IN THIS ISSUE:
– Feature: “Up in Smoke? Kids & Tobacco”
– Teacher/Parent Book Pick – Lanterns
– K-3 Book Pick – Nova’s Ark
– 4-6 Book Pick – The New Way Things Work
– Web Discoveries; for teachers, parents & kids
– Words of Wisdom – Henry Ford’s ideas on success
– Life Skills Resources – Quick Links
FEATURE: “Up in Smoke? Kids & Tobacco”
The Center for Disease control latest findings on tobacco and teens is not good news. One out of ten middle school students smokes. By high school, the number jumps to 25%! So guiding children in grades K-6 to healthy lifestyles is more important than ever.
Statistics tell us that in the 1980’s, parents and teachers made progress in discouraging children from smoking. But in 1991, the trend started to rise again. Why?
My theory is that we’ve allowed the media and special interest groups to distract us with other “important dangers.” Here are three facts to consider:
* Each year, smoking _kills_more_people_ than AIDS, alcohol, drug abuse, car crashes, suicides and fires . . . COMBINED. I’m not saying that we should ignore those dangers. We can’t. But it’s important to keep things in perspective.
* About 80% of adult smokers started before the age of 18.
* Every day, 3,500 young people under the age of 18 try smoking for the first time.
What’s the solution? Very simply it’s education and communication. But don’t wait for the government to do something. Or for your kids to see enough flashy anti-smoking ads on TV (and the new ones are terrific!). Get started today by reviewing a few basic facts and talking with your children.
The life skills lesson collection at LifeSkills4Kids.com includes strong anti-tobacco lessons for important reasons. Since we introduced our program in 1986, we have targeted tobacco use because it’s so dangerous . . . and so common. Everyday, we (and our children) see people smoking and see ads for the products. But tobacco starts a chain of problems that only grow worse. Consider this:
* Tobacco is usually the first illegal drug children try.
* Trying tobacco is often the first time children intentionally do something that they know causes damage to the body
* Tobacco teaches children to hide illegal contraband and illegal activities from parents and teacher
* Tobacco teaches children to cover up the symptoms of drug use (the smell, the residue, the paraphernalia, the act of using it)
The good news is that kids can be very stubborn. (-; You knew that, right? Once they decide for themselves that smoking isn’t for them, all the ads and peer pressure in the world won’t make them start. You can help them make the right decisions with the right information.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has great on-line resources so it’s a terrific place to start: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/issue.htm
PBS Kids has special site especially for Kids!
While you’re there, be sure to check out:
* AnimAction Program – Anti-smoking public service announcements (PSA’s) created by students.
* Smoking Health Hazards
* Ways to handle “Peer Pressure”
TEACHER/PARENT BOOK PICK
The author introduces the beautiful concept of “natural daily mentors” to describe the people we learn from in our daily life. This is the essence of “life skills” – constant learning and sharing with those around you. Every person is special in his or her own way. We all have a gift to offer. Furthermore, we can find knowledge and growth in the most unlikely places. The return of the author’s long lost diary inspired her to examine her heroes and her growth into womanhood during the 60’s.
GRADE K-3 BOOK PICK
It’s no secret that kids love robots. We do too! Since 1986, we’ve used real robots to teach life skills to children in school assembly programs. “Nova’s Ark” is a beautifully illustrated story about a young robot’s dreams of adventure. The story includes concepts of goal setting, problem solving, teamwork, dealing with emotions and other key life skills topics. This is a fun book to read with your children to open the door to fruitful discussions and learning.
GRADE 4-6 BOOK PICK
Many of the life skills we promote focus on social issues like friendship, health and self-esteem. But one goal at the foundation of all life skills education is inspiring curiosity and a life long passion for learning. In that regard, this scientific book makes the grade! It presents the inner working of many modern “mysteries” in a way that fascinates readers of all ages. And therein lies the chance to spark hobbies or even career goals for young readers.
WEB DISCOVERIES: for teachers, parents & kids
**** About.Com for K-6 Educators
About.com offers a network of themed sites maintained by expert guides. This site’s host, Beth Lewis, teaches grades 2 and 3 in a public school. Beth says “I am absolutely obsessed with the Internet and how it can make our jobs easier as teachers.” We say, “Go for it, Beth!” She updates her site regularly, offers many interesting links for teachers and parents, and also has a free email newsletter to keep you up to date on her ideas.
**** Kid’s Almanac
Wow, I wish they had this when *I* was a kid. Unfortunately, computers, the Internet, color monitors, etc hadn’t been invented yet! The Kid’s Almanac is a treasure trove of interesting facts, links, news articles, scientific information and history. A primary goal of life skills education is to inspire a life long enthusiasm for learning. This is the natural result of helping your children to discover new interests and ideas. We suggest sitting with your child to explore this site together – you’ll both learn a lot and have a ball!
WORDS OF WISDOM: by Henry Ford (1863-1947)
How can one person change the world? It happens every day, and has throughout history. This makes it a great discussion topic with your children.
How will *they* change the world? What are their dreams and ambitions? More important, how will they accomplish their dreams in life? And what will happen if it doesn’t work out perfectly the first time they try? Henry Ford has impressive credentials to offer insights into success and failure. What do your children think about them?
“A generation ago there were a thousand men to every opportunity,
while today there are a thousand opportunities to every man.”
“If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’ll always be right!”
“Getting ready is the secret of success.”
“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”
“If you chop your own wood it will warm you twice.”
Sign in Henry Ford’s house.