As special education students transition into adulthood, it is important for them to learn basic life skills that will help them succeed. Practicing these skills in a school setting can be beneficial as teachers and other staff are available to provide support and guidance when needed.
Life skills such as budgeting, problem solving, time management and communication are essential to a successful life, but may not be readily available to those with special needs. By introducing these concepts in a supportive learning environment, students can gain the confidence necessary to apply them in real-world situations.
For example, with access to educational materials on personal finance topics such as budgeting and saving money, special education students can learn how to set financial goals and make responsible decisions.
It is also essential to learn the basics of life, such as meal planning and personal hygiene. Through structured and supportive life skills courses in school, special education students can gain the knowledge they need to be successful in the real world.
Practicing life skills at school
Practicing life skills in the school environment can help create an atmosphere where special education students feel safe and confident enough to try new things without fear of failure or ridicule. In addition, it gives them the opportunity to build relationships with their peers and other employees while working together on life skills.
This type of environment provides socialization opportunities that are critical to overall development and gives students with special needs a chance to learn life lessons that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Skills to practice at school
While there are many life skills that can be practiced in school, below is a list of some of the most commonly practiced. Not all life skills are appropriate for school inclusion for all students, so be sure to choose the ones that will work best for your students and school.
Also, remember that just because no one has tried to help students practice a skill in school in the past doesn’t mean you can’t implement that skill now or in the future.
For example, a walk around the block can be a great way to practice many of the life skills your students need to master.
Creating a small business for your classroom (like a coffee cart) is another great way to help students practice everything from managing money to filling orders to ordering supplies to customer service and more. If your class can’t have a school-wide small business, consider creating a small economic system in your class that will give them the same skills they would have on a larger scale.
The A package of life skills for any activity is also a great way to introduce life skills into your classroom without doing a lot of prep work!
Life skills at school
– cooking (try these visual recipes to make practicing life skills even easier and more fun!)
– wash clothes
– folding clothes
– balancing the checkbook
– writing a check
– financial management
– wiping the tables
– reading drug labels
– addressing the envelope
– placement of the stamp on the envelope
– putting the letter in the mailbox
– how to read the menu
– reading community safety tags
– using construction tools (hammer, screwdrivers, etc.)
– FIRST AID KIT
– map reading
– personal safety/self-defense
– carrying an ID
– ordering at a fast food restaurant
– communication skills
– how to prepare coffee and tea
– keeping a calendar
– safe opening of various types of containers
– putting things in their place
– fire safety
– table setting
– washing and drying dishes
– putting dishes away
– trick or treating etiquette
– counting money
– giving change
– calculation tips
– public speaking
– critical thinking
– decision making
– customer service
– food safety
– hair brushing
– Stress management
– knowledge of social media
– life planning
– setting goals
– interacting with animals (classroom pets are a great resource for this, as are therapy animal visits)
And many others!
Overall, practicing life skills in school is essential for special education students. It gives them a chance to learn life lessons without fear of failure or ridicule and provides socialization opportunities that are essential for overall development.
With the right support and guidance, students with special needs can be successfully taught life skills – preparing them for a successful transition into adulthood. Be creative and think outside the box to give your students opportunities to practice these skills and gain the confidence to repeat them outside of the school setting.