I am so excited!!! Zakari has completed his Skills for Life card in First grade and is working on his second card :) What are Skills for Life you ask? Here it is....
Starting at the elementary level –
Caring – to feel and show concern for others (I think this is a wonderful way to learn to love all people who surround you, to have compassion, to understand, to be human...)
Common sense – to use good judgment (Think before you act, extremely important!!)
Effort – to do one’s best (We should all strive to do our best in everything!)
Initiative – to do something, not necessarily for reward, but because it needs to be done (Yes! We should all be aware of what can be done in our surroundings)
Perseverance – to keep at something until one succeeds (mission accomplished is a wonderful feeling!)
Responsibility – to take action when needed and be accountable for one’s actions (accountability is something I think we even as adults have lost touch with-- we need to stop blaming others and take responsibility!)
Teamwork – to work together to achieve a goal for the benefit of all concerned (There is no "I" in the word team :)
The children have to know what the skills are and display them in everyday interaction with other children and adults. When they show each individual skill they are recognized and rewarded for how they act, not only by the teacher but they learn to recognize for themselves when they are using this skill. They fill up a "card" and when it's complete you get a special reward (Zak's was a candy cane). Then they start a new card and Zak is already on a mission to fill this card up :) I was very impressed with Davenport's school system for integrating these skills into everyday learning. Sometimes I feel that schools focus on the bottom line.... not the money bottom line but the education bottom line.... always stressing children's minds above and beyond what they are capable of for their ages. After all, there is much more to "learning" then just reading, writing, and arithmatic (hell, I'm smart and still can't spell!!). However, when I have observed Zakari in class and when I pay attention to their curriculum, I see that these skills are woven into their everyday lesson plans.... they are recognized and rewarded for these very important skills that I feel ARE VERY important in life. In some households, these skills aren't taught to children by the parents and this is very sad but knowing they are exposed to it in school makes me feel better about where I send my child to school....
And it also makes me a very proud parent to know that my child has these skills and knows he does.... I try to teach these skills everday and am thankful for the support to have them reinforced while he is away from me :)