‘Education makes you sufficient and skills make you efficient‘ goes a saying! Academic education alone is not enough to survive in this world or groom your personality. What a student acquires as a skill beyond school walls is sometimes what makes him successful. It is known fact that eminent people like Steve Jobs or Henry Ford succeeded based on their skills and not just education.

Being academic proficient is called being a ‘nerd’ these days.  Parents want their children to be ‘smart’. When they mean smart, they might mean ‘street-smart’ which means basic life-coping or problem-solving skills. They might want their children to be ‘tech-smart’ where they learn the current day IT software and trends. Well, there are all kinds of ‘smarts’, but to be ‘smart’, you have to have ‘skills’.

So what is a skill?

Skill is defined as ‘ the ability to be good at something’. Skill often goes hand in hand with practice. This is because a practice is a must for developing and fine-tuning a skill.

Basic skills every student should have

1. Reading

Reading is the gateway to knowledge. In order to learn social studies, science and math, you should know how to read’, said Krista Bethke.

Reading is not just a casting a cursory glance at a book or skimming its contents by turning pages. Reading involves ‘paying attention to the content- the words, the style, the vocabulary, the spelling etc. and absorbing its information’. So Reading is a skill to be properly practised.

2.Writing

Writing is an art and a skill that every child should practise.

Writing as a skill involves ‘legible handwriting, attractive presentation, clear outline, well-defined structure and ample speed.’

Children should practise the skill of writing neatly and fast to enable them to score well in their examinations.

3.Written communication or content creation

The other aspect of writing that has to be nurtured as a skill is ‘writing content’. At school, college and later at work, children will be expected to compile essays or white papers on prescribed topics. children must develop the art of creating cogent, creative as well as resourceful content.  Even writing letters or emails is a skill.

Every child must practise the skill of written communication using the tools of grammar, vocabulary, style and presentation.

4.Typing

Today’s age is computer-driven. Every child must know to use the QWERTY keyboard effectively to type swiftly and easily.

In the Corporate and IT world, using laptops or iPads has become second nature. So your child must become adept at typing fast and without spelling errors to shoot out emails in a jiffy.

5. Verbal communication

‘The child who talks get noticed‘. Yes, this is true for even Corporate Boardroom discussions.

Articulation or Verbal Communication is a skill that every child must practise. This involves choosing the right words, using the appropriate tone of voice and the right gestures, body language and so on.

6. Social communication

Speaking is one thing and speaking of command respect is another. Social communication is a part of social interaction. It involves speaking to unknown or known people in public individually or in groups, in the right manner. It is a key factor in personality development as it involves building rapport, giving the right responses and showing due respect to others.

Teach your child the skill of ‘social communication’. This involves kindness, courtesy, respect for others and politeness.

7. Questioning

The true student is one who knows how to question. Yes, if you know how to put forth the right question, you get the right answers. Even in class, knowing how and when to question really matters. If your child learns how to formulate his question and express it boldly, he automatically inherits the quality of analysis and critical reasoning.

Questioning is an aspect of curiosity to learn which every student must possess. But questioning rightly is a skill which the child should develop. The art of questioning is a confidence-building measure which carries weight in group discussions and corporate forums.

8. Research

‘Knowledge is power’ said Francis Bacon. This is true even today. The more you know, the more you are respected.

Acquiring information through research is a skill that every student must possess. Every child must know how to source and locate information from books, libraries and the internet. The child must know to filter the information available and extract what is required for him pertinently. Amassing this information in the shortest possible time is an additional asset.

9. Analytical skills

Life is full of situations to analyze and school is no exception. Get your child to start thinking analytically from an early age. Analyzing the question, situation or problem gives clarity to the child and helps in decision making .all this builds self-confidence in your child

10. Critical Reasoning

Critical reasoning is a precious skill that every successful individual must possess. It involves evaluation of an issue and forming a judgement. This is a problem-solving skill that your child must master at a young age.

11. Decision making

At every stage of life, an individual must take his own decisions. Teach your child to make his own decisions from an early age. The skill to take the right decisions and to stick by them is a great life-saver.

12. Responsibility

Taking responsibility for oneself and his actions at home, school and work are called accountability and this is a skill that your child must practise. This involves the care of our own and others’ property, civic sense, proper social conduct and also practising what one preaches.

We have taken a look at some of the essential skills that every student should know. To know more about practised learning and the skills needed for 2020, subscribe to our LetsPractise blog.