Resources › For Educators Education in the Everyday How to Capitalize on Learning Opportunities All Around You Share Flipboard Email Print Hero Images / Getty Images For Educators Homeschooling Spelling Geography Becoming A Teacher Assessments & Tests Elementary Education Secondary Education Special Education Teaching By Kris Bales Education Expert Kris Bales is a long-time homeschool parent. Since 2009 she has reviewed homeschool curricula for providers like Alpha Omega, Apologia, and All About Learning Press. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Kris Bales Updated May 28, 2019 Learning opportunities surround us every day, but we may miss them because the tasks seem so mundane. As you go about your daily activities, look for opportunities to capitalize on the educational moments in your everyday life. Grocery Shopping It’s become something of a humorous homeschool stereotype that homeschooling families can turn a trip to the grocery store into a field trip, but the fact is there are many educational opportunities your kids can experience in the grocery store. You can: Learn to read a scale by weighing producePractice estimation and rounding by keeping a mental tally of the amount you’re spendingDiscuss a variety of measurements such as bushel, pounds, gallons, and pints.Practice percentages by figuring sale pricesLearn how to do comparison shopping using unit pricesDiscuss healthy eating habits Used Car Shopping The experience of purchasing a pre-owned car, while a bit outside the ordinary, is an excellent opportunity for real-life training skills. Some of the skills you can work on include: Learning what to look for in a used car, such as dependable reputation, safety, gas mileage, and vehicle historyHow to comparison shop and use tools such as Consumer Reports and Kelley Blue Book to gauge value and dependabilityHow interest rates and the age of the car affect the price — for example, we were better off purchasing a newer car through our credit union at just over 2% interest. Cars older than 10 years only qualified for a signature loan and those rates were 10% and higher.How to figure taxes on automobilesConsidering the cost of insurance when purchasing a car — newer cars and sports cars will mean higher monthly premiumsLearning what’s involved in registering and titling a car Doctor and Dental Appointments If you’ve got to take time out of your busy schedule for appointments, you might as well make them educational. You might learn about: Preventative measures for disease controlProper oral and personal hygieneWhy doctors check your blood pressure and how it affects your overall healthHow dentists screen for diseases like oral cancerWhat causes cavities, illness, or infectionWhat is involved in becoming a doctor, dentist, nurse, or dental hygienist Ask questions — especially if you’re at the dentist; it will give your dental hygienist something to talk about, rather than asking you questions that you can’t answer because her hands are in your mouth. Cooking Home ec is one subject that you never really have to go out of your way to teach. You may just need to be a bit more intentional about bringing your kids into the kitchen with you to help you prepare meals. As you do so, talk with them about: Food prep and safetyMeasurements such as cups, teaspoons, and tablespoons, along with common conversions for increasing or decreasing the number of servings in a recipeFollowing directions on a recipeHow to properly use cooking utensilsVarious cooking techniques such as baking, broiling, sautéing and simmering You might want to include some specific recipes as you teach your kids about food, such as biscuits, cookies, a few family favorite main dishes and sides, and some desserts, but all of this can be accomplished in the regular day-to-day of your life. Random Educational Moments Don’t miss the random educational opportunities all around you. Look for opportunities to use daily activities that we may take for granted to put to practical use the abstract concepts your kids are learning in school. For example, say you've been getting price quotes to have a concrete pad poured (so you'll have a place to park that used car you bought). You'll be able to talk about area and perimeter in concrete terms (pun intended!). You can also use real-world math to figure up how many bags of concrete needed and what the cost would be to do yourselves, along with comparing the cost, in both time and money, to hire someone to do the job. Use sales and dinners out (tipping your server) to teach your kids simple ways to quickly calculate percentages in their heads. Ask your young children to choose a color and count all the cars of that color that they see as you’re driving down the road. Encourage your older kids to tally the variety of colors they see and create a graph to see which color is more popular. Learning opportunities are all around us if we just look for moments to capitalize on the educational in the everyday.