Incorporating Life Skills as Part of a Daily Learning Routine

Known to increase confidence and communication as well as a great way to help children retain the academic information they are learning, incorporating life skills as part of a daily learning routine is a great way to help your child prepare for their future.

There is wide recognition of the importance of life skills, with 88% of young people, 94% of employers and 97% of teachers saying that they are as or more important than academic qualifications, and even more so for children with special needs. However, as many people often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, school and other activities, most parents forget to incorporate life skills into their daily routines with their children, regardless of their needs. Known to increase confidence and communication as well as a great way to help children retain the academic information they are learning, incorporating life skills as part of a daily learning routine is a great way to help your child prepare for their future.

Developing Important Social Skills for the Future

Incorporating Life Skills as Part of a Daily Learning Routine

Essential life skills such as confidence, motivation, resilience, and communication are associated with better academic outcomes and better prospects in life. Children with special needs such as autism, learning disabilities, or ADHD learn differently from typical children, therefore focusing on skills like these is a great way to enhance value in learning. As society begins to put more emphasis on their value, more children and parents are realizing the increasing benefits of learning how to develop these skills in a social aspect. Developing character in a child with special needs allows them to feel confident about what they are learning and how they are growing in order to better utilize the skills they learn both in and out of an academic setting. Increasing their confidence and motivation to succeed is crucial in developing social skills later in life that will serve them in the workplace and as members of society.

Teaching Children How to Take Care of Themselves

While it is important that children learn various aspects of different core academic subjects, teaching kids life skills is a gift that will allow them to care for themselves in the future. This can mean emotionally, physically or even financially, but however you decide to incorporate these lessons into the daily lives of your children, you should take into consideration their specific needs and interests. For example, if your child is very hands on and loves to fix things, help them learn how to DIY projects for themselves. If your child has problems managing their time or working with numbers, you might develop a hands-on, real-life learning project at home that focuses on money management by using their allowance as a base. These types of learning opportunities present themselves in everyday life and can be incorporated in combination with academic subjects to reinforce school material with real-life lessons.

Incorporating Life Skills into Daily Life

Teaching daily living, social and work skills to young children with special needs is not only a great way for them to learn how to incorporate into society outside of a school setting, but it is also a great way to prepare them for an independent future despite their different learning styles and abilities. Daily living skills will help them feel confident about their independence while personal and social skills are a great way to motivate them to work in a group even though it might not feel natural to them. As they begin to gain more confidence and communication skills through these types of daily lessons, they will begin to feel more comfortable expressing their opinion in a respectful way at school while also learning how to participate in a group setting that mimics the larger society they will eventually be a part of.

5 simple way to get started right away to teach your children to be independent

5 Ways to Teach Your Children to Be Independent with Life Skills and Daily Routine. Parenting tips.
  1.  Use slip-on shoes when children are young – Try boots, crocs, or moccasins.  Kids can get these on easily and independently at a young age.
  2. Teach the flip coat method – Are you familiar with the Montessori Method of getting a coat on?  Children are able to get their coats on by themselves at a younger age by using this method.  You put the coat on the ground with the hood at the child’s feet.  They slip their arms into the coat and flip it over their head to get it on (watch the video below).
  3. Assign them chores they can do completely by themselves – Keep it super simple.  Kids LOVE to help but sometimes it can make it more difficult if a parent has their own chores to do.  Try chores such as wiping tables, feeding the pets, refilling napkins or sorting socks to start.  Children will be proud of themselves that they can do it without help.
  4. Allow for plenty of practice time and try different methods of teaching certain skills – Make time in your schedule to give extra time to practice new skills.  Do not try to teach new skills when you are running out the door in the morning.  Try different ways of teaching skills.  For example, some children will be able to learn how to tie their sneakers using the old fashioned way but others may need to learn a different way (see video).
  5. Modify the environment so children can be independent – For example, provide a stool at the sink so children can reach the water to wash their hands, get a drink or brush their teeth.

One super helpful tip to continue to encourage independence is to follow a routine.  Children will know what is expected of them in the morning, after school and evening.  Daily Routine Visual Schedules digital download includes 70+ picture icons for Morning Routines, School Routines, Afternoon Routines and Evening Routines. The pictures are suitable for all ages.

Watch the video to view 5 Ways To Teach Your Children to Be Independent.

Read more about teaching children life skills:

10 Tips to Teach Children Self Help Skills

10 Tips to Help Children with Toileting

Important Information Children Should Know

Teach Life Skills to Learn Responsibility and Independence

Alicia Stemp contributed to this blogpost.

Known to increase confidence and communication as well as a great way to help children retain the academic information they are learning, incorporating life skills as part of a daily learning routine is a great way to help your child prepare for their future.