With the Life Skills program at Free World U, our goal is not to simply produce
academically educated students who are ready for college. Our goal is to produce
young people who are ready for life. This is the objective of our Life Skills curriculum.
With this curriculum, we seek to make a real, measurable difference in how young
people look at and react to the world around them.
The Life Skills program includes the arts, health, practical economics, character
development, interpersonal relations, courtship, family and parenting, and a survey
The guiding idea of practical economics is to level the playing field and eliminate
the current world of haves and have-nots. We plan to produce a generation of haves
who will see being financially productive not as materialistic, but rather as a
realistic goal, and as a means to change their world in positive ways. We provide
not only an understanding of economics, but a variety of courses in teamwork, entrepreneurship,
and business management because we know that young minds are capable of understanding
complex ideas if the ideas are presented at the student’s level in a way that grabs
his or her imagination.
Children are unique and wonderful. Each has a different path to follow. We will
help them find this path and make traveling it easier. Our survey of careers helps
students see what is available. This survey will continue to grow to cover as many
career paths as possible. Not every student will want to go into a professional
career. We help students to see that this is okay. Not everyone is meant to be a
doctor or a lawyer; the world needs cooks and carpenters, too.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that “…one in 11 teens report being hit
or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend at least once in the
past 12 months.” The CDC further states that “Kids who report being physically hurt
by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the past year are more likely to report unhealthy
behaviors like binge drinking, suicide attempts, and physical fighting.” These are
alarming and distressing statistics. We address this head-on by discussing healthy
relationships. Our Life Skills curriculum covers courtship, marriage, family, and
parenting skills. We offer a parenting skills class for the parents as well as students.
Through teaching our students critical thinking skills, we teach them to pay attention
to the world around them. Critical thinking includes problem-solving abilities and
the ability to communicate effectively. It also involves the ability to overcome
egocentric thinking. Our current educational system’s focus on standardized testing
diverts their attention from most of the problems of real life. We solve this problem
by creating a learning system that is so fast and efficient that students can learn
the material addressed in standardized tests and have plenty of time left over to
experience a healthy childhood and prepare for the challenges that lay ahead.
The National Institute of Mental Health website says, “An estimated 26.2 percent
of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable
mental disorder in a given year.” This is an alarming statistic and one that must
be addressed with young people today. The roots of mental illness lay in the environment
in the formative years of a child's life. We teach students to recognize and cope
with stress and depression and how to get help.
Last, but in no way least, traditional schooling has moved away from allowing any
sort of recreational time for children. Psychologists say that play is the work
of childhood, yet in our public schools, recesses are being eliminated. Cafeterias
are policed by teachers, and conversation is discouraged and at times forbidden.
Music and art classes are often a thing of the past. Children are being marched
from one class to the next without being allowed any time to express themselves
or learn to be creative. Our Life Skills curriculum will guide students into the
world of self-expression and self-realization through its rich offerings in music,
art history, and architecture. It will allow students to see the world of possibilities
that exists and their place in it.