One day I hope to look back on this blog as a distant memory because 2020 has been quite the year. In the wake of COVID-19 New York State shut down to help slow the spread. As a result, students, teachers, and librarians had to find a way to reach each other virtually in order to continue giving children access to educational materials, homework, school lessons, and more. And all on the fly! I’m happy to say that I’ve seen many schools and libraries successfully rise to the challenge. I look forward to the day when I can resume presenting my elementary school assemblies and library shows in person!
But in the meantime…
Developing Life Skills Online
You read that right! Scholastic identifies 6 life skills kids need to develop:
- Problem-Solving. There are 4 main steps to good problem solving:
- Define/understand the problem. Children need to be able to clearly identify and communicate what the problem is.
- Gather information and devise a solution. Once the problem is identified, children need to be capable of researching potential solutions, getting creative as needed, narrowing down their possibilities to the most effective one.
- Solve the problem. Once a solution is thoroughly researched and mapped out, they need to put it in action! And, because problems always arise, they need to be able to adapt and adjust as needed.
- Reflect on their solution. Children need to be able to analyze and dissect the complications that arose to evaluate their efforts and find room for improvement.
- Camaraderie. As children get older they will interact with all sorts of people from all different backgrounds, ethnicities, economic and social statuses, and more. They need to be capable of teamwork, of building relationships, following directions, and even taking charge. Essentially, they need to play well with others!
- Technology. In this digital age, being able to use and navigate both digital technology (even your fridge is “smart” now) and digital platforms (like social media) is important. Children also need to be able to identify “real” versus “fake” information.
- Spatial awareness. Scholastic identifies this as “thinking in 3D”. In other words, being able to visualize an outcome in order to work towards it. For example, building a house, designing apparel, or creating marketing graphics.
- Communication. This goes hand in hand with camaraderie. Children need to be able to effectively communicate in order to problem solve, build relationships, and interact with other people.
- Creativity. Complex problems occasionally require out-of-the-box solutions. Children need to be able to get inventive in order to build strong problem solving skills.
Together, these life skills teach children active listening and effective communication, team building and the importance of relationships, decision making and leadership, and so much more. (If you’re interested, here is the full article from Scholastic.)
Strengthen Your Child’s Life Skills And Learn Magic Simultaneously
Introducing…the Buffalo Magic Academy!
The Buffalo Magic Academy brings the internationally recognized curriculum of Discover Magic to Western New York! Not only will your child learn magic tricks from the comfort and safety of home, they will develop and reinforce critical life skills. In “Teaching Magic” I summarized a study at the British Association for the Advancement of Science that found that magic not only teaches self-discipline and critical thinking, it increases sociability (communication and camaraderie) and self-confidence!
Buffalo Magic Academy is divided into four courses, each with its own magic tricks and unique focus, and all four courses reinforce the exact same 8 traits: A true magician is: Respectful, Prepared, Enthusiastic, Confident, Humble, Creative, Authentic, and Giving. Empower your children and give them a chance to connect with other kids their age in this magical virtual program!