If asked what you most want your child to achieve in school, either this year or during their entire school career, it’s highly likely that your answer will include wishing that your child gains some amount of academic skill. In fact, a good grasp of academics may be your primary focus. This is certainly understandable, as a strong foundation in academic basics like reading, writing, math, and spelling, are definitely vital to an individual’s future success. However, as important as it is for a child to learn their academic basics, it is often their social skills that largely determine their success in school.
Teaching Social Skills in School
What may seem puzzling at first becomes plainly obvious when you take a moment to consider it closely–social skills are critical to an individual’s ability to successfully learn and apply academic basics. Social skills lessons for students help them to learn:
1. When a child lacks confidence they often have great difficulty in interacting with others or pursuing new fields of information. Confidence and high self-esteem is a valuable life skill that will help the child move forward until they are truly competent.
2. It is usually an individual’s curiosity that drives them to learn a wide variety of new things and to continue to persist along a path of learning even when it becomes difficult. This social skill is not only useful in school–it’s incredibly useful in life as well.
3. Some children are naturally driven toward being independent, though they may lack certainty on how to be truly independent. Other children feel more comfortable following others, which unfortunately sets them up to have to depend on others continually. Building strong independence is, therefore, a very useful skill.
4. Self-control. It is usually an easily-observable fact that young children lack good discipline and self-control. However, if they fail to develop these skills you may very well see adults who throw fits when they encounter challenging or frustrating situations. By developing self-control, the child will be better able to use what they know to solve problems they encounter.
5. In order to change and improve things they encounter in life, children will need to be able to empathize with others.
6. Children absolutely must learn how to work well with others in order to succeed in school and in life. Not only will they need support and help from others, but they will also greatly benefit from learning how to support and help others around them.
7. This is an absolutely critical life skill that every individual could benefit enormously from. Being able to express himself and represent his ideas, feelings and knowledge is an ability at the core of all academic basics. Children with strong communication skills are often better able to predict and resolve problems and easily cooperate with others.
Obviously, the social skills curriculum in schools is just as important as the academic curriculum. Playtime is actually a form of work time, as the child will grow, learn, and investigate the world around him through his play. He will participate in a variety of activities that push him to think, problem-solve and use his imagination in order to plan, focus and work toward a goal. In fact, under his teacher’s guidance, a child can learn valuable academic skills even while they are playing and developing their social skills. This can help them to become enthusiastic about school and about learning, which further drives their hunger to explore and know more. At Delphi, students engage in these important social skills and many, many more–opening the door to a future that can be literally anything they wish it to be.