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30 Life Skills To Teach Your Children Before They Leave Home

Often times so much emphasis is put on academic learning that many important life skills go over looked and untaught. This isn't to say academic learning isn't important, it is, but so are basic life skills.

I can't tell you how many adults I know who have absolutely no ability to cook for themselves. While this might not seem like a big deal to some, eating take out is pricey and often doesn't offer many healthy choices. As parents, we really should be making sure our children leave home with the skills necessary to take care of themselves.

In this post I will share 30 important life skills parents should pass on to their children before they leave home.


1. How to do laundry

2. How to wash dishes

3. How to properly disinfect household surfaces

4. How to vacuum, sweep, and mop floors

5. How to plunge a toilet- Not glamorous, but an important skill to have.

6. How to sew a button 

7. How to sew a hem

8. How to use basic kitchen appliances 

9. How to use measuring cups and spoons

10. How to use a knife safely 

11. How to start a fire- Teach your kids the basics of building a fire so they can use their wood stove or fireplace someday. It's also a good survival skill to have. 

12. How to grow a garden- In my opinion, teaching your kids to grow their own food is one of the most important skills you can give them. 

13. How to identify common local plants- Teach your kids which plants have nutritional or medicinal value and which are poisonous. 

14. How to change a tire

15. How to change the oil in a car

16. How to check the fluids in a car

17. How to change a car fuse

18. How to drive a stick

19. How to manage a bank account 

20. Basic self defense- Just incase.

21. How to read and understand food labels- In my opinion, this is one of the most important skills to teach your kids. There are  so many confusing terms and labels on food.

Eggs are a good example. There are cage free, free range, pasture raised, organic, certified humane, vegetarian fed, etc... Teach your kids the meanings of these terms so they can make informed food choices. For more information about the confusing labels on eggs, check out: Pasture Raised vs Free Range Eggs: What's the Difference?

22. How to can food- Probably not necessary for most people but still a really great skill to have.

23. How to ride a bike

24. How to fish- Maybe not necessary but still a great skill to have and a fun family activity. 

25. How to swim

26. How to use public transportation 

27. How to tie a knot

28. How to change a light bulb

29. How to pick a ripe avocado- Avocados are serious business in this house. Seriously though, teach your kids how to pick ripe and quality produce. 

30. How credit cards and interest works- I wish I had had a better understanding of these things as a young adult, it would have saved me a lot of stress (and money)

What skills would you add to my list?

If you enjoyed this post, check out:

-5 Reasons We Don't Homeschool Through The Summer

-5 Reasons To Let Your Kids Go Barefoot

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  1. I've also wanted my boys to be able to fill out basic tax forms, develop a working budget, and fix minor/ basic household problems (a hole in drywall or a leaky pipe). Pinned.

  2. Great ideas to add! I really like the idea of teaching basic household repair skills!

  3. well... I'd leave avocados off the list and replace it with melons. :)


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