IN THIS ISSUE:
– Welcome: “How you can Help interest in life skills grow!”
– Feature: “How do your children learn?
“6 great teaching techniques!”
– Teacher/Parent Book Pick – “Parenting with Love & Logic”
– K-3 Book Pick – “1,000 Years Ago on Planet Earth”
– 4-6 Book Pick – “Westlandia!”
– Web Discoveries; Spring Fitness Fun for Kids!
– Words of Wisdom – “Children Learn What They Live”
– Life Skills Resources – Quick Links
WELCOME: You can help life skills interest grow!
We attended the National Student Assistance Conference in Nashville, TN with more than 1,000 educators. It was great to see a growing interest in the power of life skills.
Life skills education helps children understand themselves, their friends and their world. By sharing positive life skills lessons, children become more effective – most important, you’ll inspire them to discover their own strengths and interests in life. With positive goals, your children will shine.
I only saw two things at the conference that weren’t encouraging. See what you think:
First, many organizations continue to focus on the “gloom & doom” approach to teaching kids about life. One group was exclusively devoted to teaching the dangers of just _one_ exotic drug (and it wasn’t alcohol or tobacco, the ones that hurt children most often). Other groups continue to sell “drug boards” to schools that show kids just how fascinating a collection of drugs and paraphernalia looks.
I think it’s a shame to see groups spending a considerable amount of time and energy assembling such detailed, but negative, lessons. Spending hours (weeks?) studying and teaching any *one* danger to your children isn’t positive or productive. Most educators know that negativity and scare tactics don’t produce the results they want.
Life skills suggests that you spend those hours talking with your children about school work, hobbies or sports. Take that time to go to a museum, school activity or a park. Focusing on building positive skills will yield positive results. It’s true. (-:
The second thing that concerned me is that 90% of the educators we met were concentrating on educating and solving problems for middle school and high school students. And why do these kids have so many problems, temptations and dangers threatening them? Because the life skills education process began too late.
That’s why we focus on building healthy skills beginning in Kindergarten. LifeSkills4Kids is here to help you build a strong foundation for your children’s emotions, values and goals.
FEATURE: “How do your children learn?”
“6 great teaching techniques!”
Some of us like to curl up with a book in a quiet place to absorb new things. Others need a “hands on” approach to really get something – think about learning to bake your first cake from a book instead of rolling your sleeves up and going to the kitchen.
Another way we learn is from others. How many times have you tried to do something and failed, but when an experienced friend showed you “the trick” you quickly “got it”?
The fact is that we all learn different things in different ways. That’s why we created different teaching styles for every LifeSkills4Kids lesson. If you haven’t downloaded a free sample lesson from our site, you’ll find the links below. But you don’t need our lessons to apply these different teaching methods. Just knowing about them will help you think about how you can help your child learn most effectively.
We recommend that you teach life skills using multiple teaching styles. Here are the ones we offer:
DISCUSS – It’s not just “Yadda, yadda” ya know! The March newsletter analyzed how important it is to talk with your kids on structured topics (see our archive if you missed it). Talking builds communication and interpersonal skills that will serve your children well for their whole lives. Most life skills discussion topics are the seeds for open-ended discussions. *Learning Bonus* With parent or teacher guided discussions, children determine their own answers and teach themselves.
INVESTIGATE – Every bit as exciting as a Sherlock Holmes story, this style allows your children to gather information and follow clues to gain knowledge. When I was growing up, going to the library was the ultimate multi-media adventure: books, magazines, reference resources, filmstrips and more. Now, with the advent of the Internet, it all sits right on our desktops! The Internet presents investigation opportunities that people could not imagine, even ten years ago. *Learning Bonus* Children are more receptive to knowledge that they find and verify for themselves.
WORKSHEETS – Our life skills lessons include two dedicated worksheets for each learning objective. *Learning bonus* All of us want to spend more “quality time” with our kids but don’t know what to do. Doing worksheets together creates a structured learning experience that parents and children can share.
VOCABULARY – Our program includes vocabulary related to the different learning objectives. *Learning bonus* A more precise vocabulary helps children describe and understand the feelings and techniques that are part of life skills education.
PS – The name of this article is “How do your children learn?” but this knowledge is just as relevant for you to consider as a mentor! How do you *teach* the best? (-:
Are you a good talker, a good listener, experienced at finding facts and information, artistic, well connected, playful, or all of the above? Sharing knowledge in the way that you do best will strengthen your children’s learning experience.
TEACHER/PARENT BOOK PICKS
“Parenting with love and logic:
Teaching Children Responsibility”
by Foster Cline, MD & Jim Fay
What happens when a child psychiatrist and an educator join forces? In this case, they produce a manual to help parents raise children who are self-confident, motivated, and ready for the world. Best of all, the methods described give children the chance to solve their own problems by teaching responsibility and logic.
The book was published ten years ago but it’s still full of easy-to-use tips and ideas that are still relevant. There are extensive reviews on this book at the Amazon site. Take a peek to get an in-depth perspective of what this guide has to offer.
GRADE K-3 BOOK PICK
“1,000 Years Ago on Planet Earth”
by Sneed B. Collard
Grade K-3 children are just beginning to understand time, geography and cultural differences. This book will help children ages 4-8 develop important global perspectives. Given the expanding cultural diversity in modern classrooms, this is an increasingly important life skill.
The book’s information is limited, but the author does a great job of capturing the essence of different cultures in a few paragraphs. One reviewer found the illustrations uninspiring but they certainly help convey the material. This is a great introduction to the world for youngsters.
GRADE 4-6 BOOK PICK
by Paul Fleischman
What a concept! While some kids go crazy with boredom during summer vacation (or spend their time in unconstructive ways) young Wesley decides to . . . build his own civilization!
Our ambitious (but shy) hero starts by cultivating a small patch of ground in his backyard. Amazingly, exotic plants begin to grow and Wesley discovers new ways to count, spell and tell time, guided by his plants. Soon, Weslandia (named after its founder) is born. Classmates who used to tease Wesley become friends and admirers as they discover the magical features of this New World.
This story shows how pursuing a goal with a little imagination can produce wonderful results. And it demonstrates friendship skills that don’t depend on a sparkling, out-going personality. “Westlandia” is also suitable for reading aloud to younger children.
WEB DISCOVERIES: for teachers, parents & kids
It’s a beautiful day outside! Spring is arriving on the East Coast and the Northern US and I’m headed out there soon. That’s why I’m featuring links on FITNESS this month.
Nah, not the “pumping iron” stuff. (-: I’m talking about fun, outdoor games for elementary school children.
Our life skills lessons start by giving kids a sense of wonder for the human body we’re all so lucky to own. Our program calls the body “the million dollar machine” but goes on to prove that our bodies are actually “priceless”. And that it’s our personal responsibility to maintain our bodies so we can accomplish our dreams in life.
**** Game Central Station!
Game Central Station is a free resource for physical educators, recreation specialists, parents or anyone working with children. It has more than 350 games for preschool through 12th grade! Each game includes instructions, equipment, skills and more. There’s even an easy to use search engine that lets you find games by grade level.
Read – Write – Think provides educators and students access to the highest quality practices and resources in reading and language arts instruction.
HotChalk’s LessonPlansPage.com is a collection of over 3,000 lesson plans from Preschool through High School and beyond, that were developed by Kyle Yamnitz, students and faculty at The University of Missouri, and more recently by the users of this website.
This website offers free and easy resources for teachers dedicated to improving the education of today’s generation of students.
Words of Wisdom: : “Children Learn What They Live”
Our development team tried very hard to make our life skills lesson “timeless.” For thousands of years, children have needed to learn about health, friendship and values. Thousand of years from now, they’ll still need this knowledge. The author of this passage has captured this timeless essence.
I’ve seen the simple verse below quoted on a few personal sites. Here’s some background that may surprise you: Dorothy Law Nolte published this poem in her 1954 book “Children Learn What They Live; Parenting to Inspire Values.”
Its message is just as valuable now as it was 54 years ago. The book is available in 10 languages, with each of the 19 couplets expanded into a chapter on the concept. It’s an uplifting guide to helping your children grow.
For the English book version click HERE: For the Spanish book version click HERE
CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE
By Dorothy L. Nolte
“If children live with criticism,
they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility,
they learn to fight.
If children live with fear,
they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity,
they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule,
they learn to be shy.
If children live with jealousy,
they learn what envy is.
If children live with shame,
they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with tolerance,
they learn to be patient.
If children live with encouragement,
they learn to be confident.
If children live with praise,
they learn to appreciate.
If children live with approval,
they learn to be themselves.
If children live with acceptance,
they learn to find love in the world.
If children live with recognition,
they learn to have a goal.
If children live with sharing,
they learn to be generous.
If children live with honesty and fairness,
they learn what truth and justice are.
If children live with security,
they learn to have faith in themselves
and in those around them.
If children live with friendliness,
they learn that the world is a nice place in which to live.
If children live with serenity,
they learn to have peace of mind.
With what are your children living?”