Extension workshop guides kids in staying home alone

Jones County Extension and Outreach offered a 4-H course on helping kids gain the skills to stay home alone. “On Their Own & OK” was held on Oct. 26. Here, Lily Moestchen and Meghan Besler cut up fresh strawberries for a healthy morning snack, yogurt parfaits. (Photos by Kim Brooks)

“On Their Own & OK” provided 4-H youth the knowledge to make their own snacks and lunch while home alone, or when watching siblings. Kyle Arduser, Logan Moestchen, and Andrew Green mix fruit, granola and yogurt to make parfaits.
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Jones County Extension and Outreach hosted 14 boys and girls in grades fourth through sixth on Oct. 26 in an effort to provide helpful tips for youth and parents transitioning from childcare to staying home alone.

     The “On Their Own & OK” workshop is designed to strengthen skills in youth who may care for themselves and/or siblings during the after-school hours or days off school or during the summers. The information helps build maturity and confidence in kids to safely stay home alone.

     The program and development guide was updated by Jones County’s own Jacki Luckstead, 4-H Youth Development Program specialist. The workshop was led by Luckstead and Molly Schmitt, Jones County Youth Program coordinator.

     The one-day workshop started at 8 a.m. and ended at 5 p.m. There were learning activities scheduled throughout the day. Topics discussed throughout the day included:

     • Ideas for rules to have in place when home alone

     • Preparing snacks and easy meals

     • Setting a basic schedule to follow when home alone

     • Types of emergencies and what to do

     • Knowing what to do if someone comes to the door

     • Problem solving for various scenarios

     • Knowing what appliances to use *if any) when home alone

     • Ideas for managing squabbles between siblings

     • Boredom activities and ideas

     Throughout the timeframe of the workshop, the youth helped to prepare their own morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack, as well as the cleanup efforts.

     At the end of the afternoon, they presented what they learned to their parents. Each kid was able to take home a family workbook guide for parents to discuss with their kids before allowing them to stay home alone.

     For more information on the local 4-H programming, visit their Facebook page “ISU Extension and Outreach Jones County” or call 319-465-3224.



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