Teach them: 73 Practical Life Skills

Yesterday, ComputerGuy and I were having a conversation when he casually mentioned Rocketboy was going to be getting his permit and *driving* in a few months.  Sure, he’s in high school already, and sure, he just passed his first CLEP test to earn his first college credits a couple of weeks ago, but for some reason, that statement hit me like a ton of bricks.  DRIVING!?  Already?!  No way.  No way, no how is my boy old enough for *that!*  What a shock!  Where have the years gone?

It got me thinking…  there is so much still to teach him, and so little time left if those years keep flying by the way they have been!  So I’ve compiled a list of skills that, as homeschoolers especially, our kiddos should have tucked under their belts before heading out into the great big beyond.  Some of these we’ve already conquered, some we’re still working on.  They are in no particular order here.  Be sure to add any I’ve left out to the comments below!

  • Teach them how to cook. (First the basics, a hot breakfast, mac n’ cheese, a whole roasted chicken, then a full balanced meal, homemade bread, etc.)
  • Teach them how to do laundry. (To separate the reds from the rest of the load, jeans together, whites, etc., how to stain remove.)
  • Teach them good study habits.
  • Teach them how to write a “thank you” note, and when. (After receiving gifts, after job interviews)
  • Teach them how to take a message for someone. (Lost skill in these days of cell phones!)
  • Teach them how to change a diaper and babysit.  (Good skill for both boys and girls!)
  • Teach them how to apologize.
  • Teach them how to make an introduction.
  • Teach them how to set a table properly.
  • Teach them how to follow written directions.
  • Teach them how to care for a pet, (and how to read animal body language.)
  • Teach them how to garden; how to care for a house plant.
  • Teach them how to travel. (How to buy airline tickets, how to be respectful culturally, especially internationally.)
  • Teach them how to research political issues to discern the truth.
  • Teach them about using discretion on social media.
  • Teach them how to access public records.
  • Teach them how to set an alarm and how to get up on time.
  • Teach them social etiquette and table manners.
  • Teach them how to read a traditional map.
  • Teach them basic computer skills: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.
  • Teach them to keep a calendar or a planner.  Related: Time management
  • Teach them personal hygiene.
  • Teach them how to survive without technology.  (Basic survival skills.)
  • Teach them how the government works. (How to contact congressional representatives, etc.)
  • Teach them how to vote and the importance of voting.
  • Teach them that when they fail (and they will!) to keep going.
  • Teach them about insurance and how it works. (What a deductible is, etc.)
  • Teach them how to set up a budget, how to save for long-term, tithing, the value of a dollar, balancing bank accounts, how to invest.
  • Teach them how to do a 10-40 EZ tax form.
  • Teach them how to discern between needs and wants.
  • Teach them how credit works and how to avoid debt.
  • Teach them how to follow a recipe.
  • Teach them how to make a grocery list.
  • Teach them to check expiration dates.
  • Teach them about food storage safety.
  • Teach them how to use appliances.
  • Teach them what they’ll need for their first “alone” shopping trip. (Staples: salt/pepper, etc.)
  • Teach them car maintenance. (How to change the oil, how to pump gas, how to jump-start the car, how to replace fluids, how to change/air up a tire.)
  • Teach them how to organize.
  • Teach them how to make a bed.
  • Teach them toilet maintenance.
  • Teach them how to use tools. (Get them their own toolbox!)
  • Teach them how to do yard work.
  • Teach them how to reset a circuit breaker, and why it might trip.
  • Teach them about relationships. (Friends, dating, and proper limits.)
  • Teach them how to write a resume and cover letter.
  • Teach them how to dress for a job interview.
  • Teach them how to determine appropriate attire for particular situations.
  • Teach them the importance of making eye contact, and a proper handshake.
  • Teach them basic first aid, and how to discern if more urgent care is needed.
  • Teach them how to get a part-time job.
  • Teach them CPR and the Heimlich maneuver.
  • Teach them healthy habits: eating, sleeping.
  • Teach them how to discern between a good deal, or buying junk.
  • Teach them how to build a wardrobe using durable and versatile clothes.
  • Teach them internet safety. (How to protect passwords, how to recognize a scam)
  • Teach them how to back up computer documents.
  • Teach them how to shut off the water and gas at home.
  • Teach them disaster preparedness.
  • Teach them crowd safety and street smarts. Situational awareness.
  • Teach them how to make doctor’s appointments. (Also, how to sign in and fill out forms.)
  • Teach them how to practice self-control.
  • Teach them basic housekeeping skills.
  • Teach them exterior home maintenance skills.
  • Teach them how to conserve resources (water, electricity, recycling.)
  • Teach them empathy for others.
  • Teach them how to mend clothes.
  • Teach them how to write clearly.
  • Teach them public speaking.
  • Teach them how to research (using sources other than Google or Wikipedia.)
  • Teach them how to negotiate. (Buying a car, house, etc.)
  • Teach them how to calculate a tip.
  • Teach them how to prioritize.

What have I missed?  🙂

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3 responses to “Teach them: 73 Practical Life Skills”

  1. Brynn says:

    Good list! I’m not sure I can do all of these very well myself!

  2. Sendy Herrera says:

    Thank you for the list!! Some of these have definitley been lost in the era. Great to have and teach them.

  3. Deb says:

    Wow! Great list! I’m pretty sure I missed a lot of these with my kids…judging by my son’s $60 white shirt that is now pink. Fortunately he paid for it! 😀

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