Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Life Skills for Kids

Book #50

I just finished reading the book Life Skills for Kids.   I bought it several years ago but honestly never read it.  For Lent, however, I thought I would go through it and refresh my skills in teaching/ instructing my kids.

The book is centered around 14 "Maxims of Maturity" which are:

1. Responsibility begins in small things, and it should be timed well.
2. Children must learn to get along with others and to resolve and manage conflict on their own.
3. Everyone lives somewhere. We need to take care of that place.
4. It's a big and sometimes uncertain world, and our children need to know how to navigate it safely.
5. We must use our time wisely.
6. We need to manage our work and living space wisely.
7. Things break and need maintenance. The more we can learn to do on our own, the more self-reliant we will be.
8. Money: either we learn to handle it or it will handle us.
9. Each of us has only one body, we need to learn to take care of it.
10. A brain is a valuable thing. We should aim to make it work at peak performance.
11. If God is not the center of our life, it will ultimately be unsatisfying.
12. The more decisions we make, the better decision makers we become.
13. We can all develop and nourish creativity.
14. Celebrate, rejoice and be glad! This day is all we have.
The author takes each of these as a category to discuss various things of importance for children to learn.   There are lots of tips, quotes from other books, and activity ideas for each topic.   Some of the tips are too complex for me -- for example, bean-counting systems usually flop in our house because I forget to tally up the beans or whatever -- but others are quite helpful.  So I'm going to move through the book and pick out some of the most useful parts for me.

I think I'll also use it as a way to brush up MY life skills.   It's hard to teach what you don't really know.  So as I go through this book I'll ask myself:

  1. How do I do this myself (if I do)?
  2. If I am not doing it, is it still worthwhile to learn and teach?
  3. What are the obstacles that prevent me from doing this and/or teaching my kids?
  4. What, if anything, should I change as a result?
  5. (If I've made any changes) -- what is still working, what needs to be tweaked or rethought?

By the way, here is a PDF  called Ready, Set, Fly which I've found useful as sort of a checklist.  ..from the Casey Life Skills website, which looks like it is geared towards foster homes.

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