What are the most important skills your child needs to succeed?

A 2014 Pew Research poll set out to discover the answer. 3,154 adults nationwide were asked to rank a list of ten skills according to how important they are in order for kids to be competitive in today’s world.

Communication, reading, and math ranked the highest, followed closely by teamwork, writing, and logic. Science weighed in at seventh, while athletics, music, and art landed in the bottom three.

Developing these skills will go a long way toward success in school as well as in life. To quote Thomas Edison, “Success is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” So whether your child needs help with the “inspiration,” the “perspiration,” or both, here are some ways to help foster these skills for success. Let us know what works for you or if you have additional tips!

Cook Together

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Cooking together helps build many useful skills, including reading, writing, communication, math, science, logic, teamwork, and more. And research shows that kids are more likely to eat healthy and are more conscious of the nutrients in a meal when they’ve helped prepare it. Here are 18 recipes to get you started. Kids Cook Monday is also a great resource when you’re running out of recipe ideas.

Read Aloud Together

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Reading aloud to your child, at any age, improves their reading, writing, speaking, listening, and attention skills. Reading together can help build a lifelong reading habit in your child as well as be a special bonding time for your family. Check out these tips for reading aloud with your kids. And if you need book suggestions, here are 100 of the best read-aloud books.

Get Extra Help in Math

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One way to help your child with math, especially if it’s not one of your strengths, is to get expert support. Consider LearnBop, an adaptive online math program for grades 3–12. It not only addresses math skills, but helps students develop critical-thinking, logic, and problem-solving skills as well. Visit the LearnBop site for more info.

Involve Your Child in a Team Sport

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One of the best ways to learn teamwork is through participation in a team sport. If you’re not sure what sport is best for your child, these tips can help. And if your child isn’t keen on a traditional team sport, they might enjoy a team sport where individual skills are emphasized, such as swimming, gymnastics, golf, or tennis, to name a few.

Make Science Fun

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Kids are naturally curious about the world around them. Use that curiosity as a jumping off point to teach such things as the science behind the rainbow or science’s impact in real life through medical breakthroughs. These YouTube channels are also great science-learning resources for kids.

Encourage Participation in Music and Art

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This Washington Post article highlights the important skills kids learn from music and the arts, including non-verbal communication and collaboration. Some studies show that arts in education even impacts students’ grades. So take your children to live performances, sign them up to learn an instrument, paint and draw with them, dance in the living room—be creative. You can even set up an art room. According to Megan Schiller of The Art Pantry, the art room is the new play room. A dedicated creative space, no matter how small, helps children develop creative confidence.


Be encouraged—helping your child develop the skills needed to succeed takes time (and trial and error). One size doesn’t fit all. And it’s the same with education. For many children, an individualized, online learning environment is what they need to put them on the path to success. If you think an online education may be right for your child, visit K12.com and request more information today.

 

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