Our recent study surveyed 750 parents in the UK to find out how many children know and understand life skills by the time they leave school.
We discovered that many parents worry their young ones will finish their education and still be relatively unprepared for adulthood, mainly due to the absence of life skills on the school curriculum.
The ten life skills parents wished their children were taught at school:
Encouraging and building your child’s understanding of life skills is crucial in helping them become independent after leaving school. Greg Smith, our head of operations, has given his top eight tips to help children develop such skills outside of the traditional school environment.
Children encounter a variety of challenges in their daily lives, from tricky school homework to friend fallouts, and at times, these hurdles may seem insurmountable. But if children don’t address them, they can potentially fall behind academically or impact their social connections.
To assist your little ones in developing effective problem-solving skills, consider the following steps:
The concept of money can often be confusing for young children, so it’s important to start building an understanding from an early age. Even if you keep your children’s savings in a bank account, try storing some of their pocket money in a clear jar or container so that they can physically see their money as they save or spend it.
If your child wants to keep buying things, help them understand the pros and cons of their purchase. Ask them, is this something that you will use? Or would you rather use the money towards something you really want?
Having your children help out in the kitchen is a great way to make learning fun and develop their knowledge of cooking different meals. Not only is it important to show young children how to safely prepare a meal, but it’s a great way to encourage healthy eating.
Growing up can be a confusing time for children, so helping them to understand and deal with stress from a young age will certainly benefit them in later life. No matter how small their stresses may feel, it is important they know you are there to help them get through. Ask them to talk it out, listen to how they are feeling, and help them to focus on the positive parts of the situation.
Critical thinking is an important skill that children should be learning from an early age, as it helps them to think analytically. If you feel like your child isn’t developing enough in this area at school, there are some ways this can be encourage within the home.
Get your child to think about different perspectives by asking them questions like: ‘What would you do in that situation?’, or ‘What do you think that means for the other person?’. Asking these types of questions will not only develop their critical thinking, but will help them grow more empathetic.
In today’s world, it’s really important to teach your children how to stay safe from a young age, both online and in the real world. Ensure that you have a running dialogue with your child about safe and unsafe people, and different warning signs they might encounter. To keep them engaged, role-play different scenarios with them so that they can differentiate between what is normal and what isn’t.
Mortgage knowledge is the life skill children are least likely to have when they leave school, and almost a quarter (24%) of parents say they wish it was taught in the classroom.
Mortgages can be a dreary subject even for adults, but they are obviously incredibly important, so it’s useful to introduce the idea to children wherever possible. Children are naturally curious about the world, so helping them to have a better understanding of how finances and mortgages work will certainly help them in later life. Have them look at one of your mortgage statements and go through the numbers with them.
This is a good time for children to understand that very few people can afford to buy their homes outright, and that the majority either rent their homes or have a mortgage. This should make the process a bit less daunting when they eventually come to buy their own place.
Forming friendships can be a challenge at any age, so helping your children develop and improve their social skills will help them throughout life. It can often be confusing for parents to know where to start when it comes to social skills, so here are a couple of essentials to teach your child.
Having greater control over the curriculum is one of the major benefits of homeschooling, and it means you can weave in life skills to your child’s learning whenever you like. For more information about homeschooling, visit: https://www.oxfordhomeschooling.co.uk/homeschooling-info/what-is-home-schooling/
Greg is the Head Of Operations at Oxford Home Schooling and has more than 25 years of experience in Distance Learning and Home Education