Practical Life Skills that Your Teen Needs to Know How To Do

Let’s face it, our teens are quickly growing into adulthood. Before we know it they’ll be driving and graduating, and packing to leave home for college or adult life. The number of years that they are going to be home, under our care, and still in the homeschool teaching mode is dwindling down to a handful. Which is why it’s all the more important to teach your teens those all important life skills. Add to that a teen who seems to struggles with even the simplest task that to most are considered common sense and those training years look ever tinier.

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Practical Life Skills Your Gifted Teen Needs to Know How to Do | Renée at Great Peace #ihsnet #homeschool #gifted #gtchat

For me, over the years, it’s been easier to just do it myself than it was to take the time to let him learn some of those life skills that many are teaching their children at much younger ages. I have truly held my breath every time he’s used a knife because his knife skills just weren’t very skillful. Try as I might, it took him much longer to understand how to cut a steak on his dinner plate without the steak flying across the table than I care to admit. Even now, we have to remind him to switch hands before cutting. 

So the idea of spending hours in the kitchen teaching him how to chop onions, butcher a chicken, or simply chop a salad was terrifying. But I also realize I can’t put it off anymore.

And, kitchen skills is just one of the areas that I’ve been putting off. So I have decided if I’m going to really focus on life skills then having a go-to plan would make it easier. So part of his 9th-grade goals for the year will be to include Life Skills 101.

Sometimes these skills seem so obvious and you might think… I don’t need to teach that. But, often with gifted children, or children with other special needs, they struggle with executive functioning. While they may be able to calculate the Pythagorean theorem with ease or rattle off every fish that lives in the sea, remembering to take out the trash may be extremely difficult. So, even though it might seem obvious to you, don’t discount these life skills because they are easy.

Whether you have a gifted teen or not, this life skills guide can be handy for any homeschooling mom of any teen. Maybe you have a child with attention or sensory issues, or you simply have a child who works at a slower pace, or even if you have a child with excellent common sense abilities but doesn’t quite get time management which makes it hard to complete tasks in a timely manner. Whatever the need, life skills are common to all people. 

I hope you’ll join me as I share with you this guide for teaching life skills to your teens.

The Ultimate Guide to Teaching Life Skills when Common Sense Doesn’t Come Easy

5 Days of Teaching Life Skills to Teens

Some of the skills being discussed are crossovers which could potentially be applied to multiple skill sets. For example, navigational skills could be part of Personal Care Skills or Automotive Competence Skills. Learning how to navigate your own world is part of personal care, while navigating a car or public transit could fall under automotive competence. I chose to place this under automotive competence but you can obviously focus navigational skills where you feel it most suits your child.

► Day 1 – Cooking 101

Cooking 101 Life Skills for Gifted Teens | Renée at Great Peace #ihsnet #homeschool #gifted
  • Meal Planning
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Must-Know Cooking Skills
  • Safe Food Storage
  • Kitchen Cleaning
  • Healthy Eating

► Day 2 – Finance Management

Teaching Finance Management Life Skills to Your Gifted Teen | Renée at Great Peace #ihsnet #homeschool #gifted
  • Income/Expenses
  • Budgeting
  • Banking
  • Balancing Checkbook
  • Credit Know How
  • Investment 101
  • Savings Accounts & Planning for Retirement
  • Taxes 101

► Day 3 – Household Management

Household Management Life Skills to Teach Gifted Teens | Renée at Great Peace #ihsnet #gifted
  • Housekeeping Basics
  • Cleaning How-To
  • Laundry &  Clothing Care
  • Setting Up & Managing Utilities
  • Rental Applications & Agreements
  • House Buying & Mortgages
  • Mechanical Management
  • Organizational Skills
  • Automotive Competence

► Day 4 – Personal Care Skills

  • Daily Routine & Time Management
  • Decision Making Skills
  • Managing Consequences
  • Personal Safety
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Maneuvering Medical Needs
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Communication Skills
  • Developing & Maintaining Friendships

► Day 5 – On the Job Front

Teaching Finance Management Life Skills to Your Gifted Teen | Renée at Great Peace #ihsnet #homeschool #gifted
  • Work Ethic
  • Keyboarding Skills
  • Utilizing Common Programs
  • Applying for a Job
  • Writing a Resumé
  • Interview Skills
  • Working for a Boss
  • Job Etiquette & Respect

Life Skills can seem so obvious. But to many these skills are never taught properly leaving young people floundering in how to conduct themselves in the adult world. Through patience and dedication by loving parents, these are much needed life skills can be taught to our teens. 

This post is part of the iHomeschool Network’s 5 Day Hopscotch.

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