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Six skills students need for their future and how to get them

3 years ago

Laura Celada admin
Laura Celada’s Editorial intern London, GB
Are today's secondary school students prepared for the future? Are they leaving school or university ready to innovate? As a parent, you constantly strive to prepare your children to lead inspiring and successful lives once they enter into the realm of adulthood. Educators can teach them how to read, write, and calculate. But there are the less tangible skills that they can only learn and improve through practice; such as how to work in a team, think critically, and be curious about the things they encounter each day.
Understanding what skills and abilities your children have and what skills and abilities they need to reach their dreams is one of your most important jobs as a parent. Although we may not know exactly what lies ahead for them in the future, here are the six survival skills students will need once they get there. 
1. Critical thinking
We must teach children how to think. We can’t assume that they know how. Kids today want quick answers and don’t take the time to think things through. For this reason, the ability to see problems from different angles and formulate their own solutions is an indispensable tool for their future.

App MathLands can help, it was designed by game lovers to exercise logical and critical thinking but in the context of gameplay and puzzle solving. The concept is called ‘learning through play’ and it will change your children’ attitudes towards math.
2. Problem Solving
If a child can solve problems, they can do almost any job. A new skill, environment, situation or need might be frightening to any of them, but really they’re simply problems to be solved. Don’t immediately solve all your child’s problems; let them fiddle with them, try different solutions and figure things out by himself.

Eventually kids will develop confidence in their problem solving abilities, and then there’s nothing they can’t do. Some everyday activities that can help build them are: cooking together, checking the grocery receipt, acting as the navigators on a family outing or play puzzlegames like Cut the Rope, where players have to feed the candy to the cute little monster by avoiding spikes and spiders and choosing exactly the right moment to 'cut the rope'.
3. Communication
Knowledge and talent can get students a job, but only the ability to speak confidently to anyone, at anytime, anywhere can get them the top job. Communicating effectively with others is one of the most important skill they should posses. It includes reading, writing, listening and speaking.  

For that reason, read out loud to your children, tell stories, make visits to the library part of your family routine, have writing materials, such as journals and diaries, available, and you may be sure you’ll develop better communicators. Some word games like My Word Coach or Book Worm will keep kids smiling as they build and increase their vocabulary. And if you’re looking for different and fun ways that make your child a powerful leader, you can also check out our list of games, apps and actual wordgames.  
4. Collaboration and teamwork
Teams are not only important on the athletic field. All aspects of life require people to work effectively as members of teams. To best prepare students in this area, more than just the typical teamwork is required.

Think of your family as a team, and instead of simply splitting the tasks to do, encourage your children to take on different roles and emphasize the learning that takes place in group, whether on school projects or team activities like sports, music, or volunteering.

Practice conflict resolution, teach them to get along with others by modeling good teamwork, and PLAY games that require teams! They don’t have to be limited to sports games. Try board games, contests just for fun, and relay races. You’ll get healthy and everybody have fun. 
5. Creativity and imagination
I’m wondering how many things haven’t even been invented yet. We live in a world that is changing faster than ever before and facing challenges that are unprecedented. These sort of challenges require our next generation of students to be creative and get the most from their innovative brains. But is creativity something that can be taught, or is it something that you either have or you don’t?

Whichever approach you agree with, all of these require children to have space and time to think and experiment. If your children love Pictionary but find drawing a challenge, the LEGO Creationary Game might be the right one for them. Because instead of drawing, they build what the card shows them while your fellow players try to guess what it is. A great game for family to test your imagination, creativity, building and guessing skills to the max. Don’t forget that there are a number of apps you can get to ensure that your kids maintain and grow their creative minds. 
6. Initiative and entrepreneurialism 
Leaders from presidents to scientists have been calling for the development of a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. Our world needs innovators to build our future, solve big problems and pursue new opportunities. But how can your child become one?

As a parent you should encourage them to be able to take initiative and contribute to the world. Help them organise their ideas and put them into practice, even if an idea may fail.

It can be a valuable lesson to analyse why that went wrong and consider how to improve the idea. Your children should never be afraid of trying because they are afraid of failure. Now before you break out the latest copy of financial magazine, why not start with something  little more fun? The bookgame Earn My Keep puts the fun into business for children aged four to 12. As kids get to research and become 'real professionals', they’re exposed to the benefits of a lifelong love of learning and the incorporation of subjects like business, science, art and finance. 
How are you going to prepare your children for an unknown future? Do you think these are the steps that will help them to have successful careers? 
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Opinion 3 years ago

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