Once your kids start middle school, it’s time to get intentional about adding life skills for teens to your homeschooling lesson plans. Because as you know, homeschooling includes a lot more than just academics.
It’s our job as parents to make sure our kids have the skills they’ll need to be successful adults before they head out on their own.
That means you need to make time in your schedule to teach these important skills. I know your homeschooling day is already packed, but life skills are a crucial key to raising well-rounded children, so you need to find a way to incorporate them.
Just like their regular school subjects, it’s important that you make these lessons fun and interactive, regardless of whether you’re casually working with your teen or going through a more structured lesson together.
Don’t know where to start? First, make a list of the larger life skills subjects that you want to cover over the next few months. Then, break those down and think about the specific skills you want to work on.
For example, let’s say you want to focus on the following life skills for teens: communication skills, cooking, and personal finance. Write those down. Then, pinpoint the actual skills you want your middle schooler to learn. Continuing with this example, let’s look at what you may want to work on for each main category.
- Communication Skills – perhaps you want to make sure your teen knows how to enter and leave a conversation and how to make small talk.
- Cooking – you may want to teach your child how to meal plan, food shop, and read a recipe.
- Personal Finance – maybe it’s time to teach your middle schooler how to budget, why saving is important, and how to spend wisely.
On this page, you’ll find a ton of great ideas that you can use to get started right away.
Life Skills for Teens: Cooking
These 5 easy holiday desserts are ones that your teen will definitely want to eat, so use this interest to get them started cooking.
Take your teen’s cooking international by making some holiday foods from around the world together.
Give these simple breakfast recipes for teens a try.
Whether they’re ready or not, it’s time to start cooking with middle schoolers.
As you’re teaching your tweens how to cook, encourage them to keep track of their favorite recipes by making their own DIY cookbook.
Showing kids how to use kitchen tools is part of teaching them how to cook. A good place to start is by working on these slow cooking fundamentals.
Teaching kids meal planning is a great way to show them how to keep mealtime from getting boring or too expensive.
There are many life skills you can work on while doing food shopping.
If you’re a fan of Epcot’s Food & Wine festival, use it as a springboard for cooking with middle schoolers.
When teaching your older kids the life skill of cooking, use simple recipes, like this easy potato dish.
Create a new tradition this holiday season by having your tween in the kitchen with you to make one of these easy holiday recipes together.
Life Skills for Teens: Easy Sewing Projects
This pillowcase is an easy sewing project for teens to start with if you are interested in teaching kids to sew?
Looking for an easy sewing project for teens? How about these easy Minecraft sewing projects for teens – adorable Minecraft stuffies.
Add some sewing to your history lessons by learning about early American quilts. Click over for directions you can use to create a small quilt, which is a wonderful middle school sewing project.
Life Skills for Teens: Etiquette
The “s” word that all homeschoolers dread – socialization. Luckily, it is possible to learn social skills without socialization. Here are some fun ways for teaching middle school students social skills without socialization.
Show your older kids the importance of etiquette in life by making it a priority in your home school.
Here are 5 simple steps to work through to teach kids to set the table.
On the subject of dining, here’s a list of 20 table manners for teens that they should know and use.
Here are some ideas for teaching your middle school about proper etiquette when visiting others’ homes.
Flag etiquette for kids is pretty specific and something that few know anything about. Inside you’ll find what you need to teach your tweens everything they need to know about respecting the stars and stripes.
Teaching communication skills to middle school students is important because being able to communicate effectively is crucial in all aspects of life. Now is the time to help your kids build these skills.
Writing thank-you notes may be something that fewer people are doing, but it still shows proper manners when you send one after receiving a gift. Encourage your teens to keep this tradition alive by teaching them how, when, and why to send hand-written thank you notes to friends and family.
Life Skills for Teens: Goal Setting
It’s important to work on goal setting for kids as well as teaching them how to reach their goals once they set them.
Help your older kids choose some goals they’d like to work on this year with this goal setting worksheet for teens.
Life Skills for Teens: Personal Finance
Check out these fun money management board games your middle schoolers will enjoy. They probably won’t even notice that they’re learning some important things about finances while they’re playing.
Here are 5 important personal finance fundamentals teens need to know.
There are a ton of ways for teens to make money. Here are 50 ideas to get you started.
Teaching teens about money doesn’t have to be boring.
Making smart spending decisions is as important to teach as other financial subjects, to take the time to show your kids how to spend money wisely as a teenager.
Here are some ideas to help you teach how to budget for teens in your home school. It’s one of the most important financial skills kids need to learn if they want to reach financial independence.
Life Skills for Teens: Study Skills
If your kids have trouble selecting a writing topic, have too many unrelated ideas, or no ideas to begin with, they would benefit from these brainstorming tools for students.
Help your middle schooler study smarter with these study skills for teens.
Mr. D Math study skills course is a great way to teach tweens how to study.
Here are some clever ways to help your teen manage his time using a homeschool planner, like a cool online homeschool planner.
Start giving your middle schoolers control over their homeschool schedule to teach them the important life skill of managing schedules. They’ll need to know how to plan out their time and workload in college and their career, so show them about managing schedules now.
Other Life Skills for Teens
Wondering how you’re supposed to teach all of these skills to your kids? Check out my suggestions for teaching life skills to teens.
These popular business books will challenge your teen, so add them to your homeschool reading list to get your middle schooler thinking differently.
Are your kids wondering how to make a difference in the world as a teenager? Here are some ideas for them.
I’m constantly surprised by the number of life skills that can be learned and worked on while playing teen board games. You can play these fun board games for tweens as part of your homeschool or add these board games for middle school families to your next family game night.
Now’s the time to start exploring the future with your middle schooler. Sure, spend time on the basics, but don’t forget to check out some creative career options as well.
Does your child struggle with writing? She may have what is known as dysgraphia. Here are tools you can use to help overcome dysgraphia and succeed with the increased writing demands of the upper grades.
As you know, life skills are the day-to-day behaviors and activities that are essential to learn. Luckily, we don’t need a lot when we’re teaching teens life skills. We can use some simple and practical lessons – no curriculum required.
Sure, fewer boys and men are wearing neckties, but I still think it’s an important life skill for them to learn. Here’s how to tie a necktie for kids.
If you want to move beyond the traditional (sometimes boring) life skills for teens, take a look at the mind-boggling skills found in Necessary Skills and Then Some. It gives kids step-by-step instructions on how to make, explore, and do more than 150 interesting activities.
Do you wonder whether Minecraft has educational value? My answer is yes, and here’s why.
Helpful tools for homeschooling middle school: teaching life skills.
Life Skills Curriculum
You can certainly do your own thing to teach your middle schooler life skills, but sometimes it’s just easier to follow a curriculum. Personally, I do both.
While I create most of the things I use to teach my older kids life skills, I also utilize tools from the Etiquette Factory from time to time because I like their short lessons and interactive activities.
In an article in The Chicago Tribune by Judy Hevrdejs she shares how important it is for us to teach our kids the valuable life skills they’ll need before they head off to college.
“I’m not the only parent to be remiss in remembering all the things you need to teach kids before they head to college. That’s why the perfect time to start coaching them in a few life lessons is while they’re still living under your roof — long before they’re ensconced in the dorm and you’re waving goodbye.”
I would love to hear what life skills you’re working on with your teens.