How to teach life skills to children?

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How to teach life skills to children?

There are so many life skills kids have to teach that many of us are still ignoring. And children also need to be taught the right skills early. But how to teach children life skills? Check out the story below to gain more experience with you.

How to teach children life skills

I am compelled to begin this article with my somewhat embarrassing story. I am 31 years old, studying in the UK, living with a host family.

Last week, on vacation, the hostess took her 11-year-old daughter to swim and asked me to go. I said: I can't swim. Upon hearing that, she was surprised because she could not believe it: By that age and living in a tropical country, famous for its long sea lanes, rivers, and intricate canals (because I used to 'show off' to her). but can't swim. She and her 4 children both knew how to swim before the age of 10.

Swimming is a life skill for children that need to be taught

Some of the funny stories above about learning to swim. Plus a series of tragic deaths of Vietnamese children every year due to falling into rivers, streams, lakes, or swimming in the sea. To demonstrate the education of life skills for children. Or the survival skill has been ignored for a very long time in Vietnamese education. However, to improve this is also very difficult.

Teaching life skills for children in school

From the 2010-2011 school year, the Ministry of Education and Training has issued a guiding document. Together with documents that guide the integration and integration of life skills education contents into the subjects. Extracurricular educational activities in high schools. Therefore, if it is said that the Ministry of Education and Training is not interested in this educational content, it is unjust for the Ministry. The integrated and integrated strategy is also appropriate to avoid increasing the number of subjects in high school too much. Most developed countries that I know, including the UK, have not yet separated life skills.

However, as an insider, I realize that this activity is not really effective in the school. The cause from where?

Not well trained

According to a study I instructed students to do in 2010, surveyed at 4 junior high schools in Ho Chi Minh City, three reasons for the difficulty in teaching life skills to children are:

- The volume of subjects (Math, Physics, Chemistry, Literature ...) is too large: teachers and students who have completed all the contents of those subjects to take the exam are exhausted.

- There are no specific and practical programs to teach life skills for children: Currently, this has been improved through the compilation of guidance materials for teachers. But there are also many contents teachers do not know how to teach.

- Lack of teachers specializing in teaching life skills: Current general teachers must be part-time. Because the content of life skills education is mainly integrated in extracurricular activities. In terms of knowledge, they can impart. But the so-called skill requires the practice of manipulation. Most teachers are very confused. Because they are not proficient in using a variety of methods to train students to apply skills. Not to mention, they themselves do not possess some of the skills required to teach students.

It is important to focus on teaching life skills to children at school


That is not to mention the factors that are almost "helpless force": Teaching facilities, facilities, and number of students ... Just like learning how to swim, the ministry, department, and school all find it necessary. But the cost of building or renting a swimming pool for all the schools is not small. In remote areas, it is not possible to take children to rivers, streams or ponds to teach swimming.

Even in the rich UK, in 2012, it was reported that 39% of primary school children could not swim well because the school did not have the conditions to teach (the rest were due to their ability to learn and reasons. other). Teaching skills takes practice, but a class of 40-50 students cannot follow.

The results of this study are only the initial step, only for reference, but also worth our attention so that there are really effective solutions for the education of life skills in schools.

Solutions to teach life skills for children


The ministry needs to clearly redefine the target framework of education at all levels. In Scotland, although life skills are not a subject of their own, students are still quite well equipped for national educational purposes. Clearly define education for children 3-18 years old so they can become: Successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens, contributors to the community. From this purpose, they define in detail the skill target system that is very practical to life. And become a guideline for schools to build their own programs.


The department must cut down on other academic content and then add life skills for the child. Not only 'more' content and life skills education activities. Making the workload of Vietnamese high school teachers heavier is even heavier. Teachers in the UK can practice a variety of children's life skills. This is due to the amount of academic knowledge in the subjects is relatively light and flexible. Extracurricular programs are recommended. And they also have plenty of time to organize students.

Teach children life skills through outdoor activities


Schools and teachers must realize the importance of equipping children with life skills. Strive to comply with the spirit of the ministry's direction, instead of looking for ways to reduce it. In addition to swimming (in physical education), faith education, sex education and relationships (from secondary school) are mandatory in British schools. Other remaining life skills. Even first aid, emergency exit, communication, leadership, thinking ... are not compulsory. Therefore, the implementation is mainly done by schools and teachers.


Before the implementation, the ministry, department, and school must thoroughly train teachers. Especially part of the method of educating life skills for children. Specific contents such as: Escape skills, first aid, use of electrical equipment…. need to invite a private specialist.

In terms of funding, we also have to temporarily accept our "poor family". To recalculate the effective use of education funding. Prioritize important educational activities. There are many life skills that children need to teach, and in limited conditions, we have to refine which skills should be prioritized for immediate implementation. For example, swimming skills, first aid, despite difficulties, must be prioritized to deploy as much as possible.

Teaching life skills for children from home

Therefore, life skills education for children is not the sole responsibility of the school. Even with some life skills, the school put it in the curriculum to teach students. To turn into real skill. That means students can use proficiently in everyday life. Then requires very active support from the family.

Teaching life skills for children at home

I take the example of self-service. From preschool, children have been trained. Going to primary school, semi-boarding school, many schools organize for the children to arrange tables and chairs, take food, clean the class, arrange a place to nap ... They all did well. However, when they go home, many parents regret their children going to school a lot. Should go home and do nothing. It is difficult to teach children to be independent.

Meanwhile, when I chatted with the 11-year-old British girl, the daughter of the host sister I was staying with. Children said that at school, students also have to self-service food and cleaning. She also joined the volunteer team to help people with disabilities integrate with her. So every lunch I eat 30 minutes later than other students. At home, every week, she still has to wash dishes for 2 evenings. Self-cleaning if you want to receive pocket money. At 11 years old, she can cook simple dishes for the whole family.

Life skills for children through many activities

Similarly, some life exploration skills. Problem-solving skills have also been taught somewhat in the school. But many parents raising children are very careful and worried. Keep your baby in the house. So what is learned also has no opportunity to apply and fade away.

I have supported a life skills training program for children (10–14 years old). By having the children participate in a day around the historic sites of Ho Chi Minh City by bus, walking.

During that day, you must practice your bus map viewing skill. Map find walking paths, team cooperation, communicate, persuade, buy food, calculate expenses. Each group is given a sufficient amount for the day. Solve problems through assigned tasks. Sometimes it is quizzes, secret letters, historical briefing requirements ... Even with the organizing team attached. But some parents are still worried, so they run cars, motorbikes ... with supplies followed. I'm also concerned, after that day. Will parents give them more opportunities to practice?

I hope that the whole school and the family will work together to equip children with life skills more effectively.

Nguyen Thi thu huyen

According to VnExpress