In most classrooms, there is a focus on academic skills and book learning. However, have you ever met someone that has been amazingly smart in school-related topics but couldn’t manage to do daily life tasks without looking clueless?
Life skills are just as crucial for students to learn as anything else in school. Often, teachers figure parents will educate the students on these skills, and at the same time, parents figure this is something the school system should teach the kids. Children fall through the cracks without knowing how to balance a checkbook, operate a washer and dryer, wash dishes, figure out interest rates on loans, or even put fuel in a car.
Here are some ways to teach life skills in class and perhaps some ideas about which life skills you should prepare for the kids.
Start at the Very Beginning
Don’t assume the students know anything about specific life skills. What one student may know, a few others will not. Always start at the beginning of the process, and don’t jump ahead and skip out on several essential parts.
For instance, if giving a tutorial on changing a flat tire, don’t forget to tell the kids to make sure the car is in park, put on your hazards, and have the parking brake on before even getting out of the vehicle to change the tire. I’ve seen adults try to change a tire on a car in neutral, and they almost accidentally ended their lives and damaged their vehicle in the process.
Don’t Make Anyone Feel Less Intelligent
These kids come from all sorts of families. Some parents are active in a kid’s life and show them how to do everything correctly. Other parents leave it entirely up to the child to learn independently. Showing a little empathy in the life skills process is essential to remember. If a student is confused with a task, like how to do laundry, don’t make them feel less intelligent than anyone else.
Model the Behavior
Most people can know how to do something correctly if they have someone to model it. For example, YouTube makes a killing on videos showing how to complete a task (rather than just trying to read a direction booklet).
You can try talking students through a life skill until you are blue in the face, but sometimes just seeing and witnessing it is all they need. For instance, even teenagers often have trouble maturely speaking to adults. Model for them the proper way to make an introduction, shake hands, and look the person in the eye when speaking to them. A little modeling can go a long way and lead the kids to a successful life.
Top Life Skills to Know to Become a Contributing Member of Society
There are specific life skills that every kid should know by the time they graduate high school. These are particular life skills; if they have not mastered them, their parents and teachers are doing them a huge disservice. Whether you are a parent or teacher, hit these early and often.
Managing Their Finances
By the time a student graduates, they should not only know how to balance a checkbook, but they should be able to figure out how to manage their finances without going into debt. They have to take responsibility for themselves and do the math. Some people view an allowance as an archaic thing to do with little kids, but if parents did this with teenagers more often, they would be able to appreciate the value of a dollar much more.
More than 40 percent of adults are clinically obese in civilized countries (not even counting those who are just considered overweight), and eating healthy doesn’t seem to be common sense anymore. Nutrition needs to be a life skill that is taught in each classroom. Obesity needs to be looked at in the same way as smoking. No longer should it be overlooked as it is causing health problems (and higher health insurance rates) that can be avoided.
We are facing a startling decrease in proper etiquette in society nowadays. It seems acceptable to shout at someone who disagrees with you, threaten someone’s life that cuts you off in traffic, or violently assault someone who looks you wrong. A person’s attitude can carry them a lot further in life than knowing the capitals of every country. If we could teach students polite behavior and good manners early in school, we may make the world better.
Need Some Extra Help?
Here at iAchieve, we have professional tutors who can assist children with their learning in person or remotely. If you need help educating a child on specific life skills, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!