I am a little embarrassed. I guess hindsight is 20/20, just like people say. Now that my daughter is on her own and in college, I see I may have missed some things in preparing her for adult life. Overall I am super proud of her, and I understand we can’t teach them everything. If you ever asked yourself, “How Do I Teach My Teen Life Skills?” then you are not alone.
Not teaching your teen life skills is a great disservice to them. I tried my best with my daughter. She learned how to clean thoroughly, be responsible, handle her finances well, work hard, cook, but of course – I could have done better.
How do I know that? I know because I have received several random phone calls that have either made me laugh hilariously or regret not taking the time to teach her. Thankfully she learns quickly and has been able to get by.
However, do you want your kids to just get by? As homeschooling families, we honestly can use our time to teach our kids how to flourish as adults.
The tricky part comes in exactly “how” to teach our teens life skills.
Here are a few golden nuggets I have learned over the years to ease that “How Do I Teach My Teen Life Skills?” question.
1. Start early.
There is absolutely no reason you should start teaching kids life skills when they are teenagers. As a matter of fact, that might be too late. Here are some resources to help you prepare your kids life skills, even at younger ages:
An Age-by-Age Guide to Teaching Your Child Life Skills | familyeducation
Life In The Real World – Teaching Life Skills To Kids (FREE Printable List) | Happy Homeschool Nest
Teach Your Children Ten Life Skills Before They are Twelve | It’s Just the Little Things
2. Incorporate life skill teaching into everyday life.
Fitting life skill learning into your family’s everyday life will make smoother transitions for their learning curve. For instance, carving time out in a week to teach kids how to cook is a little more complicated than getting them involved while you are actually cooking throughout the week.
If there are issues/life events that occur like having a flat tire, hanging up frames, or building a needed shelf, having your kids right by your side and teaching them along the way is a lasting education for them.
On top of teaching them life skills, having kids work beside you or your husband while they are being taught, creates bonding time as well.
3. Assign chores/tasks.
When it comes to teaching your children household skills and housekeeping for adulthood, there is no better way to teach this than by assigning age-appropriate chores.
As you teach your children throughout your daily routines, they begin to learn skills to take with them throughout life. Once they learn skills, they are ready to take on weekly chores or tasks to improve and make the tasks a part of normal life.
Pre-Teen and Teen Chores Appropriate for Their Age | Life Beyond a Lesson Plan
4. If you need extra help, use a Life Skills Curriculum.
If you don’t start your kids off learning life skills at a young age, you might need to add some crash courses to your homeschool. No problem! There are ready-made courses, Life Skills Curriculum, to help your kids learn.
Curriculum is also super helpful for things we can’t do. Until a couple of years ago… Yes, years ago, I didn’t know how to sew. How could we teach kids to sew if we don’t know how to do it yourself? Check out the post below for FREE Life Skills Curriculum for you to use:
FREE Life Skills Curriculum | Freedom Homeschooling
5. Be intentional.
If you are serious about preparing your teens to do well as adults, independently, then take action. For financial literacy, open a small bank account for them to learn how to manage money.
If you want your teen to maintain a healthy lifestyle through adulthood, then help them follow through with their sports or activities. Your teen daughters can learn to be aware of their surroundings if you let them take a self-defense course.
If you don’t know something as a parent (like I couldn’t change a tire to save my life), use YouTube videos!
10 Life Skills Every Student Needs to Have | The College Info Geek Podcast (YouTube)
Sewing Tutorial | Education Possible
Girls Guide to Changing Your Tire | The Balancing Act (YouTube)
Check out these FREE resources to be proactive in teaching your teens life skills:
Help for Teaching Life Skills to Kids | Homeschooling with Dyslexia
Need-To-Know Life Skills for Your Kids | Life Beyond the Lesson Plan
Teaching Social Problem-Solving with a FREE Activity | Pathway to Success
Teaching Kids About Money (FREE The Comprehensive Guide) | Money Prodigy
Life Skills – Road Signs – Driving – Permit Practice – Reading – Cars – FREEBIE | Life Skills Creations
Fun Activities For Teaching Teens Financial Literacy (FREE Download) | Scaffolded Math
Teaching Life Skills To Prepare Kids For Adult Life | The Relaxed Homeschool
83 Helpful and FREE Online Courses You Need to Take | Miranda Nahmias
40 Old-Fashioned Skills That Kids Need to Know TODAY! (FREE Printable Poster) | Frugal Fun 4 Boys
Cooking Basics for Teens | Starts at Eight
So don’t keep teaching life skills on the back burner. Also, don’t forget the little things or you will get some funny phone calls. In January, I got a call from my daughter asking me if she could move the thermostat in her apartment. She didn’t know she could adjust the thermostat – and she was freezing.
I got a photo from her of a lid lifted from her stove. She asked why I never told her she could lift the top of her stove to clean it. She said her world was changed, knowing she could clean her stove the right way.
Little things like this will bring you a chuckle, so until then, prepare your teen as much as possible. You still might get the occasional “What do I do, mom?” phone call, but hopefully, it will be about something simple and nothing too intense.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!