Following are the life skills that our children need to know when at the end of 3 years.
Helping the child learn how to put on or take off their own coat or jacket.
Helping their child learn to stuff their things back in its right place.
Helping their child know how to pull up or down their own pants.
Any task a child can learn to do on his or her own that relates to taking care of his or her own body or getting dressed or putting things away in the backpack will help the child be more independent and confident in preschool.”
By then end of the school year, four year olds should be able to do the following basic life skills-
Put papers away in their backpacks
Fold up their own clothes or blankets and put them away
Help clean up toys and materials at clean up time
Set their own table space for snack and throw away their own trash after snack
Make your expectations clear(based on the interview with Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed)
I think the first place you start is making sure your expectations, both at home and in the classroom, are clear. This requires breaking things down for the children step by step and teaching them what it is you are expecting them to understand. My belief is if you haven’t taught the child the process then a rule can’t be understood or followed.
For very young children [twos and threes], I start with teaching expectations first and foremost. We practice the skills that I need them to understand. For example, we practice how to wash our hands so that they get all the germs to go away but then we go on to teach how to use one pump of the soap bottle, how to use one paper towel for drying, how to throw the paper towel in the trash, and how to turn the water on and off. This is a process that needs taught.
Knowing what to expect is one thing, but relaying those expectations to your child provides another challenge.
Young children are still ‘all about me’ when it comes to their development, so they are not aware of how they are affecting others around them. This is a skill that needs to be taught rather than told.
Model life skills to the kids.
A common suggestion, and one that Deborah suggested as well, is to model to your child what you expect of them. Modeling the behavior that you expect just before you expect it makes it stick in their mind. Deborah says, “The child will probably think this is funny but it will help him remember what you expect and practice the skill of using a quiet voice.”
This approach not only teaches what you expect from the child, but it puts in a learning twist as well.
If your child is using a loud voice to talk to you at home or in the store, stop and softly say something like,
“Are you talking to me?”
“I thought you must be talking to that lady way over there because she can hear you better than me.”
In other words, teach your child to judge the need for using a loud voice to talk to someone far away versus a casual or normal voice when standing right next to you. But above all – be aware that you model appropriate talking tones and levels. If you are shouting,
“Don’t talk so loud!”
Then you are not teaching.
Another approach Deborah takes is to show how the childrens’ actions are affecting others. Deborah says to try things like, “Your loud voice is hurting my ears!” or “I can’t understand what you say when you talk so loud so let’s try it again and use a normal voice.”
This all revolves around teaching expectations and helping young children to be successful in life.
And one thing Deborah would tell parents of all preschool children is:
“… to look at EVERYTHING as an opportunity to teach and to learn.
Preschool age children are discovering their world as well as the boundaries in their world. They need both the space to try and fail and the support to try and succeed.Look at every new task or interest a child explores or tries as small opportunities to teach them and then where possible, give them the tools they need to be independently successful in the process.
Understand that independence doesn’t mean letting a child run around wildly wrecking up the living room. What it means is giving children the time, space, and opportunity to explore the environment or a new idea and then guiding that child towards the understanding, skills, and discipline he needs to be successful in both the home and classroom environment.”