zen habits : breathe

27 Skills Your Child Needs to Know That She’s Not Getting In School

Everyone knows that our school system, in general, is not giving our kids the basic reading, writing, ‘rithmatic and science skills needed to be competitive in the high-tech workforce of the upcoming generation (at least, that’s the general assumption, and we won’t argue it here).

But there’s much more to life than those basic subjects, and unless you have an exceptional teacher who is willing to break out of the mold, your child isn’t learning the crucial things he or she needs to learn in life.

Think about your own experience for a moment. When you got out of high school, did you know everything you needed in order to survive in life, let alone succeed? If you were lucky, you knew how to read and had some basic history and math skills, and if you were even luckier, you had good study habits that would serve you well in college.

But were you prepared for life? Most likely not, unless you had parents who did you that favor. In fact, many of us screwed up our early adult lives because we didn’t know those skills — and we’re paying the consequences now.

That’s a part of life, you might say, learning these lessons. But it’s also possible to prepare your child a bit before they go out on their own, and if we can’t get the schools to teach these skills, then let’s do it ourselves.

What follows is a basic curriculum in life that a child should know before reaching adulthood. There will probably be other skills you can add to this list, but at least it’s a starting point.

A note on how to teach these things: These subjects should not be taught by lectures or textbooks. They can only be taught by setting examples, by conversation, by showing, and by allowing the child (or teenager) to do these things on their own (with supervision at first). Once you’ve talked about the skill, showed your child how to do it, and let them do it under supervision a few times, give your child the trust to do it on his own, and to learn from his own mistakes. Check back every now and then to talk about what he’s learned.

Financial

Thinking

Success

Social

Practical

Happiness



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