14 Important Life Skills for Teens

Outside of academics, there are some very important life skills for teens to learn. By the time our students are in high school or are preparing to finish high school, they need to be able to accomplish these on their own. These skills will be important for them as they transition from school to independent living.

life skills for teens

In our homeschool, I put a large emphasis on life skills from an early age. This starts in the form of chores–things as simple as putting their dirty clothes in the basket or clearing their places at dinner. As the children get older, the chores get more complex.

When kids reach their teen years, and especially in high school age, they need to begin preparing (if they haven’t started already) for life out on their own someday. They will need to know how to run the washer/dryer/dishwasher, use a hammer and screwdriver, mow the lawn, and so much more. The high school years are a great time to use an elective (or two) to incorporate life skills not only into high school credit, but into their lives.

Life Skills for Teens

While I am sure there are more things than I will list here (please feel free to share any you think of in the comments), I have compiled a list of some major life skills to be sure and teach your high schoolers before they have to head out on their own!

  • Laundry from start to finish: gathering dirty laundry, sorting colors, soaps, which things to hang, use of washer/dryer, ironing
  • Dishwashing: including use of the dishwasher – along with the proper soap
  • Painting: paying to have all the walls painted in a home or apartment can be costly. This is one skill that will save tons of money down the road!
  • Use of basic tools: both boys and girls should learn to use things like hammers, drills, screwdrivers, and saws
  • Basic organizational skills: from sorting silverware and dishes to organizing drawers and closets
  • Kitchen Skills: including menu planning, kitchen budgeting, nutrition, and kitchen safety
  • Cooking: boiling water, using the oven and stove, reading and following a basic recipe, proper food storage
  • Grocery shopping: list making, money-saving tips such as couponing and price checking, food storage, and grocery rotation
  • Outdoor chores: lawn mowing, shoveling, raking, care of siding, weeding, bush trimming
  • Seasonal chores/maintenance: these life skills for teens include changing batteries, checking light bulbs, cleaning around and under furniture, washing windows, checking smoke alarm
  • Bathroom cleaning: including the proper cleaners to use for things like the toilet and tub

More Life Skills for Teens

With your children, you want to begin with basic life skills when they are young and then work up to more complex tasks and responsibilities. This includes things like money management (financial literacy), auto maintenance (including driver’s education), cooking/shopping/meal planning, and career exploration as middle or high school electives.

Here are some more life skills for teens that are a little more advanced, but important for teens to learn before they begin adulting.

  • Money management – You can begin working with Money Sense Skills with younger children, and then delve deeper into Money Management for Teens. Things like opening and managing a checking account, saving for a car (and buying one), and budgeting all fall into this category.
  • Career exploration – Finding careers that suit them is an important step toward adulthood. This would entail guiding them through a process of figuring out what they are good at and what they enjoy to help them better choose a career path that is right for them.
  • Communication and Manners – This includes things like correspondence and letter writing, keeping a calendar, making appointments and phone calls, ordering food, and basic table etiquette

What life skills do you teach your homeschoolers? Are there life skills for teens you’d like to see more about here at Hip Homeschool Moms? Please leave a comment to let us know!

Other Posts on Life Skills for Teens

Life Skills for Teens: How to Clean the Kitchen (with Printable Checklist)

How to Make Life Skills Part of Homeschooling

6 Life Skills for Teenagers

4 Skills Every Homeschool Graduate Needs

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  1. “use of basic tools” — This one really caught my eye. I’m trying to get my youngest son to start ‘helping’ out around the backyard. Right now its fun, and we are learning. However, I remember my brother when he was 14 or so refused to learn how to weedwack. Definitely best to start early.

  2. I believe that nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices are part of the basic life skills I teach my children. Exercise and related activities are learned habits that extend well past childhood. We discuss the benefits of eating healthy foods and staying fit as part of our overall wellness-not a separate component- as we all know how lack thereof can adversely affect one’s ability to function let alone enjoy life! And-Thank you for your food for thought!

  3. My daughter has been scooping cat boxes for a few years & taking the recycling out. She just learned how to use the riding lawn mower too!

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