In school, students learn about many complex subjects that will help them, whether they decide to pursue a career or a college degree. But oftentimes, the day-to-day life skills that kids need to become independent young adults are completely overlooked.
Teachers will try to incorporate life skills into their classes, but with today’s more test-heavy curriculum, these skills end up falling by the wayside.
Parents, your children will learn a lot in school, but there are other things equally important for a healthy and happy life that they should know before they graduate — things that they’ll probably use more often than a lot of what they’re taught in school. Even if they aren’t being taught these skills in the classroom, these are skills that you can teach them.
Here are just 7 life skills that everyone should have before graduating high school:
1- Time Management:
Learning to manage your time is one of the most important skills for leading a productive life. But it’s also one of the most difficult to learn. We have to train ourselves to be organized. We seem to forget that scheduling, planning, creating routines, and being realistic about our productivity are all skills that, like anything else, must be learned with practice. The internet is full of free resources to help anyone learn to manage their time. If that doesn’t help, buy a self-help book or hire a tutor who can work with you one-on-one.
A lot of adults don’t completely understand our healthcare system in Massachusetts or in the country as a whole. Learning how health insurance works (as well as all other forms of insurance) can help you to figure out what type of a plan will work best for you. Furthermore, everyone should be prepared for health emergencies. Parents and kids: have a talk about what to do in an emergency, and consider signing up for a crash course in first aid.
3- Self Defense:
While we certainly hope we never need them, self defense skills can be life-saving in an unexpected and dangerous situation. Search online for classes near you. There are tons of martial arts and self defense schools across Massachusetts, some of which will offer free classes or discounts. For instance, SEPS Self Defense Boston offers free self defense classes for women on Saturdays from 10-11.
4- Home and Car Repairs:
For many schools, gone are the days of home ec classes. Knowing how to change a tire, paint a room, use tools, keep up with home maintenance and cleaning, are all examples of handy skills to have for any kind of project or repair that may come up.
5- Communication Skills:
This one is very important! Many employers think that strong communication skills are the most important ability for prospective employees. Conversation, manners, being interviewed, navigating different types of relationships, and conflict resolution are all important tools to have in order to form healthy and productive relationships, whether it’s at home, at work, or with friends.
6- Financial Skills:
Budgeting, writing a check, managing your bank accounts, building and maintaining good credit — there are so many young adults living away from home who don’t know how to do these things! Parents: these are all basic financial skills that you can easily teach your children by having a conversation with them. Kids: read this Forbes article for tips on how to better manage your financial situation.
7- How the Government Works:
This one is HUGE. Unless you take a class on government or political science, chances are you only have a hazy idea about how the government works. Every young adult needs to know things like how to register to vote, who their representatives are, what their rights are as a citizen, how the judicial system works, and what political issues are important to them. If you haven’t graduated from high school yet, or if you’re planning on going to college, try to take a class that can teach you. Otherwise, there are tons of places to look online for information on how the government works.
Kale B. Connerty
Boston Tutoring Services