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In this episode of the Ten Minutes to a Better Homeschool podcast, host Pam Barnhill talks with Katie Kimball, the National Voice of Healthy Kids Cooking and founder of the Kids Cook Real Food e-course, about the LifeSkills Summer Camp. This free online camp offers families the opportunity to learn life skills from a team of experts, including workshops on cooking, gardening, financial independence, communication, coping skills, stress management, and more.
Kimball discusses the importance of teaching kids life skills and how parents can make the most of their summertime to teach these skills. She emphasizes that the online format of the camp allows families to learn from experts they might not have access to otherwise and provides a great opportunity for both parents and children to learn together.

Listen to the Podcast:

Key Takeaways

  1. Teaching kids life skills is important to help them become independent adults.
  2. The online format of LifeSkills Now Camp allows families to learn from experts in various fields and in different locations.
  3. The workshops cover both hard and soft skills, such as cooking, financial independence, communication, and stress management.
  4. Repetition and practice are important for kids to master life skills.
  5. Parents can learn alongside their kids and make it a fun and interactive experience.
  6. LifeSkills Now Camp can be used as credit for life skills or home ec in homeschooling.


Save your spot for the FREE Life Skills Now Camp.

Life Skills for Homeschoolers Transcript

Pam Barnhill [00:00:03]:

I’ve always been one of those moms who’s really struggled with the idea of I could just do things faster myself than to teach my kids. And that is why I’m really appreciative of today’s guest. Hi, everyone. I’m Pam Barnhill, and I have helped thousands of homeschoolers beat, burnout, create doable systems and bring more joy to their homeschool day. Welcome to episode 69 of the Ten Minutes to a Better Homeschool podcast. Today we’re talking with Katie Kimball. She is the host of the Life Skills Now summer camp for kids. This summer, I’m actually presenting two different classes for Life Skills Now, and so we would just love to invite you to check this one out with your kids. The live skills. Now summer camp is absolutely free. I’ve got a link for you down in the show notes or in the description of the podcast that you can use to go check that out. We thank you for using our link. And yeah, there are so many classes your kids are absolutely going to love. Have a listen to the podcast. Katie Kimball, the national voice of healthy kids Cooking, is a former teacher, two time TEDx speaker, writer, and mom of four kids. She founded the Kids Cook Real Food Ecourse, which was recommended by the Wall Street Journal as the best online cooking class for kids. Her blog, Kitchen Stewardship, helps families stay healthy without going crazy, and she’s on a mission to connect families around healthy food and teach every child to cook. Katie, welcome to the podcast.

Katie Kimball [00:01:43]:

Thanks, Pam.

Pam Barnhill [00:01:45]:

It is so good to have you here. So what I didn’t say in your intro is that your muffin recipe is the favorite muffin recipe in the Barnhill household.

Katie Kimball [00:01:56]:

No way is it the pumpkin muffins?

Pam Barnhill [00:01:58]:

It is the pumpkin muffins, but I also make them as, like, banana muffins. Now, I’m not as quite a devotee to healthy cooking as you are, so I throw chocolate chips in mine, but I do grind the wheat and make them and decrease the sugar like you taught me to. So we love those muffins.

Katie Kimball [00:02:17]:

They are fail proof. You cannot mess those up.

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Pam Barnhill [00:02:20]:

And one bowl, I mean, they’re just absolutely perfect. So thank you for writing that recipe. Well, let’s get started. Why do you feel like one of the things we’re talking about today is your Life Skills Now camp? And you ran this camp last summer, and this is like a free opportunity for families to come in and get Life Skills help for their kids at a time where they really are looking for stuff to do anyway, looking for stuff to keep them busy. So why do you feel that teaching kids these life skills is something that’s so important to do?

Katie Kimball [00:02:53]:

I think it just got missed. Like, this used to be part of life, right, Pam? Kids, growing up on the farm 100 years ago, you had to learn whatever your parents did, and I would say our generation of parents was very well intentioned, trying to make our lives, quote, easier, but by not giving us responsibilities and chores and just letting us play. And there’s a really good sentiment behind that and a great heart. But it made our adulthoods a lot harder, I think, because a lot of us went into adulthoods going, oh, my gosh, I don’t even know how to be an adult. And so I feel like it’s a gift to give our kids, to teach them as many of those kind of basic how do you survive life skills as we can when they’re under our roof.

Pam Barnhill [00:03:36]:

Yeah, and you know what? My kids actually ask for this kind of stuff. They’re like, hey, could you show us how to do this? Could you show us how to cook a little bit more? Could you show us actually, my husband had them outside teaching them how to determine if the air pressure in their tires and to see whether they needed to air it up. Right. And so they ask for that kind of stuff.

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Katie Kimball [00:03:57]:

That’s awesome. I don’t know that all kids do, but I think once they’re in it, they appreciate it, they like it. But it’s not that always that easy for parents to remember to slow down. For many husbands and wives, too, moms and dads, we just do the thing. Like, your husband could have just done the air pressure and forgotten to invite the teenagers out. So kudos to him. But that’s not always the easiest thing to do for parents.

Pam Barnhill [00:04:22]:

Oh, no. Because I’m the person who’s to just let me get in there and do it myself and get it done with. And not necessarily it’s so much faster for me to do it by myself, don’t you think?

Katie Kimball [00:04:34]:

Oh, yeah. Faster and easier to do it myself. It’s like the mom chorus of the mom song.

Pam Barnhill [00:04:39]:

And it gets done right the first time.

Katie Kimball [00:04:42]:

Yes, but I mean, we have to and I have to remind myself of this, too, that the long term goal is that in the long term, like, over ten years, it’s faster and easier to teach the kids because then you can share the responsibility and they go off into the world with more skills. And so we see that time and time again with our cooking class, which is my main thing, is teaching the kids to cook, is that they build so much confidence, they contribute to the family. Both the parents and kids are so much happier when the kids have these authentic skills to give. Like, to me, that’s the best self esteem boost is how do we contribute to the world?

Pam Barnhill [00:05:17]:


Katie Kimball [00:05:17]:

Not how do we score the soccer goal or get an A on a test. Like, there are so many ways in our culture that we compliment kids, but I think the best compliment is teaching them to do something meaningful.

Pam Barnhill [00:05:29]:

Oh, I love that so much and yes, I’ve definitely seen that with my kids as they’ve grown up and started to enter the world of work. Okay, so parents are busy, and we’re not trying to make any parent feel bad. Like, we’ve been there ourselves. We know how hard it is to think about this, to slow down, to not just do it yourself because it is easier. So why do you think an online format is a great way to teach kids how to do this?

Katie Kimball [00:05:55]:

So many parents left comments for me last year saying, you’re saying or the expert camp leaders.

Pam Barnhill [00:06:00]:


Katie Kimball [00:06:00]:

We had 50 last year. I think we have 60 camp leaders this year. The camp leaders are saying the same stuff I tell my kids, but it tends to like it doubles the meaning, doubles the impact when someone else says it. So it’s not about our experts replacing the parenting.

Pam Barnhill [00:06:17]:


Katie Kimball [00:06:18]:

It’s just about smart parents having a whole team of people. Right. We have a whole team of people helping our kids. And like my family, we went and we recorded a lot on location this year, so we went to a credit union and spent an hour and a half with a branch manager talking about how to open a checking account, how to use a debit card. My daughter and I next week are going to go to a semi famous Italian restaurant in our area and learn how to make homemade pasta from a chef. Every parent doesn’t have the time and ability and connections to do that kind of thing. Got a car mechanic teaching how to change a tire. We went to a floral shop for how to arrange flowers. So there’s a great benefit of that online format that you can reach into other places that you might not have the time or connections to get to on your own.

Pam Barnhill [00:07:05]:

I love that so much because I don’t have time to do all that, and it’s almost like we’re just kind of sharing the workload here. If one family says, well, we’re going to learn how to do this, we’re going to video it, and we’re going to show other people how to do it, and then we just share all of those things around. And with 60 different teachers, I think it’s going to be a great summer of learning. So I’m loving that so much. So how can families make the most of their summer time to teach these kinds of life skills? And is it just for homeschooling families?

Katie Kimball [00:07:40]:

Yeah, life skills now is for anyone. We serve kids ages five to 18, and we even have a little preschool track for parents of the younger kids so that the little ones don’t have to be on screens, but their parents can grab some activities to do with them throughout the summer. I’m a big fan of repetition as far as making this work for the summer. You can join in free camp June 12 to 16th watch as many workshops as possible. And then every workshop has a printable that goes with it, so you can take that kind of off into the summer. Personally, we implement like a kids cooking night or some kind of routine where it pops up in your calendar once a week, like do this thing so that the kids can practice and start to start to perfect their skills so they’re not rookies at everything. And then parents can buy the package to keep. Like a lot of homeschoolers do use that for their whole summer or for their Friday fund days throughout the school year.

Pam Barnhill [00:08:34]:

Oh, I love that. Yeah, because it would be great to purchase that package and then you pretty much have your home EC credit or your life skills credit for the following year just by doing one of these activities a week and practicing them. And you know, the other thing that struck me as I was listening to you talk about, like, going to make the pasta and learning flour arranging and having the mechanic show how to change the oil, I’m like, hello. I do not know how to do those things. Me too. I’ve never done any of those things. So that just goes along with the idea that we have so much in our community that mom is learning right along with the kids. There are so many things I could learn from life skills now as well.

Katie Kimball [00:09:16]:

Yes, the parents definitely reflected that last year. And we have parent tracks too. And so I know one homeschooling mom said, oh, I always tell my kids that I’m a lifelong learner, but it was so neat for them to be on their workshop and mom’s on her workshop, and then they would kind of come together and discuss what they were learning. So that’s a really neat opportunity. And I also wanted to reflect that we kind of talked about those hard skills, right? The cars and the cooking and the gardening. But we do sort of some soft skills too, where there’s I mean, you’re doing a workshop on communication. We’ve got workshops on coping skills and kind of stress management. So it’s really, really well rounded as far as the types of things the kids will learn. Both the ones that use their hands and the ones that use their brains and their kind of mental health and bodies.

Pam Barnhill [00:10:02]:

I love that. Okay, so what about teenagers? Because so often we get things online that are really kind of geared towards little kids and teens are a little reluctant to participate. So do you think this would appeal to teens as well?

Katie Kimball [00:10:16]:

This year’s workshops are very geared for teens. I mean, a lot of the ones I’ve mentioned are very teen oriented. We’ve got some awesome stuff on leadership and financial independence for teens. Some just great ways to think about what kind of career you might want to choose. Even starting at age twelve, we have like home electrical, like how to switch out a light switch. There’s a lot of stuff that a five year old could not touch. So I think it’s so teen oriented. And what I love is that a lot of our camp leaders usually teach adults so they don’t talk down to the kids.

Pam Barnhill [00:10:51]:

I love it.

Katie Kimball [00:10:52]:

Yeah, the kids do too. And the teens.

Pam Barnhill [00:10:54]:

Yeah, I love that so much. So many good offerings. And I’m serious, guys, I really do think that this would be a great basis. If you do have teens come and check it out during the free period this summer, see if it’s something you like and then purchase it so you can have it the whole rest of the year. And really use this as your credit for life skills or homec in your home school. And totally put that on the transcript as well. Yeah, I think that’s a great idea. All right, Katie, tell us how can we get this?

Katie Kimball [00:11:30]:

Registration is open right now. All through May, there will be three early access workshops. So you get to see a little bit of a taste of what we do, and then it all kicks off June 12 through 16th. June 11, we’ll have a big kickoff party where we kind of help people get the game plan for the week with prizes and campfire circles. I’ll do some teaching of life skills and then like, 90 workshops, so there is something for everyone.

Pam Barnhill [00:11:57]:

Okay, so I will be dropping my link in the show notes for this episode of the podcast so you’ll be able to find it in your podcast description or come on over to the tmbh 69, and I’ll put the link there as well. Now, Katie, explain real quickly how this works. So during the live portion, everybody can attend for free, right?

Katie Kimball [00:12:21]:

Yes, it’s totally free. And I use the word live loosely because all the workshops are pre recorded. Yes. The great thing is you can set your own schedule based on your time zone and your busy life. So there will be about 20 workshops every 24 hours. Flip it in and out so we’ll send out an itinerary. I loved watching the kids print those out and get out their highlighters and choose what they wanted to watch. So, again, ages five to 18, truly something for everyone. Definitely solid stuff for the teens, right?

Pam Barnhill [00:12:54]:

And if you want to keep that forever, then you can get the Futures All access package and you’ll be able to keep that and watch these a little more spread out at your own leisure. Well, Katie, thank you so much for putting this together. This is a huge undertaking for you and your team each and every year, and I just love that you are helping families connect with those life skills that have been lost and helping empower kids. Love it so much.

Katie Kimball [00:13:21]:

Well, and thank you for doing two workshops. I can’t wait to see them.

Pam Barnhill [00:13:24]:

So much fun. And there you have it. Now we would love to invite you to use our link to go on over and sign up. You can sign up right now and save the date for the Live Skills Now summer Camp. And you can find that link in the description to this podcast or in the show Tmbh 69. Now we are going on hiatus for a little bit. We’ll have a podcast coming back in June, so do come and join us again. Just a few weeks off to allow you to catch up a little bit. May is a busy month for homeschoolers, but we would love to see you again when we resume in June. Until then, end. Keep on homeschooling.

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