Social & Life Skills: The LifeSmart Curriculum White Paper

Statistics show that 2 out of 3 students are unprepared for life after high school. Therefore proving that far too many students lack the social and transitional skills needed to adequately enter the “real world” and cope with the demands of everyday adult life. Research shows that this is especially true for students with special needs, students who are at-risk, and students who are part of a minority. With more than 65% of students being unprepared to take on life and/or social success, we raised the question: “Are schools teaching and preparing students with the essential social and life skills needed for a successful transition to adulthood?”

Furthermore, if nearly half of high school students believe they lack the full spectrum of skills and abilities needed to reach success at work, with people, and in a community…are educators teaching them people skills and/or safety skills? Or is everything purely academic? So what exactly should students be learning in order to be prepared and ready for life and independent living?

To find the answer, we conducted months of scholarly research and contacted experts. Ultimately, we accumulated a list of over 300 social skills essential for a successful transition to adulthood. Moreover, we decided to incorporate VideoModeling and create a teaching model to further facilitate student retention and understanding. We refer to this as the unique “NotSmart vs. LifeSmart” Teaching Model. The aforementioned findings and teaching models allowed us to create The LifeSmart Curriculum!

LifeSmart Teaches “Make Or Break” Behaviors Related To Social Success

LifeSmart enhances learning efficiency by concentrating on what experts consider the most important, the “make or break” life skills; these are the skills essential to becoming “LifeSmart.” Many educators see The LifeSmart Curriculum as a crash course on how to live and interact with other people on planet earth… a “Life 101.”

The LifeSmart Curriculum is a 5-part series that concentrates on five major categories of life skills:

1.     Workforce behaviors
2.     Friendships & relationships
3.     Intimacy and abstinence
4.     Personal finances
5.     Personal safety

LifeSmart Develops Social & Emotional Intelligence

With the recent Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) movement, more and more schools are seeing the importance of encouraging teachers and educators to become more involved in their students’ emotional and social needs. SEL refers to a student’s ability to express emotions appropriately, show empathy for others, build positive relationships, and generally make good decisions. It allows teachers to better connect with their students, which is likely to improve academic performance and better prepare them for the real world.

LifeSmart is built to help your students develop essential emotional and social intelligence skills, including:

  • EMPATHY– how to recognize how another person is feeling…and respond appropriately/accordingly.
  • SELF-AWARENESS– how to recognize ones own feelings… and respond appropriately/accordingly.
  • SELF-CONTROL– how to exercise emotional control when dealing with difficult people.
  • INTIMACY DISCRIMINATION– how to determine appropriate intimacy with another person… and    respond appropriately/accordingly.
  • NONVERBAL LANGUAGE FACILITY– how to recognize and express emotional meaning (feelings) through tone of voice, facial expressions, and other nonverbal channel.

LifeSmart Teaches How To Be “Socially Attractive” Without Compromising Personal Safety

LifeSmart enhances Emotional Intelligence, thus equipping students with the skills and tools needed to become:

  • More pleasant to be around when interacting with classmates, co-workers, and people with whom they want to have personal relationships. A famous sociologist once described people as being like “places.” Some “places” are so appealing that we return to them again and again, while other “places” are so unpleasant that we can’t wait to leave. LifeSmart will show your students how to be an “appealing place to visit.”
  • Students will also learn how to develop realistic expectations in relationships and avoid being exploited or disappointed by people who might try to take advantage of them.

LifeSmart Uses A Unique “NotSmart vs. LifeSmart” Teaching Model So Your Students Don’t Have To Learn The Hard Way

We believe that students can learn a lot by looking at someone else’s mistakes. Thus, we created the “NotSmart vs. LifeSmart” video teaching model to facilitate learning and help with student retention. By observing the consequences of other people’s mistakes and vicariously learning from them, students can avoid much of the pain of social rejection that often accompanies “in-your-face, trial-and-error” experiential learning. Your students don’t have to learn to be socially successful the hard way. By emulating the behavior of the LifeSmart “VideoModels” your students become “LifeSmart.”

LifeSmart uses professional actors to precisely model correct and incorrect verbal and nonverbal behaviors in response to classic life situations. But before illustrating the right, LifeSmart way to behave, the consequences of the related inappropriate, or “NotSmart,” behaviors is modeled first.

Designed For A Wide Range Of Students

Although originally designed for students with mild to moderate learning, emotional and cognitive disabilities, LifeSmart is quite appropriate for any population in need of a quick, comprehensive review of basic life and social skills. Simply adjust the discussion questions and activities that accompany the LifeSmart Curriculum to the level of your students.

As the Specialists In Special Education, our goal is to prepare your students for the real world by teaching them core social skills and living skills needed for independent living and social success.


Categories: Developmental Disabilities , Life Skills , School To Work Skills , Social Skills & Fitting In , Special Education , Transition Skills , Whitepapers
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