Teaching the Soft Skills of Life to Ensure Success
Parent: “What do you say?”
Child: “Thank you”
Parent: “Excuse me, I never heard the magic word…”
Parent: “That’s better!”
I wonder how many times these conversations have played out in your home since you first strapped that newborn into the car seat and drove yourselves into a “brave new world”?
Well done persevering! It seems to take a long time before “thank you” is a default attitude of gratitude initiated without a prompt.
The truth is that parents have been doing “home learning” forever. You are your child’s first teacher. But…you never signed up for what you have to do now. Right?
We laugh at the memes and jokes about parents supervising learning at home, but it’s actually a reality that is both demanding and frustrating, albeit sprinkled with moments of satisfaction and, might I bravely add…joy?
Many humorous postings on social media attest to the fact that parents feel overwhelmed with the supervision of learning at home. One of my favourite posts is, “I’ve been home-schooling for one hour and fifteen minutes. It started well but now I’m crying in the bathroom!”
“School” has taken on a whole new meaning this month. Perhaps you can relate to this Grade 2 and Grade 7 “classroom” and their recess break!
Take heart. You are not really home-schooling – you’re setting the context and conditions in your home to support your child learning from the teacher they are starting to love and miss! You probably never thought you would hear the words “I miss school. I miss my teacher!” You are the support behind learning-out-of-the-normal-building.
So in the midst of juggling working from home and keeping the normal household functioning, parents are now putting in long hours trying to help their children over the hurdles of learning outside of the classroom. Here’s the good news. You are still the PARENT! The teachers at Master’s are still the TEACHERS. Your role is what has always been – to teach what we call the “soft skills of life”.
- all the curricula content from the Alberta Ministry of Education
- plus all the Future Ready skills that will help students think as Imaginal Leaders about trends and innovative opportunities in their world
- plus all the “soft skills” that ensure success in the world
- plus the intentional integration of Christian values and life lessons
- plus a safe and caring culture that fosters confident risk taking
And now these students are all at home with parents who are wondering how they can meet all of these requirements. So here are a few suggestions:
- Let the Teachers teach! They are learning new ways of communicating and will appreciate your encouragement and patience. However, they know what has to be presented to students and they will take that responsibility seriously. You can stand by and sneak-a-peak into their classroom instruction. Bonus!
- Let the Students own the responsibility for learning. It is the student who needs to know what to learn and what is required. It is the student who needs to communicate with the teacher for additional support (with help from you if they are younger, of course!) It is the student who needs to track the degree to which they learn new concepts and to identify the gaps they find. With some guidance, it is the student’s role to pace their work and reach their targets. It’s how they work in the classroom. Let them do this part of the home-learning experience.
- Let the Parent be the supporter, the guider and the example of the ”soft skills” that are an essential ingredient in the whole journey.
Here are some of the “soft skills” that you, as Parents, can take on during this home-learning time and in the new normal that will happen when we are back in school.
It has been said that good marks get you the job, but these soft skills keep you in the job.
Thanks Parents for supporting and encouraging the teachers and for doing the job you took on when you birthed those children – modelling and guiding them in the soft skills of life.
Stay safe. Stay well.