Thursday, June 16, 2011

Life Skills for Teens

I had my chore list for up to 13, but I was floundering for non-academic things I needed to teach them after 13. A friend asked me for my list with this title. (That meant I had to make one!) This will change for each kid and I'll hopefully add many resources, but here's my start....

Social Skills
  • € telephone answering & taking a message
  • € initiating a conversation & small talk
  • € eye contact & confident body language
  • € conversation skills : listening, responding, not interrupting, appropriate volume & content for situation
  • € Manners - Table and otherwise
  • € How not to be quite so devastatingly honest
  • € How to say no without losing friends.

Academic Skills
  • € Public speaking
  • € being able to write a solid paper
  • € being able to manage a project himself
  • € read maps
  • € plan routes
  • € Computer : typing & familiarity with Word, Excel, Powerpoint & Publisher
  • € Organizational skills for that child's learning style : planning, time management, prioritizing, follow-through
  • € cooperative learning skills

Personal Skills
  • € independent cooking
  • € Laundry - how to wash/iron/mend clothes
  • € cleaning
  • € basic home repair
  • € gardening/lawn work
  • € run a household for a week: including meals, housekeeping, and caring for small children
  • € Plan and pack for an overnight or a four week trip
  • € first aid
  • € How to mail packages.
  • € How to renew a passport.
  • € Personal safety, Self-defense 27min

Auto Skills
  • € Change oil, a flat
  • € Check tire pressure, radiator fluid
  • € How to pump gas, jump a battery
  • € What do do in case of an accident
  • € Snow Driving

Financial Skills
  • € Manage Finances - set & live with a budget
  • € how to use a credit card BEFORE going away to college
  • € understand : mortgages, car payments, investing, common mistakes
  • € Shopping - online, at the store, with a budget and goal in mind

College Skills
  • € To look assess one's work and ask for help if needed -involves reading a syllabus, figuring out percentages (so you know how much a particular assignment is going to affect a final grade), and tracking grades -Ability to analyze a test and figure out which bits are understood and which bits need more work -know about office hours
  • € Tying stuff on the roof of a car
  • € How to take a tray through a cafeteria line
  • € Putting your name and phone number on the inside of all your books and notebooks and anything else you want returned to you if you leave it laying around
  • € How to get home, if need be (train, bus, plane)
  • € How to take a taxi if the designated driver didn't stay designated
  • € How to limit your electronic social life and game playing so it doesn't interfere with your ability to open your laptop and do your work
  • € How to play foozeball or pingpong or hackysack or some of the other games that tend to lurk in the bottom of dorms
  • € How to ski or rockclimb or whatever other pastime one's friends in college are likely to want to go do that might possibly lead to a broken leg when first tried in the presence of new friends


  1. These are great! I always love your lists. Do you still have your chore list (by age) online somewhere? Thanks for sharing!

  2. Heck, I meant to put it in the post itself.