a deer you shot
• Read a bedtime story to a toddler and get them to sleep
• Plan a vacation
• Read a map well
• Balance a checkbook
• Shop, find, inspect & negotiate the purchase of a quality used car
• Cook Thanksgiving dinner for 8 so that all ask for seconds
• Raise a puppy into a well mannered family dog
• Plan, shop (using coupons, non-packaged, etc) and prepare a week's worth of meals for our family of eight for less than $200
• Drive a tractor well
• Master algebra & geometry


  1. If your reader's kids can do those things by 18, more power to 'em. I'd probably add a couple of things (Read the Bible all the way through and be able to fill a BOB with appropriate gear). Setting goals and having a list are good ideas. The child can see his/her progress and check off the accomplishments as they are achieved. Cool!

    Goals are good for all of us, no matter how old we get.

    That list is a great way to enter adulthood as a self-reliant and productive member of society!! WTG

    Anonymous Patriot

  2. I reeally like Robert Heinlien's list. But yours is good as well. Perhaps combine them?
    I have my doubts about algerbra though I loved geometry. I'd also say keep seeking knowledge through out life.

  3. This one stands out to me: Plan, shop (using coupons, non-packaged, etc) and prepare a week's worth of meals for our family of eight for less than $200

    maybe it's cost of food where you are vs. where i am (NY), but it cost me $150/week to feed my family of 5.

  4. Thanks for this great post...I am sharing with all of my kids and nephews...

    have you written a post on "Plan, shop (using coupons, non-packaged, etc) and prepare a week's worth of meals for our family of eight for less than $200" I would love to read it... and share it...

  5. I didn't write the list, LOL, but perhaps the reader who wrote this can write a guest blog on how she plans, shops, and prepares a week's worth of food for less than $200. I'll ask her.

    - Patrice

  6. Gotta agree with:Adventures in Self Reliance said... : My thought when I hit the end of the list was "Specialization is for insects"

    Admiral Bob had many good insights.


  7. I'd replace algebra with a second language, and add reading the Bible in its entirety and filling a BOB, as Anon Patriot said. Also, I don't care about the particular animal raised and trained - I'm fine if they'd rather train a horse to ride or an ox to drive or whatever. Ditto the deer - if you can shoot and clean and cook a turkey, duck, goose, pheasant, rabbit or squirrel, you'll be okay on a deer if you have to. I'd definitely add catching, cleaning and cooking your own fish.

    Heinlein is smiling.
    Xa Lynn

  8. forget the algebra...learn the able to sew on your own buttons and darn your own able to make your own bed, do your own laundry, cook your own meal, earn your own money and balance your checkbook without spending what you might have in and understand construction plans (of any kind)-if you can do this and are familiar with a hammer, saw and screwdriver you could probably build something.....practical skills for living and working and being content.

  9. By 18, daughter was training her own horses and delivering lambs. She could vaccinate, do fecal worm counts under a microscope, vaccinate, and suture injuries. She could also shear a sheep, spin, and weave.

    By 18, son was playing music in a band, pouring concrete, building houses, welding, and erecting large steel buildings.

    They continue to earn money as adults using skills they learned at home.

  10. I know I am very late to the comment section here, but was just browsing through some of the back material in your blog. Our list for our kids (who were homeschooled but both graduated from the local public high school with gold cord honors) was this:
    before you leave home you must be able to ride a horse, shoot a gun, and dance.
    Both son and daughter mastered these skills and many others. As young adults, they are sensible and have the skills to learn new skills.
    We, the parents, did not always know what we were doing. But God blessed us and answered our prayers for our children. Now that they are out of the nest, we won't stop praying. The next generation is looking good.