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LIFE SKILLS - May 25, 2006

This is the week that our high school seniors are excited, apprehensive, frightened and eager for the time to leave their parents and home. Parents have the same feelings too! Focus has been on skills learned at school, but practical skills are even more important.

I saw a list made up by a group of parents who were concerned about their high school seniors learning skills that would make them more comfortable and safe as they face their magnificent future.

DOMESTIC SKILLS -- Make a grocery list and shop for the items. Cook a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner, don’t just open and pour! Follow a recipe. Change the sheets on the bed, washing and folding them regularly. Wash and iron clothes without ruining them, also remove spots. Replace a button, mend a ripped seam, polish shoes and use press on mending tape.

PHYSICAL AND OUTDOOR SKILLS -- Throw and catch balls. Swim half a mile, tread water for ½ hour and float for an hour. Ride a bike. Hike without getting lost, bitten or covered with poison ivy. Bait a hook, catch a fish, remove the hook, clean and cook the fish. Plan and manage a camping trip with friends. Be able to recognize wildlife in your area.

HANDYMAN SKILLS -- Hang a picture straight without making extra holes in the wall. Paint neatly, and clean up the mess. Use the common tools and fasteners. Drive a car and take care of it. Also be able to drive a manual transmission. Be able to change a tire. Check your own oil and tire pressure.

ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS -- Type well with both hands. Set up your own computer system. Create a budget; it takes longer to earn money than to spend it. Balance a checkbook manually, even if you bank online. Keep an address book and a personal appointment calendar. Register to vote.

SOCIAL SKILLS -- Carry on a conversation for 15 minutes with a stranger. Speak before a small group for a few minutes. Learn enough about ballroom dancing so you can have fun at parties. Draw an illustration to get your point across. Have enough confidence to sing aloud with a group. Learn to take a decent photograph.

HUMAN SKILLS -- Care for a pet, even when it is sick. Baby sit with children between 6 months and 6 years. Help elderly or disabled people.

ORIENTATION SKILLS -- Read a map. Use public transpor-tation. Know which direction is North, South, East and West when you are outside.

RECREATION SKILLS -- Play a team sport, so you can join the fun at an outdoor gathering. Be responsible for staying fit. Learn a game, like bridge, chess, checkers.

SURVIVAL SKILLS -- Know basic first aid and maintain a first aid kit. Know what to do if you get sick, especially if you are alone. Know CPR. Know how to call for help when necessary. How to fight a fire at home.


I was reading this and thinking about myself and my children. I could pass the Domestic, Human, Organizational and Survival Skills, and parts of the Social Skills, but when it comes to the others, I had to learn it along the way. I still can’t throw a ball or bait a hook without embarrassing my sons, and last week some of my good photos of town cleanup day could not be used because my grandchildren set the camera on video and I didn’t know enough to change it.

We must put dedicated Christians, good citizenship and energetic workers at the top of the list. I know that right now, high school seniors, parents and, yes, the teachers are only thinking of commencement. All of us are thinking of their life ahead.

The following words were found at the Wright Brothers Memorial at Kitty Hawk:

“. . . it is not really necessary to look too far into the future; we see enough already to be certain it will be magnificent. Only let us hurry and open the roads.”  --Wilber Wright

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:


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