Why ‘life skills’ should be an integral part of early learning in the school curriculum

Have you ever thought about how capable your child is of taking care of themselves? Are the children independent enough to make simple decisions? Have you wondered if your child has learned essential life skills to face the world?

Life skills are based on many of our experiences that are first-hand or at least relatable. For example, teaching concepts like money without actually showing students the importance and how to budget, save, or invest will never serve them well when they grow up.

With the rapid changes and constant evolution of science and technology, there is constant pressure for students to succeed without actually learning. The early elementary years are a time when young minds begin to develop their way of perceiving information. At such a time, it is important not only to give them information, but also to develop action-based thinking and analysis, to help them adapt to new situations and think creatively to succeed in the real world. This is where life skills play a major role.

What are life skills?

The World Health Organization defines life skills as: “A group of life skills and interpersonal skills that help people make informed decisions, solve problems, think critically and creatively, communicate effectively, build healthy relationships, empathize with others, and cope with and manage their lives in a healthy and responsible way.

Some of the fundamental life skills, which go a long way in building their character, include decision making and problem solving, creative and critical thinking, communication and interpersonal skills, self-awareness, empathy , time management, resilience and coping with stress management. with emotions.

The advantage of teaching life skills in schools in today’s fast-paced world

It has been noticed that today there is a gap between the theoretical and practical world and this is due to the lack of skills developed in children. The development of life skills is a tool to empower children and to safeguard their future by ensuring their holistic development in today’s era of globalization.

Teaching life skills in schools helps students build confidence in communication and collaboration skills, provides them with the right developmental resources, finds out-of-the-box problem-solving solutions, gives them a way to communicate and develop relationships and teaches them responsibility.

Life skills can be broken down into three parts:

1. Personal and Wellness – Personal and wellness skills are the essential life skills we need to help maintain a healthy body and mind. These skills include resilience, self-control and self-awareness. They include skills such as how we recognize, manage and process our emotions.

2. Creative Arts – Creative Arts teaches students how to build confidence, how to think outside the box, work collaboratively, and how to receive constructive feedback. There are 10 essential creative skills that can be taught to students to achieve this. These include public speaking, organic farming, music, cooking, acting, carpentry, taekwondo, arts education and clay modeling.

3. Physical Education – Physical education not only helps students maintain physical fitness, develop motor skills and muscle strength, but often enhances learning in other areas as well. Positive values ​​such as sportsmanship, teamwork and honesty, as well as skills such as striving for personal best performance, positive self-esteem and group participation are achieved through the courses physical education.

A child’s innate thinking skills and individual creativity must be nurtured in an environment where core values ​​are accepted as part of their daily lives.

How can life skills shape a child’s early years?

Life skills should be taught at an early age and the best way to implement life skills is in school. From an early age, students can learn to make effective decisions, manage peer pressure, and set themselves up for success.

Research suggests a positive correlation between life skills and increased attendance levels, improved classroom behavior and academic achievement. Given this correlation between life skills and learning, the role of life skills education in the school curriculum becomes vital.

At this stage, they also begin to develop decision-making skills and values ​​that help shape their lives. The knowledge and skills that students acquire in the academic and personal areas of their lives become the foundation for professional and community success.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.


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