Sunday, June 16, 2024

Life Skills Every One Must Learn To Be Successful. Are Schools Teaching Them?

School. Love it or hate it; everyone must go through it in life. Some stay in school for longer than others. Some say it is the best years of their life, others their worst. It is the fundamentals of preparing the world’s future adults for life, teaching them everything they need to know, and shaping their young minds, but is this really the case? Are life skills a part of school education? As we go ahead, we will see the list of life skills and education, very much needed in life to be successful. The life skills needed for your kid to prosper. If kids are being taught these life skills listed right from a very young age, it can transform their lives and become emotionally stronger adults.

Are Schools Teaching The Real-Life Skills You Need?

Most probably, not.

What Are Life Skills?

‘Life Skills’ are the skills you need to make the most out of life and have a better quality of life. They are the skills you need to accomplish your goals and live it to the full.

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One of the primary life skills goals and objectives of life skills is to prepare a child to face the practical world.

Why Learn Life Skills?

Life skills education helps to:

  • build self-confidence,
  • encourage critical thinking,
  • foster independence,
  • and help students to communicate more effectively.

There are many other benefits of having a life skills class and why everyone should consider taking it at least once.

One of any student’s major goals is to find the perfect job and life skills to help you fulfill this objective. Here is a list of how to prepare your child for college, and it must start as early as possible.

There is no fixed list of skills for kids needed in life, but any skill that helps us live our lives better is considered a life skill, such as learning to drive, swimming, or cooking.

These are the skills needed in life, along with education. These activities are more practical as we need to do them daily except swimming, which is more of recreational activity.

Schooling varies dramatically from country to country regarding the structure, teaching style, syllabus, and even the hours of schooling.

In most countries, schooling is compulsory for children of a certain age. The general syllabus includes Mathematics, English, and Science. These subjects are considered core to life. But I have personally not used Pythagoras’s Theorem once but file taxes every year? Can someone please explain them to me?

Countries like Finland and Switzerland are well known for their exceptional education system; it is compulsory for nine years and is free.

A whopping 86% of adults have the equivalence of a high-school diploma.

They invest in so much on the job training, allowing people to follow what they are passionate about from a young age.  So they are definitely the most important life skill for kids. So they are the most crucial life skill for kids.

Switzerland has sure enough to set an example of a skill-based education system.

This article, written by a teen speaker from TED, explains why school education should prepare students for the real world.

Our team at AlignThoughts has researched and hand-picked the essential life skill you should learn in life.

Read on!

Essential Life Skills To Learn In Life

are-schools-teaching-real-life skills-alignthoughts

While at school, you learn many things, including study skills, essay writing, and presentation skills, which can become very useful later in life but read on for the things not taught in school. But you will come face to face with at some point and for sure the skills you need if you are looking to excel in life with education.

The following list of life skills more or less covers everything one needs to have in their arsenal. This list of life skills will also make you dig deeper and identify your aim in life.

20 Life Skills Every School Must Teach Their Students

1. Negotiation Skills

 Negotiation is one of the critical skills needed in life. Life skills and education should go hand in hand.
No doubt, negotiation skills are essential.
It puts you in a better position to stand up for yourself and get what you think you deserve. It could be negotiating a compromise with a friend or something as big as negotiating on buying a house.
2. Parenting Skills Much Aligned With Life Skills
Not everyone is going to be a parent, and sometimes we cannot teach them. But at some point in life, you are going to have in your care a small person.

Knowing how to care for them is essential. Their health and well-being are in your hands, much like yours were in your parents.

In the future, as a parent, you can always teach these life skills to your kids. They would help them scale up in life exactly how it helped you.

3. Stress-Management – Part of Life Skills In School

School can be stressful with the pressure of exams and deadlines and sometimes just the overload of information. Stress can be very harmful to both your physical and mental health, so it needs to be managed as soon as possible; however, this is not taught in schools.

There is sometimes the availability of a school counselor if things get too much, but students need to learn this skill to use in everyday life.

If kids learn how to manage their stress by getting better at learning these life skills, there will be fewer depression cases and low self-esteem.

4. Budgeting – Should Get Included As Part of Life Skills In School

Finances can be a cause of stress, and to be honest, everyone needs to know how to manage their money. It is the fundamentals of the economy and society in general. If not done correctly, it can lead to severe consequences. Accounting and finance are covered in business classes but not personal finance, and even then, not every student takes this class.

Likewise, self-employment is not included, and for the self-starters and entrepreneurs in the classroom, this could be detrimental.  Also, as we go ahead with other things in the list of life skills, we will see that they complement each other.

5. Emotional Intelligence

Understanding how others think and feel is fundamental to maintaining relationships, personal and professional. Society is incredibly diverse, with people’s emotions varying all the time. Schools sometimes assume all their pupils are the same and treat them equally, which is good and bad; people need connecting to otherwise.

Skill-based education also empowers students. It makes them financially more confident. It provides them with all the emotional strength required.  For kids showing enough emotional intelligence as a part of life skills is a sign of maturity.

6. Time Management

While students often experience time constraints for assignments and exams, nobody teaches how to manage your time effectively, which is an important life skill as the older we get, the less time in day-to-day life we have.

Creating your schedules is a useful skill to use in your professional and personal life.

7. First Aid

An accident can happen at any point, and knowledge can save someone’s life. The basics include recognizing symptoms, knowing CPR, cleaning and dressing wounds, preventing infection, applying a tourniquet, or the Heimlich maneuver.

Schools could teach these skills in one session but often are not.

8. Self Defence

Everyone has the right to defend themselves, but not everyone knows how. A school’s job is to prepare students for adult life, and learning self-defense can be necessary for protecting their well-being. Hopefully, it would help if you did not have to use it, but it preserves your life.

Learning first hand to hand combat, particularly for women, to leave any potential attacker incapacitated could save your life.

9. Etiquette Classes

Schools don’t have to teach only please and thank you, but the use of general, everyday manners is declining dramatically. Etiquette classes to teach interaction in an everyday situation from talking with colleagues or strangers.

Showing kindness to everyone leads to an improvement in society. Likewise, understanding the social norms when traveling abroad can stop any cause of offense.

10. Personal Credit and Credit Cards

Much like managing money learning, establishing and maintaining proper credit is a valuable skill not taught in school. If you are buying a car, taking out a mobile contract, or buying a house, the economy needs credit when you do all these things.

We all start with no credit, but the best way to build one is by using a credit card without maxing out and always making your payments on time. Maxing out can lead to serious debt and money problems.

Remember, the wise use of credit cards is very crucial. If not used in the right way, credit cards can be huge disasters.

11. Cars: Learning To Drive, Car Maintenance And Insurance

Some schools in America do offer driving lessons on campus, but in the UK, they do not, and it can become an expensive life skill to obtain.

Teaching driving theory, car/road safety, how to obtain the best-priced insurance, and how to fix simple things in your car will lead to self-sufficient and responsible adults. These are essential life skills as the number of car owners increases and so the number of traffic accidents.

12. Houses: Buying A House, Having A Mortgage, Home Repairs, And Maintenance

Buying a house is a daunting experience, and millennials are becoming more and more difficult.

Schools do not teach how to save or get a mortgage or all the things that you must pay out for alongside, yet this is something that nearly everyone has to do at some point. Also, maintaining a house can be costly, so knowing how to fix minor issues is a bonus.

13. How To Survive Without Technology

Technology has come so far in the modern-day and is part of every aspect of our lives. While it has helped improve education, but it has also made the students rely entirely on it.

The likes of a paper book and mechanical watches are becoming rarer. So when it comes to a blackout or power cut or somewhere where technology cannot be used, millennials are quite literally stuck.

Critical skills, like using a compass or paper map, should be taught.  So only skill-based education is the answer to combat this humungous rise of technology. We cannot forget about AI (Automation), which is getting ready to dominate the future.

14. Thinking

The saying goes to think before you act as actions can have serious consequences. Constructively thinking about the situation presented to you and not taking it at face value is an important life skill.

Education is easy when it comes to thinking as a student to learn a set way to do something for a test and that there is only one right answer, whereas, in real life, this is often not the case. Students need to learn to think through real-world situations that could have more than one solution.

15. Relationships

Relationships can get complicated and confusing. With an ever-evolving society, school teachings must stay up to date.

The school does not teach about any of this from the different types of relationships, consent, and what it is to have a healthy relationship. As a result, people accept lousy relationships because they do not know this isn’t how it should be.

16. Body Language and Conversation Skills

Conversation happens in every aspect of everyday life, with parents, friends, loved ones, colleagues, and bosses. All require different social norms and body language to communicate effectively.

Learning to converse and body language strategies are not determined using technology. It is so hindered, leading to isolation and not having full enjoyment of relationships. Knowing how to connect with others is so important.

17. Cooking

A terrifying word but a vital life skill if you want to survive. Unfortunately, it is not physically or financially healthy to live off takeaways, so learning to cook healthy, nutritious meals is essential.

Some schools have food tech classes, but these often involve making simple things like cookies or mac and cheese, which is not sustainable in the long term.

Being able to cook meals around a busy lifestyle is always essential in staying healthy, which brings us on to the next point.

18. Exercising – Life Skills In Schools

Unless you are incredibly sporty, physical education was often the dreaded lesson of the week.

But exercising is a vital part of being healthy – 30 minutes of walking a day can help keep your body in shape. Schools don’t teach such nuances of health.

Yes, learning how to play different sports is great, but a more vital skill would be how to exercise to suit you and a working lifestyle, for example. This would be an excellent way to make people more active.

19. Your Rights And The Law

Like education, rights and regulations vary from country to country, but you must know your own. There is the obvious such as getting arrested for stealing or murder. But it is sometimes the less obvious that catches people out, such as consumer rights or self-employment taxes, etc.

Having these instilled at a young age can shape young people into better adults. Moreover, education and life skills have their limits. 

Education can take you only to a certain extent. But life skills, once acquired, can train you for the real world. It will make you more street smart and help you face real-life challenges with ease.

20. Employability – Crucial To Life Skills

One of the school’s goals is to prepare people for the workforce and become productive members of society.

Finding a job is crucial to earning money and supporting yourself, yet finding a job, applying, writing a CV/cover letter, being part of interviews, or understanding contracts are not taught.

Along with education, teachers need to teach them skills like how to face the interviewer. How to answer the interview questions with confidence. If taught, then these students can very much stand a chance to get that coveted job. So in a way, is school preparing them for a job?

Concluding Thoughts

After all of this, possibly the essential life skill is the ability and willingness to learn. By learning new things, including skills, we increase our understanding of the world around us, developing and preparing for what life inevitably throws at us.

Is this vital skill being squashed in school, with the pressure to learn what we do not enjoy or attain specific grades in exams or assessments?

Children and young adults are becoming so stressed that their love for learning dwindles as they took the awe factor out of it. Education has been more institutionalized.

Could this be the reason for the lack of life skills? Have schools lost their purpose? It is a difficult question to answer, but my advice is that there is so much more to learn outside the classroom than inside.

The internet has made knowledge instantly available. Some skills are challenging to teach, but one can learn from their failure and experience. Skill-based education is the most sought after education system now. The above-listed life skills, if followed, can help you achieve more in life than you could if it is only education

This list of life skills helps you shape up your personality and become the best you.

Continue to: Life Skills to Teach Your Kids Before They Go To College

Lucy Bristow
Lucy Bristow
Lucy is a teenager with a passion for travel. She is from a small city called Norwich in the East of England. She was three when her parents took her to Finland. Since then, she has traveled to four different continents, swam with wild dolphins, jumped off mountains, and played tug of war with a tiger. Her mission is to help others travel more by sharing innovative ways to make travel affordable and fun.

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