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How to Teach Life Skills in School

By Ryan Crawley,

24 Jan 2020

With all the focus on academics and book learning in schools nowadays, there is a category that goes along with living life that often gets overlooked.

No matter how smart you may be academically, if you don’t have the proper life skills to go along with it, you are doomed to face a painful existence.

After all, what good is knowing how to complete every known math equation correctly if you still can’t figure out how to balance out your checkbook.

Here are some ways to teach life skills in class and perhaps some ideas about which life skills you should be instructing the kids on.

Start at the Beginning Don’t assume the students know anything to do with a certain life skill.

Always start at the beginning of the process and don’t jump ahead and skip out on several important parts.

For instance, if giving a tutorial on how to change a flat, 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 car to change the tire.

I’ve seen someone try to change a tire on a car in neutral and it wasn’t a pretty site.

Don’t Make Anyone Feel Stupid in the Process These kids come from all sorts of families.

Some parents are active in a kid’s life and show them how to do everything properly.

Other parents leave it entirely up to the child to learn on their own.

If a student is confused with a task, like how to do laundry, don’t make them feel less intelligent than anyone else.

Showing a little empathy in the life skills process is important to remember.

Model the Behavior for Them Most people can get an idea on how to do something correctly if they have someone to model it for them first.

You can try talking them through it until you are blue in the face, but sometimes just seeing and witnessing it is all they need.

For an example, even teenagers often have trouble with speaking to adults in a mature way.

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 bit of modeling can go a long way.

Top Life Skills to Know to Become a Contributing Member of Society There are certain life skills that every kid should know by the time they graduate high school.

These are specific life skills where if they have not mastered them, then their parents and teachers are doing them a huge disservice.

Managing Their Own 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 in the process.

Some people view an allowance as an archaic thing to do with little kids, but if parents did this with teenagers more often, they will be able to appreciate the value of a dollar much more.

Eating Healthy With more than 40 percent of adults being clinically obese in civilized countries (not even counting the ones who are just considered merely overweight), eating healthy doesn’t seem to be common sense anymore.

Nutrition needs to be a life skill that is taught early and often.

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.

Etiquette We are facing a startling decrease in proper etiquette with society nowadays.

It seems like it is 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 at you wrong.

If we could teach polite behavior and good manners to students in high school, we may be able to make the world a better place.

A person’s attitude can carry them a lot further in life than knowing the capitals of every country.


1- Things kids should learn at school but don't

2-Is it time to change curriculum?