A few years back my small boy had one of the best teachers I’ve ever had the good fortune to come across. Seriously this man was incredible. Along with keeping the kids up to speed with all the normal school curriculum, he used to throw in a few extras like a regular Dance Party, and Life Skills with Mr P. While I’m a huge fan of any dancing in a regular day it’s the Life Skills one that stuck with me. How it worked, was he wanted to teach the kids some of the things that he wished someone had taught him when he was a kid.
Pretty simple right? The kids loved it. They hung on every word he gave them and with the stories that were told, my son placed his young teacher a little further up onto his complete and utter hero pedestal. Was their parent support? You betcha.
Fast forward to now, and lately I’ve been thinking about my own life skills I’m passing on. Some are formed by osmosis, and others I have to make a concerted effort to make sure they are taught. For me making time for this important. It doesn’t always happen at the time I would like, but it’s still important.
While there aren’t set lists, (besides knowing your food, cooking, growing, reading and how to swim of course.) Those small moments in the day can often create huge amounts of opportunity for spontaneous life lessons. Things that come about after a conversation being had, an opportunity that’s jumped out, or perhaps it’s just something that might have been thought of as we are trucking along one day.
Different environments present different learning possibilities and while I would love to be showing my kids how amazing building your own rocket stove is, or the consequences of damming up a small body of moving water, for the moment I have to work with what I have.
There are so many things to be learnt in life, and I know I’m not ever going to even begin to cover them all. How could I when I’m still learning myself?
What’s important for me is cultivating an environment for questions. Eternal curiosity, creating big and little things, reading, making stuff, and always growing something. By doing this, hopefully it all just continues to build from there.
To those teachers whether within a school or life teachers who make learning exciting, passing on lessons in fun accessible ways, making kids/people just want to know more, are gold. Bloody gold. While I can’t replicate Mr P, I can offer my own version of lessons in life skills, and with that I’m hopeful those steps are something that my kids in turn will be able to build up from.
What’s on your list for necessary Life Skills?
How to have a conversation?
How to open a can without a can opener?
What kneading dough until smooth looks like?
Knowing what to do when there is nothing to do?
What to do with mushy bananas?
How to take a pallet apart?
How to sprout things?
How to light a fire without matches?