Parent/Teacher Manual

Cooperation is a life skill.

Video on How to Fill Out the Charts

Filling Out the Chart (see video below) Step 1: Children select two or more of the activities and note them in the left column on the Action Chart. Step 2: Decide how often you want to work on each activity and record the number in the column after the activity. Step 3: Check the box for each day that you practice each activity.

Sample Activities

Sample activities from the Building Will Power Chart include:

1)  Experimenting: Experiment with building will power by changing a habit. Start small, like brushing your teeth in a different way. Then go onto something harder.
2)  Exploring: Each day, try something you’ve never done before. Start with something small like eating a new food.
3)  Completing: Take one project to completion. Next, get your projects done on time.
4)  Noticing: Watch how your surroundings affect you. Write down one thing that uplifts your energy and another that decreases it. Choose to be around those things that help you lift your energy.
5)  AffirmingRepeat or write these words (3, 6, 9, or  ___  times each day): I face my challenges with courage and enthusiasm!

Charting Children’s Interest & Willingness

When introducing the Life Skills Charts, it’s helpful to give your children/students the chance to tell you how they feel about the different skills. In this way you will know which skill to start with.

Life Skills Preliminary Interest

Curriculum Enrichment

Enrichment: You can use the charts as a basis for creating other activities and curriculum. The easiest approach is to expand on the animal or food symbols associated with a particular chart (i.e. Why is the bluebird traditionally associated with happiness?), or research the author of the quotation. Many other possibilities are presented in the online training courses.

Creating New Activities

Creativity: Encourage children to create additional weekly activities and record them on the blank line at the bottom of the Action Chart. Make sure the goals are specific, so it will be easy to decide if they’ve been met.

Group vs Individual Use

Group vs Individual Use: When introducing the material, it is easier if everyone is working on the same chart. As children show the maturity to work on their own, you can move into individual use. It is important that each child feel they have some say over which chart is used and which activities are selected.

Goal Setting

There is an art to setting goals that are neither too easy nor too difficult. The introductory activity for the Forming Healthy Habits chart gives children a chance to work on this skill.

Weekly Discussions

Weekly Discussions: At the end of each week, set aside time to review what’s been accomplished and decide what you want to do for the coming week.

Awake and Ready Exercises

The Awake and Ready Exercises
These dynamic exercises appear in many of the charts and are taught as the introductory activity for “Getting Up in the Morning”.

Click below to watch a video of a class of 7-9 year old students practicing the exercises.

This activity can overcome lethargy and laziness by teaching children to use their will power to increase their level of energy. A helpful saying is: “The greater the will, the greater the flow of energy.” You will find that these exercises work not only with children, but also are an ideal way to raise your energy level whenever you feel tired.

Begin by demonstrating that there are different levels of energy and will. Extend one forearm and tense the muscles, first at a low level, then at a medium level, and finally at a level so high that your arm vibrates with energy. Relax. Now ask everyone to stand and tense a forearm, holding the tension until you have had time to give each child feedback on his or her level of energy. Quickly move from child to child placing your fingers on the forearm and saying low, medium, high, or super-high in response to the level of energy you perceive. Challenge the children to see if there is a limit to the level of tension they can manifest.

Next, introduce the following set of exercises, pointing out that the more energy they put into the movements, the more benefit they will receive from them. All exercises should be done at a brisk, lively pace.

1) March in place (20-30 times) with arms swinging while repeating aloud, “I Am Awake and Ready! I Am Awake and Ready! . . .”

2) a) Start with the fists touching the chest, then stretch the arms out to the sides while
saying loudly, “I Am Positive!”

b) Quickly bring the fists back to the chest, then extend the arms forward while saying “Energetic!”

c) Again bring the fists back to the chest, stretch the arms high above the head, open the hands and rise up on the toes while saying, “Enthusiastic!”

Repeat three or more times.

3) Rub your arms, chest, abdomen, and legs with open hands while repeating several times, “Awake, Rejoice My Body Cells!”

4) Rap your knuckles briskly all over your skull while repeating, “Be Glad My Brain, Be Wise and Strong!”

5) With closed fists gently but energetically strike the arms, chest, abdomen, and legs repeating, “I Am Master of My Body, I Am Master of Myself!”

After you have introduced the exercises, wait until the children’s energy is a little low, but not so low that they are entrenched in negativity. Ask them to notice how they feel, then have them stand up and lead them through the exercises. Afterwards, ask if they can notice the difference in the level of energy. Once children have experienced the power of these exercises, you can use them whenever their energy starts to get low.

Take a Life Skills Survey

To take a fun survey of how balanced you are in the development of your life skills go to this link.

Student Comments on Life Skills

“This gave me an overview of how I can change my life so that I can become a better person to help others. It was at some points very challenging to do things a different way, even if it was to improve, because I wasn’t used to doing them that way. But after putting will power into what I wanted to achieve, I was able to change my habits. This will be forever useful.” High School Student from Chile

“I managed to develop better will power, and I learned to nurture calmness. I’ve also realized that I have certain qualities already, they just needed to be awakened and focused on.” High School Student from India

Support for Younger Children

Support: With younger children you may need to set aside specific times to practice the activities they’ve chosen.