Wednesday, February 17

Preparing Your Teen to be a Successful Adult {GIVEAWAY}

If you’ve been homeschooling long enough, you’ve probably heard the term “Well adjusted.” I distinctly remember a relative asking how I would make sure my kids were “well-adjusted” when I was homeschooling them. It took every bit of self-control not to answer back: “Considering the potential traumas associated with the traditional schools, how did you make sure your kids were well-adjusted?”

Instead, I explained how homeschooled children typically graduate college in higher numbers than those from public or private schools. I referred to adults who had once been homeschooled who were not only “well-adjusted” but successful, too. When chatting with an employer, he explained how several of his interns were homeschooled students, and he was impressed by their ability to interact with staff members of various ages. 

Don’t get me wrong though, regardless of someone’s educational experience, this is no guarantee that they will become well-adjusted adults. Everyone has a different family dynamic and there are plenty of students from traditional-schools who are entering college or the workforce ready for the world. Just as we see some homeschooled students who aren’t prepared. 

I realize that as a parent, it is my responsibility to develop my children into functioning adults--ones capable of contributing to society in meaningful ways. 

Yet, our time is short, and reality starts to hit home when the kids reach their teenage years. Suddenly, the years you thought you had are gone, and your children will be off in the blink of an eye. The anxiety begins to dawn, and you wonder if all your work will pay off.

For this short time you have left with them, here are a few life-skills that will help them thrive in the adult world.

1.    Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is imperative, especially for teenagers. If teenagers could be financially literate before they leave home, they will have insight into taking out a student loan or not. They will know how to best use their money, regardless of the size of their paycheck. They will understand what it means to live within a budget so they can grow their net-worth rather than debt.

Financial literacy gives you one of the keys to success in the adult world, and there are many sources to teach your teenager this vital skill. Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University Course, The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley, or Everyday Millionaires by Chris Hogan are essential reads. Even the tasks available in Skill Trek can help lay the foundation in your teenager.

When you have a teenager ready to leave home in a few short years, nothing is more important than a focus on financial literacy.

2.            Healthy Relationships

Being in a toxic relationship can wreak havoc on your young adults. A young person can have all the potential in the world, yet could lose it all due to the surrounding influences.

Success in adulthood is more than monetary gain; healthy relationships are just as meaningful. An unhealthy relationship can harm their lives, whether it be to their mental health or future opportunities. Without good relations, real succes is nearly impossible.

Healthy relationship skills involve active listening, appropriate boundaries, self-care, assertiveness, and effective communication. Peter and Geri Scazzero’s eight-week course titled Emotionally Healthy Relationships is an excellent course that will teach your teen skills to last them a lifetime. Skill Trek encourages these healthy relationships with tasks that involve communication, respecting others, and respecting yourself.

3.            Time Management

Whether your teenager will be heading to college or straight into the workforce, learning time management is essential. 

Too many young adults lose time watching TV or playing video games, not enough on home management, studies, or taking care of themselves. You cannot make choices for your teen when they leave the nest, but you can teach them the skill they’ll need to make the best decisions.

Teaching your teenager how to command their time-management can be tricky because it involves balancing their time and allowing them to make mistakes. With the proper guidance and limited freedom, you can help your teens learn to manage how they spend their time. Consider looking over your teen’s goals for themselves, whether it’s sports, talent, physical fitness, finances, or education. Ask them what they aspire to be.

From there, task them to track how they spend their time over the week. When the seven days have passed, evaluate your teen’s journal and compare it to their goals and dreams. Have them think about the time spent and whether it is an obstacle or helping them achieve their objectives.

Many more skills can benefit your teenager into adulthood, but these are a list of what adults have told us they wish they had mastered sooner. When you only have a few years left with your kids at home, you think about the skills they will need most.

Giveaway!  If you’re looking for a comprehensive life-skills curriculum to use with your teens, we are giving away a $25 coupon code off of our annual membership. Our software gives you access to all 12 levels, including the 500+ skills for your family.

Enter to win all the giveaways on the Homeschooling Upper Grades landing page!  

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Skill Trek is a comprehensive life-skills curriculum that prepares children and teens for the playground, the workplace and everything in between. Parenting both typically developing and special needs children, the creators of Skill Trek designed the curriculum to be customizable and flexible, meeting each child where he or she is developmentally.

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