Life-ready / Whole-Child Education
Two long-term crises in the USA demonstrate how our educational systems are not preparing our children for success in life. The first is the obesity, diabetes and chronic health conditions epidemics, and the second is the personal income crisis. Our citizens should have been better prepared.
We can do much better at addressing these disasters and preventing others in the future, by integrating life skills and habit education more comprehensively and effectively into our curricula. Schools can help empower our children with the preventive mental, physical and social intelligence they need to proactively make better career, financial, health, civic, and other decisions.
To achieve this, we must move beyond traditional life skills education approaches, and way beyond today’s way-too-narrow K-12 education, in four fundamental ways:
In addition to learning healthy behavior, our schools can educate our young citizens on how to find and keep a job, manage a household budget including the appropriate use of debt, live and work more effectively with others, become a better citizen, and other key life skills and behaviors.
By integrating life skills education into the standard curriculum, in a developmentally appropriate way, students also remain more engaged in learning—with less risk of dropping out. They now understand better the relevance of reading & English, math & science, and social studies to their personal lives, as these subjects are connected with physical, health and arts education, active healthy living, personal finance, civic engagement, etc.
What is more, among middle school students, PE is often the most popular subject, and in high school, sports participation is the most effective extracurricular activity for student retention.