12 Months of Life Skills for Student Success
As we start a new year, educators and parents all have a common goal for 2017 – to ensure that our children have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful for college and a future career.
What if we each set a goal to teach our students one skill a month?
If all of our students put this plan into action today, can you imagine the impact we could make on our future generation?
Today’s workplace values creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication skills. Managing time, setting goals, handling stress, and a variety of other skills can help students succeed in all of these areas.
Ready to get started? Check out the guide below and set reminders on your phone or calendar to help you stay on track.
Do you or your students know the importance of setting and working toward a goal? The new year is a great opportunity to discuss success strategies. How about getting an old-fashioned wall calendar and writing out each skill or goal for the month? The calendar can serve as an easy, visual way to demonstrate goal setting and measure success.
Have your students participated in extracurricular activities? Or worked with others to solve problems and interact with different personalities? If so, have a conversation about the experience and feelings or questions brought on by different situations.
Parents and teachers – encourage students to join clubs that meet their interests. FLVS has a variety of online student clubs that appeal to all types of students.
Always running late? Does your student wait until the last minute to finish a project? Teaching time management can be difficult in today’s hectic world. Establishing a routine is a great way to develop time management skills. Using a timer to manage activities can also help drive the message home.
Online courses are another strong way to instill time management best practices. In an online course, students are responsible for completing their work following their own schedule, but within an established timeframe.
Can your students balance a budget? Do they understand what things cost compared to your household income? Do they know how insurance works? Coaching your children at an early age on how to manage money can save them from future financial difficulties. FLVS also provides financial literacy courses that teach students everything they need to know to be financially savvy like Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance.
Can your children do their laundry? Is there at least one healthy meal they can make on their own? Do they know how to do light home maintenance? Learning basic life skills can build confidence and help students transition into confident, independent adults. Start by watching a cooking show together, then go shopping together for the ingredients. Discuss basic cooking techniques as you prepare the meal.
Can your students hold a polite conversation when introduced to an adult? Do they know proper etiquette when dining out in a restaurant? Are they able to interact with people from different cultures and races? As your children make their way into the world, they will quickly see that there are all types of people who will be a part of their world. Go to a foreign food restaurant to experience a different culture and to practice good manners. Maybe even sign up for an online foreign language course with FLVS!
Have your children ever had to handle difficult situations on their own? Do they know what to do in an emergency? Can they research a problem without using the internet? Problem-solving skills are what today’s employers are looking for in their employees. Make up scenarios that require problem-solving skills and ask your children how they would react in each situation. Watch the news and ask them what they would have done in the same situation. You could even come up with a zombie survival plan. Problem solving can be a life-saving skill. FLVS also offers online programming courses that allow students to use problem solving to write computer code.
Do your children know how to write a resume? How comfortable are they answering questions during an interview? Do they know how to search for a job? Even if they are too young to work, developing employability skills can establish the foundation for career success. Go online to a job site and look at the skills and qualifications required for a career your child is interested in for his/her future. Discuss how he/she plans to get the required skills and education for the job. FLVS has leadership and career research courses for middle and high school students that teach them everything they need to know to prepare for a career.
When is the last time your children did something creative that did not involve technology? Do they ever get out the markers and papers to draw for fun? Have they ever written poems or stories in a notebook? Businesses are now looking for employees who can use their creativity and imagination to come up with the newest invention or best product design. Teaching your children how to think creatively can give them an advantage in today’s workforce, where many people take little time to unplug. Go shopping and look at all the different types of products. Does a certain look of a brand stand out more than others? FLVS has web design and art courses and other electives that allow students to explore their creative side. You can even get certified in Adobe for programs like Photoshop.
Can your children install a computer program? Do they know how to use Microsoft Office products? Are they able to do basic troubleshooting when your printer stops working? Many parents say that their children are “technology wizards.” However, often the children do not have some of the essential technology skills needed in the workforce. Next time you encounter a technology problem, have your child use the manual and online help boards to see if he/she can troubleshoot for a resolution.
Digital Information Technology is an FLVS course that introduces students to technology and Microsoft Office products. Get a firsthand look and feel for the course with a Digital Information Technology course preview.
Can your children name things they are thankful for in their life? Do they understand the wonderful opportunities afforded to them in our great country? Do they show appreciation when they receive gifts? Implementing the foundations of gratitude will allow your children to think more optimistically and gain the understanding of being charitable. Thanksgiving is a natural time to discuss gratitude and all the things that your children have to be thankful for in their lives. Allow your children to research local charities, and encourage them to volunteer for their favorite.
Are your children always busy with school and extracurricular activities? Do they get nervous when it comes to taking tests? Are they not getting enough sleep? Today’s students are more stressed than ever with the pressures of school, getting into college, and deciding what they will do after graduation.
Not being able to control stress can negatively impact a student’s health and lead to lifelong diseases. Be open to talking with your student – or make sure they have access to a trusted adult so they can discuss the challenges they are facing. FLVS also provides the Health Opportunities through Physical Education (HOPE) course, which teaches students the importance of health and wellness. When your children are dealing with stress, encourage them to do something active like go for a walk or get active with activities like those in HOPE or our Outdoor Education course.