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Article: 9 basic skills children should learn

9 základných zručností, ktoré by sa mali deti naučiť

9 basic skills children should learn

Children in today's school system are not well prepared for tomorrow's world.

As someone who moved from corporate to government and from there to the ever-changing online world, I know how quickly the world of yesterday becomes irrelevant. I was trained in the journalism industry where we all believed we would be relevant forever. Today, I already think about it that it will soon become obsolete.

Unfortunately, I was educated in a school system that assumed the world would stay basically the same forever. Only with minor changes in fashion. In school, we acquired a body of knowledge that was based on what kinds of jobs were most in demand in 1980, not 2000.

And that makes a lot of sense, given that no one can really know what life will be like 20 years from now. Imagine the world of 1980. Personal computers were still quite young, fax machines served as the main communication technology, and the Internet as we know it today was only a fantasy of science fiction writers like William Gibson.

We had no idea what the world had in store for us.

And that's the thing: we still don't know. We never know. We have never been good at predicting the future. And that's why raising and educating our children as if we really had some idea about the future is not exactly the smartest idea.

So how do we prepare our children for a world that is unpredictable and unknown? By teaching them how to adapt and deal with change. To be ready for everything simply by not focusing their preparation on anything in particular.

Of course, this requires a completely different approach to raising and educating children. It means leaving your old thoughts at the door and being able to figure everything out anew.

My wonderful and wonderful wife Eva (yes, I am a very lucky man) and I are among those who have already embarked on this task. We teach our children at home. In better words, we "unschool" them. We teach them to learn on their own, without us giving them knowledge and trying to test it in some way.

Admittedly, it's a bit of a wild idea. Most of us experimenting with unschooling admit that we don't know all the answers, and there is no set of "best" practices. However, we also know that we are learning together with our children that not knowing something can be a good thing. This will give you the opportunity to figure it out yourself, without having to rely on proven methods that may not be optimal.

So I won't go into the various ways and methods too much. I believe that they are less important than the thoughts themselves. Once you come up with some interesting ideas you'd like to test, you can find an unlimited number of methods to make them happen. My dictated ways would therefore be too restrictive.

Instead, let's look at a useful set of basic skills that I believe children should acquire in order to be best prepared for whatever world the future holds. I base them on what I've learned in three different industries - specifically in the world of online business, online publishing, online life... And more importantly, what I've learned in them about learning and working and living in a world that never stops. to change.

1. Asking questions . What we want most for our children as students is to be able to learn on their own. Whatever they want to learn. Because if they know this, then there is no need for them to learn everything. Whatever they need to learn in the future, they can do it on their own. The first step in learning how to educate yourself is learning to ask questions. Fortunately, children do this completely naturally. We can only support it. And a great way to do that is to just try to model it. When you encounter something new with your child, ask him questions, explore possible answers with him. And when the child will do the same - ask you - instead of punishing him, reward him (you might be surprised how many adults discourage children from asking).

2. Problem solving. As long as the child can solve problems, he will be able to do any job. Every new job looks daunting, but in reality it's just another problem to solve. New knowledge, new environments, new requirements... All are simply problems that need to be mastered. Teach your children to solve problems by modeling simple problems. Then allow them to solve some very simple ones themselves. Let all their problems be solved immediately - let them try to solve them themselves. Let them try different solutions. Reward such efforts later. Eventually, your child will develop confidence in their own abilities. After that, there will be nothing that it cannot handle.

3. Project solution . As an online entrepreneur, I know that my work consists of a series of projects. Sometimes related, sometimes small and sometimes large (which of course are usually made up of a group of smaller ones). And I also know that since I've already mastered so many, there isn't a project I can't handle. This post is a project. Writing a book is a project. Selling the book is another project. Work on projects with your child. Let him watch it being done by helping you. Then let him handle more and more things on his own. As he gains confidence, let him tackle more things on his own. Soon his learning will become just a series of projects that they will be excited about.

4. Finding interest . What drives me is neither goals, nor discipline, nor extrinsic motivation, nor rewards, but interest. When I'm so excited that I can't stop thinking about something, I immediately dive into it with total commitment, most of the time I'll finish the project and love working on it. It will help your child find things that will interest him. This means trying lots of different things and finding the ones that excite them the most, which will help them really enjoy it. Do not discourage him from any interest. Encourage him. Also, don't suck all the joy out of any activity. But you can also make something useful out of it.

5. Independence . Children should gradually be taught how to stand on their own two feet. Little by little, of course. Slowly encourage them to start the activity on their own. Show them how to do something, model it, help them with it, and then help less and less and let them make some mistakes of their own. Instill confidence in them by having them experience lots of small successes and work out some of their mistakes. Once they learn how to be independent, they realize that they don't need teachers, parents, or bosses to tell them what to do. They can govern themselves and be free. They will be able to find the direction they need to go in order to manage to go their own way.

6. Be happy by yourself . Too many of us parents spoil our children, keep them on a leash, and tie their happiness to our presence. When a child grows up, they suddenly don't know how to be happy. He must immediately attach himself to a boyfriend or girlfriend or to his friends. If they fail in this, they will try to find happiness in other external things - shopping, food, video games, the Internet. But when a child learns from an early age that they can be happy alone, that they can play and read and imagine, they acquire one of the most valuable skills there is. Let your children know how to be alone from an early age. Give them privacy. Define a time (e.g. in the evening) when both parents and children will have time for themselves.

7. Compassion . One of the most important skills ever. We must cultivate it in order to work well with others. To take care of people other than ourselves. So that we can be happy by making others happy. The key is to lead by example. Be compassionate to everyone and everything under any circumstances. Also to your children. Show them empathy. Ask them what they think, how others might feel, and speak your thoughts about it out loud. If you can, show at every opportunity how the suffering of others can be alleviated. How to make others happier with the help of small kindnesses. And how it can in turn make you a happier person.

8. Tolerance . Too often we grow up in isolated spaces where people are mostly the same (at least in appearance). When we then come into contact with people who are different, it can be uncomfortable, surprising and fear-inducing. Expose your children to people of all kinds - different races, sexual orientations and different mental states. Show them that being different is not only okay, but it should even be appealing because it is diversity that makes life so beautiful.

9. Adaptation to changes . I believe that as our children grow and the world is constantly changing, being able to embrace change, deal with it and navigate its flow will be a great competitive advantage. It's a skill I'm still learning myself, but I've found it helps tremendously. Especially compared to those who resist change, fear it and set goals and plans that they try to stick to at all costs. Instead, I adapt to the changing environment. Rigidity is much less useful in such an environment than, for example, flexibility, fluidity and adaptability. Again, modeling situations to practice this skill is important for your child. Show them that changes are natural, that one can adapt to them and gain opportunities that were not there before. Life is an adventure. Sometimes things don't work out, turn out differently than we expected, and ruin any plans - but that's what's exciting about it.

We can't give our children a set of things to learn, show them a career to prepare for, when we don't know what the future holds. But we can prepare them to be able to adapt to absolutely anything. And they will thank us for 20 years.

The article is translated from the Czech language from

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