Impact of Social Emotional Learning on Student Achievement 100%

Social and emotional learning is an approach to education that has been growing in popularity, focusing on creating a safe and positive learning environment that fosters an ability to succeed not just in school, but in careers and throughout life.

With schools that are growing more diverse, with students from multicultural backgrounds, different social upbringings, and a range of economic circumstances, it can help children better engage in learning, positive behavior, and social engagement with peers. But what is the impact of social & emotional learning (SEL) on student achievement? Here, we’re going to look at how SEL also provides a positive influence on academic performance.

What is social & emotional learning?

Studies have shown that SEL can help improve academic achievement by 11 percentile points on average, besides improving socially cohesive attributes, such as sharing and empathy and combating mental health issues like stress and anxiety. But how does it do this? Through working with schools, families, and throughout the communities, SEL takes an approach of developing five key skills that can greatly improve the attitudes of students towards schools. The five skills are as follows:

Self-awareness: Understanding of one’s emotions, goals, and values. By assessing our strengths and shortcomings, we can improve our mindsets regarding our own performance, leading to optimism and improved self-esteem

Self-management: When we are more aware of the connections between our thoughts, feelings, and actions, we can better regulate them. Skills like stress management, delaying gratification, and impulse control help students manage their own reactions and keep a positive, productive mindset when faced with challenges, especially in school.

Social awareness: Better understanding social norms in a given context, such as school, family, and the wider community, as well as awareness of support and resources available can help us be more connected to our network, helped with lessons on empathy, compassion, and understanding those in different circumstances.

Relationship skills: With social awareness opens the door to fostering healthier relationships. Building relationship skills like active listening, communication skills, cooperation, and conflict negotiation can help us build a network of more rewarding relationships with peers and teachers.

Responsible decision making: Learning how to make constructive choices when it comes to behavior, interactions, and academic goals. This includes learning now just how to set achievable aims but also to address ethics, safety, and behavioral norms regarding the situation. Better evaluations of actions and consequences can help students stay safe and responsible.

To many of us, these behaviors may seem intuitive. However, they need to be learned and need to be taught. By assuming that all students come to school with these skills already ingrained in them is to put them at an automatic disadvantage compared to their peers. This can lead to major differences in academic achievement between students. How does SEL and the skills mentioned above contribute to achievement in the classroom and beyond?

How SEL contributes directly to achievement

As mentioned, a meta-analysis of schools, parents, and students that have incorporated social & emotional learning practices has shown an average of an 11 percentile point rise in students’ achievement scores. The range of soft skills learned through SEL contribute to this greatly, but one of the primary benefits is the change in attitude towards school. Understanding the importance of responsible decision making in school, being more aware of their own habits and how to control them, and the rewards that come with delayed gratification and better relationships in the school make a direct impact on academic achievement.

Social cohesion and academic success

Better awareness of social norms and appropriate behavior can help prevent students from inappropriate interactions that can sabotage their relationships with peers, teachers, and parents. This can prove a roadblock to the positive relationships that help create better attitudes towards schools and may make it harder to develop productive bonds with teachers, meaning they get less attention in the classroom. SEL can help students get along better with others and can develop the close student-teacher relationships that are a crucial ingredient of academic achievement. These close relationships encourage students to perform better, to embrace challenges, to seek help when they need it. Furthermore, they can lead to outcomes like references when going into further education or the workforce, helping students achieve well beyond the classroom.

Behavioral improvement and achievement

Many a teacher, parent, guardian and even student are aware that behavioral problems can impede achievement. Behavioral infractions in the class can lead to missed school time, actively sabotaging their education. Furthermore, acting inappropriately due to poor impulse control can damage the relationships a student has with their peers and teachers, negatively impacting their attitudes towards school in the long-term. SEL students are overall less aggressive and less disruptive in school, as well as being less likely to have behavior and substance abuse problems before the age of 25.

Mental health and academic success

School can be a stressful time for any student, at any age. Changes in one’s own personality and perspective, as well as a shift in our own social positioning can manifest in many negative ways. Mental health issues like depression, anxiety, stress, and social withdrawal are on the rise, specifically in teenagers and most especially in teenage girls. Students engaged in social & emotional learning show fewer occurrences of these problems across the board. This is due in part to self-management skills like planning, improved attention spans, and the ability to control their own impulses and reflect on their own thoughts. Given how mental health can greatly affect our self-esteem as well as our ability to devote more attention to a task, it should be no surprise these changes can lead to better academic achievement.

Ongoing studies are continuing to prove what those engaged with social & emotional learning have already known for some time. Teaching the skills that often get left behind in the classroom can help even the playing field for a range of students from different cultural, social, and economic backgrounds, making a positive impact on achievement for everyone involved.


The Importance of Relationships in Social Emotional Learning

Academic skills are often seen as a necessity in modern life. School is seen as mandatory and it’s important for young children to begin studying as early as possible in order to prepare for their future. Unfortunately, far too much emphasis is being placed on academic skills and little attention is being paid to other aspects of life such as key social emotional skills that are also essential for their development and to improve their lives.

More and more people are starting to challenge educational norms by pointing out the lack of attention given to social and emotional learning. If more focus was placed on developing relationships between educators and their students, it can help young children develop essential social and emotional skills that will also assist in their development.

What is social emotional learning?

Social emotional learning is the process of acquiring and applying the knowledge and skills required to manage emotions. For instance, the ability to show empathy for others, being able to self-motivate yourself through setting goals, and also learning to take responsibility for the decisions. It’s about being intelligent with your emotions and being able to control them for the sake of overcoming emotional and mental health obstacles that are required not just to succeed in school, but also to prepare for conflicts in workplaces and at home that could cause added stress.

What are examples of social emotional skills?

There are several different social emotional skills that play important roles in helping one manage their emotions and behaviours.

  • Self-awareness – Being self-aware of your emotional state and understanding your own feelings.
  • Self-control – The ability to act on your self-awareness and controlling the actions that result from your emotions.
  • Self-confidence – Ability to believe in your own skills and ability in order to live a fulfilling life where you don’t doubt yourself all the time.
  • Self-motivation – Being able to set your own goals in life and take appropriate actions in order to fulfil those goals.


    • Tenacity – Staying mentally focused in order to stick to your goals and see them through to the end without giving up and losing your motivation.


  • Rational problem-solving – Separating rational thinking from your emotions in order to solve problems that you encounter in everyday life.
  • Relationship building – Communicating with others, cooperating with them and forming friends and bonds that help you avoid and resolve conflict.


These are just a couple of examples of social emotional skills that are of great importance to anyone’s life. Possessing these abilities will ultimately give a child more confidence in themselves, allowing them to develop more quickly and overcome stressful situations that could negatively affect their mental state at a younger age.

How does social and emotional learning affect schools?

Studies have started to point towards a correlation between social and emotional learning and a child’s wellbeing at both school and home. By encouraging teachers to make children aware of these social emotional skills, it can create a positive impact on their wellbeing and help them live more fulfilling and mentally stable lives. Social and emotional skills can also help children settle into their classrooms and to make meaningful relationships with their peers, allowing them to progress quickly through their learning and reduce the number of distractions and stressful situations that they could encounter.

Social and emotional learning is designed to teach children how to form and manage positive relationships, making their school the ideal environment to learn and practice their social skills. Schools can create many different social situations that are similar to real-world occurrences. This includes meeting new friends, settling into new classrooms with familiar faces, networking with new groups of acquaintances through existing relationships and even identifying and dealing with instances of bullying. By giving children the skills required to recognize and respond to different emotions, it empowers them to communicate their feelings more effectively. This means fewer misunderstandings and a deeper connection between a child and their peers, resulting in an overall more positive atmosphere in schools and other educational institutes.

Sadly, the relationship between a children and teachers is often forgotten

Social emotional learning programs are offered in most schools now, but very few of these focus on the relationships between children and their teachers despite the advantages that it can offer to both parties. If more emphasis was placed on forming relationships between a child and their teachers, it could help children better learn and understand the concepts surrounding social and emotional learning.

Although the intentions of social and emotional learning programs are good, the approach taken misses a fantastic opportunity to help children develop their social emotional skills with teachers who are far more experienced in life and can offer real-world examples and situations that give children more insight into social norms that they will be following in the future.

Studies have shown that social and emotional learning practices have drastically improved student wellbeing, productivity and behaviour. They can help students and teachers form stronger long-lasting relationships that benefit both parties by improving psychological health and wellbeing. Sadly, few schools are taking social and emotional learning seriously because they simply don’t understand the benefits that it can provide to both teachers and students.


When strong relationships are formed between students and their teachers, it creates a positive environment that reduces stress across the board and drastically improves productivity, behaviour and mental stability for everyone involved. Unfortunately, very little focus is being put on student relationships with their teachers especially when social and emotional learning is involved.

One of the biggest hurdles for both children and teachers to overcome is the lack of training regarding social emotional learning practices across many schools. Teachers, parents and even students understand its benefits, but teachers need to become role models for the social and emotional learning skills that they want to teach to their students and this requires educating the educators first. With this roadblock out of the way, we can start to see the real benefits of social and emotional learning programmes and how focusing on teacher-student relationships can benefit everyone.

Social Emotional Learning Curriculum for High School

High school marks one of the fastest periods of growth in any student’s life as they prepare for the transition into adulthood, facing questions of entering the working world or pursuing further education. Yet, while they may feel academically prepared, they may be uncertain about the social and emotional issues they are currently facing and will continue to face. To help them both excel in their ongoing education and to prepare them for life, Education Lifeskills has created its Social & Emotional Learning curriculum for high school students.

Our courses can help students overcome issues of low self-esteem, self-confident, poor cooperation, social awareness, and to learn about self-awareness, impulse control, and responsible decision-making to improving their empathy and teamwork.

What is Social Emotional Learning?

Social Emotional Learning aims to fill the gaps widely recognized within the traditional education system. Many schools, parents, and students are growing more aware of the skills that aren’t as widely taught in the average curriculum. This includes managing our own emotions, managing positive goals, growing empathy for others, nurturing positive social relationships, and responsible decision-making. As a result, Social Emotional Learning was adopted to help teach these values and skills, with more schools, parents, and students quickly growing the movement.

Our Social & Emotional Learning curriculum for high school students helps to prepare them for the future. It teaches skills that can improve their ability to engage with their education, to set and meet goals, and manage their own reactions to setbacks, but also teaches a variety of skills that can help beyond school. By teaching empathy, a focus on cooperation, and the management of negative emotions, it can create a more resilient student ready for the step beyond high school.

What Social Emotional Learning can teach in High School

Delivered through a series of individual courses, each of which can broken down into four or more units, an Education Lifeskills program can deliver a consistently engaging, yet comprehensive introduction and approach to the concepts and skills that can help high school students better cope with the demands of their school life and prepare for their academic or career future. Each course fits into one of the five core categories of Social Emotional Learning:

  • Self-awareness: Learning to understand our own emotions and recognizing how they influence behavior. This includes coming to grasps with negative and positive emotions, so students can learn how to manage their responses to stress and setbacks while also building a sense of optimism and determination.
  • Self-management: Looking more closely at the relationship between emotion and behavior to better control our reactions to different situations. This includes becoming mindful of triggers of stress, controlling our own impulses, and making better use of our strengths to achieve goals inside and outside of the school.
  • Social awareness: Developing the ability to empathize, to understand, and to learn from those with experiences outside our own. Students can learn about the differences in norms, experiences, and cultures to better react to what may initially seem unfamiliar to them.
  • Relationship skills: Building and sustaining healthy, respectful relationships. This teaches skills such as active listening, improving communication, and conflict resolution. It also helps students recognize hallmarks of more potentially dangerous relationships, such as inappropriate social pressure.
  • Responsible decision making: Learning about goals and priorities, and finding the constructive, healthy choices that can better build towards them. An understanding of potential realistic consequences and the ability to better negotiate multiple factors acting on any decisions can help students make better choices in education and in life.

High school already tests these five competencies, as students become more self-directed in their learning, engage with teams more, negotiate more complex relationships, and face more challenges and setbacks than ever. As a result, our Social Emotional Learning program is designed to help them better manage and engage with the concepts they are already dealing with.

How Education Lifeskills delivers Social Emotional Learning

Whether it’s being taught to a single student or an entire classroom, our Social Emotional learning curriculum is designed to be flexible to the needs of the educator and the student. They are applicable in a variety of formats, whether it is self-directed to be learned with the help of a facilitator or a group lesson for the traditional student environment. Our courses all make use of Blended Learning, too, which offers both offline and online learning options, delivered together to ensure that the most engaging and effective format is always used.

Each course within the program takes between 4-6 hours to complete. The courses are divided into units, making it easier for parents, counselors, and teachers to spread it out over time, allowing the student the opportunity to develop at their own pace.

Our Learning Management System can improve the Social Emotional Learning experience all the more. This eLearning platform helps facilitators such as parents and teachers deliver, manage and track lessons, while providing a range of online learning mediums, such as storytelling, animation, gamification, and self-assessment to better engage students. Digital learning options have been shown to improve student engagement, allowing teachers and parents to think beyond the traditional classroom format to ensure each lesson is delivered in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

The impact of a Social Emotional Learning Curriculum for High School

Building an understanding of their own emotions, an awareness of their place in relationships and society, and providing skills that help them better engage their own behaviors and their group efforts, Social Emotional Learning can play an important role in preparing high school students for their future. Here are just a few of the benefits seen by the program:

  • Better academic performance
  • Improved attitudes and behaviors and an increased commitment to education
  • Less classroom disruption, noncompliance, aggression and delinquency.
  • Fewer reports of stress, anxiety, depression, and social withdrawal.

A Social Emotional Learning can equip students with the interpersonal and intrapersonal skills and insights they use in both high school and the world beyond. Explore the site to find out more about how Education Lifeskills can help us create a better class of students.

Social Emotional Learning Curriculum for Middle School

In order to ensure the most comprehensive education possible, Education Lifeskills has created a Social & Emotional Learning curriculum for middle school students. Built to accompany the traditional middle school experience, it’s designed to help growing students overcome issues of low self-esteem, self-confident, poor cooperation, social awareness, and to equip young minds with some insight and planning ability for their future and their place in a society that they’re starting to grow more familiar with.

From learning about the building blocks of self-awareness, impulse control, and responsible decision-making to improving their empathy and teamwork, Education Lifeskills’ social emotional learning curriculum for middle school uses modern teaching methods linked with digital technology to make the learning experience as accessible and as effective as possible.

What is Social Emotional Learning?

More schools, parents, and students are joining the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) as a means of making the education experience truly comprehensive. Many are growing concerned that many students are growing without the critical skills as outlined by the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning: understanding and managing emotions, setting and achieving positive goals, feeling and showing empathy for others, establishing and maintaining positive social relationships, and making responsible decisions.

Our Social & Emotional Learning curriculum teaches five core competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. As a result, it better prepares middle school students for the increasing demand of education as they grow, ensuring that they know how to maintain their own wellbeing and how to commit to their studies. It also prepares them for life beyond school, with skills that can help them succeed in the real world, too.

As a result of Social Emotional Learning, students are more likely to perform better academically, see improvements in attitudes and behaviors, reduce disruptive classroom behavior, and increase their own emotional stability.

What Social Emotional Learning can teach in Middle School

Each Education Lifeskills program contains a year’s worth of material, helping students learn the skills critical for that particular part of their life. The Social Emotional Learning Curriculum for Middle School teaches a wide variety of lessons, each of which fit into these five core categories:

  • Self-awareness: The ability to learn, recognize, and better understand one’s own emotions and how our emotions become our behavior patterns. Besides learning to better handle negative emotions like anger, stress, and responses to setbacks, it also focuses on building positive responses such as resilience, self-motivation, and optimism.
  • Self-management: How we regulate and manage our own emotions, behaviors, and thoughts in different situations. From managing stress to improving our own impulse control to recognizing and working with our strengths to understanding and working towards our academic and personal goals.
  • Social awareness: Education, academia, and the world of work all demand the ability to look outward at others. As a result, we help students learn how to empathize with others, to develop a willingness to be open-minded and respectful of others and to improve their reaction to norms, experiences, and cultures that may not be their own.
  • Relationship skills: Students also learn how to nurture and maintain healthy relationships with a focus on cooperation, communication, conflict resolution, resisting inappropriate social pressure, active listening, and actively offering and seeking help when necessary. As a result, it can help students understand and build relationships that offer real value.
  • Responsible decision making: The skills to make healthy and safe choices that are constructive and respectful with the understanding of ethical standards, social norms, forward-thinking and evaluation of realistic consequences, and a focus on wellbeing of the self and others.

The program contains a multitude of different courses, each of them falling within the five core competencies to ensure that middle school students grow to make the best use of their developmental learning time. For the majority of students, school is already where they manage most of their social relationships, opportunities for growth, and where they encounter the most challenges. Our Social Emotional Learning program simply helps them to better understand and engage with it.

How Education Lifeskills delivers Social Emotional Learning

All of our courses are designed to be deliverable by parents, teachers, or counselors, adaptable to individual students as well as entire classrooms. Each individual course within the program takes between 4-6 hours to complete and are broken down into a number of units so that the student has the time to further explore, engage with, and absorb the lessons from each unit when implemented alongside their traditional education.

Each course comes with a variety of recommended uses, as well. Many of our courses are self-directed, allowing them to work independently alongside a parent or teacher, or to be completed in a group format with a facilitator. Our courses also come with a Blended Learning option, which allows students to mix a combination of offline and online curriculum to give them new ways to better engage the subject.

Many of the courses within our Social Emotional Learning curriculum for middle school make use of Education Lifeskills’ Learning Management System. This is a custom eLearning solution that uses formats such as narration, storytelling, animation, gamification, and self-assessment to make the courses as interactive and engaging as possible. We can also customize our Learning Management System to better suit the needs of educators, improving their ability to deliver courses and track students.

The impact of a Social Emotional Learning Curriculum for Middle School

As part of a truly comprehensive middle school education, Social Emotional Learning courses can vastly improve a student’s awareness of their own experiences, those of their peers, and society at large. By improving their intrapersonal and interpersonal insight and ability, we see a range of benefits:

  • Better academic performance, with SEL-equipped students performing an average of 11 points higher.
  • Improved attitudes and behaviors, with more motivation to learn, increase commitment to education, and more time devoted to homework.
  • Reduction in negative behaviors, with less classroom disruption, noncompliance, aggression and delinquency.
  • Increased emotional stability, leading to fewer reports of stress, anxiety, depression, and social withdrawal.

A Social Emotional Learning program helps equip students with the skills they need to create better educational environments, teams, and societies, so explore the site to learn more about what we offer.

Understanding Anger and School Shootings

School shootings have become horrifically common in recent years, and it’s a problem that educators simply cannot ignore.

Another thing we cannot ignore? The link between these shootings, anger and bullying.

In a series of articles on anger management and gun violence for, journalist Laura Hayes writes about characteristics of mass killers.

“Many, if not all, grew up in homes where there was domestic violence, emotional and physical abuse. They are emotionally fragile,” she writes. “They’re threatened by hostility from others, and they also engender it. The dislike and hostility they raise in others leaves them isolated, and the bullying feeds a vicious cycle where kids with minimal emotional self-control are baited into greater and greater levels of hostile defensiveness.”

Hayes also provides a solution, or at least the beginning of one.

“Schools are on the front line for identifying these individuals as kids,” she writes. “In the school environment, isolation and hostility can pretty readily be observed, often by teachers and administrators, and certainly by fellow students.”

When we do identify those kids, it’s important that we go beyond labeling them as “problem children” or even “jerks” and sending them to detention. Instead,  we must advocate for programs that provide these kids anger avoidance tools and education about how to overcome violent tendencies.

The link between bullying, loss and violence

In a 2004 report of the Safe Schools Initiative, a joint project of the United States Secret Service and the Dept. of Education, researchers found that about three quarters of attackers in 37 shootings “felt bullied, persecuted, or injured by others prior to the attack.”

This points to the importance of anti-bullying education and a focus on social and emotional learning (SEL) initiatives, which are designed to help students learn coping skills.

But what about the 25 percent of kids who weren’t bullied? The report pointed to another data point that may shed some light on the issue: 98 percent of attackers “had difficulty coping with significant losses or personal failures. Moreover, many had considered or attempted suicide.”

These losses included a loss of status, the loss of a romantic relationship, and a major illness in the attacker or within his family.

The study reinforces our deeply held belief in equitable and inclusive education. Rather than distancing students we might label as problem kids we need to understand them.

Think about it this way:  Often, kids are isolated and bullied by their peers. Then, they cause trouble in order to get attention. This often leads to disciplinary action, such as alternative classrooms or detention. At the same time, that kid’s peers will be told by their parents to keep their distance.

So what’s the alternative?

What educators can do

There are no easy answers here, but at Education Lifeskills, we believe that a thorough, integrated SEL the right direction is the best way forward.

We can start by using anger avoidance techniques such as:

  • Mindfulness
  • Self-awareness
  • Identifying the four sources of anger (abuse, doing wrong, force and things beyond our control
  • Staying connected with others while we work through our anger

School shootings have become horrifically common in recent years, and it’s a problem that educators simply cannot ignore.

Another thing we cannot ignore? The link between these shootings, anger and bullying.

In a series of articles on anger management and gun violence for, journalist Laura Hayes writes about characteristics of mass killers.

“Many, if not all, grew up in homes where there was domestic violence, emotional and physical abuse. They are emotionally fragile,” she writes. “They’re threatened by hostility from others, and they also engender it. The dislike and hostility they raise in others leaves them isolated, and the bullying feeds a vicious cycle where kids with minimal emotional self-control are baited into greater and greater levels of hostile defensiveness.”

Hayes also provides a solution, or at least the beginning of one.

“Schools are on the front line for identifying these individuals as kids,” she writes. “In the school environment, isolation and hostility can pretty readily be observed, often by teachers and administrators, and certainly by fellow students.”

When we do identify those kids, it’s important that we go beyond labeling them as “problem children” or even “jerks” and sending them to detention. Instead,  we must advocate for programs that provide these kids anger avoidance tools and education about how to overcome violent tendencies.

How to get started

If your school needs specific resources for anti-bullying education, we also encourage you to read about our courses and schedule a demo.

We would also like to hear from educators around the country about how they help kids who are at risk of becoming mass shooters. Please share and comment on our social media pages, and reach out to us at learn@localhost.

Urban Collaborative Attendees: What is SEL in Practice?

If you’ve been in the education space for long, you’ve probably heard the term SEL. Most teaching professionals can even define it: social and emotional learning.

But based on what we learned recently at the Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative conference, that may be where universal agreement on SEL ends.

Education Lifeskills President Trevor Lloyd attended the event alongside ONEder, one of our newest eLearning partners. He got some insight into the definition of SEL while participating in one of the conference’s many excellent breakout sessions.

Academic Definitions of SEL

For some, SEL is a pedagogy that focuses on the study and application of emotional intelligence (EI). SEL can also be defined as skills related to emotions, goal setting, empathy, relationships and decision-making.

As recently as 2015, a group of researchers from the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis at Washington University put an emphasis on awareness. They defined “SE skills” as those relating to self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making.

Even if we all agreed on a definition of SEL, what does that mean in the classroom day to day? Is that different from what it means in curriculum planning, school board meetings or budget allocation discussions?

Our Approach: SEL+CLS

Every school is different, and so is every student, every teacher and every district. There are no definitive answers. However, our 40+ years of boots-on-the-ground SEL experience have brought us to one simple focus: challenging thinking errors, and doing it in a way that doesn’t provoke resistance.

We call it SEL+CLS, or social and emotional learning PLUS cognitive life skills. Check out our courses to find out more about the Education Lifeskills methodology.

Have Opinions on SEL? Join our Education Focus Group!

We are passionate about helping students make improvements in their thinking and behavior, and we are confident that top-notch SEL can make our students’ lives happier and more successful.

But we can’t do it alone. That’s where our new focus group comes in, and we’re actively recruiting a panel of the most highly qualified SEL educators in the country.

If you’re accepted as a member of this focus group, we will ask you to demo our cognitive and behavioral life skills curriculum and our corresponding Lifeskills Link platform. We’ll just ask that you follow up with a survey. In return, we are happy to provide your school with 3 free courses at a value of $65 per course.

Why so much focus on  SEL?

While there were many discussions about what SEL is at the Urban Collaborative conference, there were many more about how important it is. We were honored to hear from the Antoine Hickman, the Urban Collective Executive Director and also the head of Exceptional Student Learning Support for Broward County in Florida. In light of the recent school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, which is in his district, his comments about the importance of SEL in preventing school violence were particularly impactful.

SEL Tweet
LeDerick Home meets with Antoine Hickman during the Urban Collaborative Conference.

We also heard from incredible educators working in Chicago, and talked with heads of special education from school districts all over the country. We were encouraged to hear about how helpful SEL can be in addressing problems ranging from the school-to-prison pipeline to dropouts, truancy, bullying and more.

13 Things You Need in a Life Skills Curriculum

School systems in the US often don’t provide life skill lessons in curriculums. The focus is often only on basics of academic work, putting high school graduates at a disadvantage when leaving the system. Students entering the world frequently don’t know how to complete pertinent tasks, such as creating budgets and managing money. If parents don’t teach these skills at home, the students go without necessary knowledge when they begin their lives. Luckily, there are Education Life Skills curriculum courses designed to augment school academics.

What are Life Skills?

Life skills are the attributes learned to deal with day-to- day life as an adult. Public and private schools often touch on many life skills, but don’t delve into the depths. Students who have parents or others teach them valuable life skills have the advantage when real life begins. Life skills can include:

  • Managing money
  • Mental health
  • Stress management
  • Dating
  • Substance abuse
  • Online behaviors
  • Cognitive skills
  • Leadership
  • Positive Thinking

Obtaining Life Skills

Many life skills are only touched upon in schooling. Hours are filled learning basic academia, including math, science, language arts, and history. This doesn’t leave much time for life skills training. If a school district doesn’t offer skills training, it is up to parents to implement programs for children. The process should begin during the early grades, with an age-appropriate curriculum. Various life skills courses are available for use by parents and students.


Children should learn dating boundaries and etiquette before they begin dating. The Boundaries course offers middle and high school students the opportunity to explore dating and relationships. It covers appropriate boundaries and interactions between individuals.

Bullying Prevention

Bullying and teenage suicide are a problem in our schools. Approximately 28% of US high school students have experienced bullying and 70% of students have witnessed bullying in their schools. This course takes a look at the sides of the person bullying and the victim of bullying. It’s a comprehensive course covering bullying and cyberbullying.

Substance Abuse Prevention

Many school programs touch on substance abuse, but few offer in-depth courses on the subject. High school student marijuana and alcohol use has decreased in recent years, but prescription drug use is growing exponentially. This is an evidence-based course which demonstrates the current risks involved for high school students.

Distracted Driving

Teen drivers are the most at-risk age group for distracted driving accidents. The statistics are frightening: 9% of teen drivers are involved in distracted driving fatalities. This course offers an overview of the trend and the risks.

Cognitive Skills

Teenagers in public schools do not receive critical thinking training. For this reason, many don’t succeed in the first years of a career. They may be physically and academically able to succeed, but lack important decision-making skills. This course works to elevate cognitive thinking skills and improve behaviors.

Financial Intelligence

Many students are not taught to manage their own finances and don’t understand the dangers of credit card debt. More students drop out of college due to credit card debt than academic failure.
Our financial intelligence course covers important aspects of financial management, including how to spend within monetary limits.

Media Awareness

It is difficult for parents to keep up with changing technology and student’s online behaviors. This course provides information for teenagers to remain responsible online and outlines risks they may encounter.


Many schools offer student leadership opportunities, but the course lacks depth. Students may have involvement in student government, yet don’t learn how to lead people. This course discusses how to become a leader and what traits build desirable leaders.

Marijuana Prevention

With the legalization of marijuana in many states, students are often confused about the drug. This course focuses on thinking errors associated with marijuana abuse. It explores the effects of marijuana abuse on real lives.

Positive Thinking Skills

Up to 8% of teenagers experience depressive episodes and 13.8% have considered suicide. The mental health of our teenagers is suffering, which is why this course is offered. It covers positive thinking and addresses low self-esteem.

Cognitive Sexual Awareness

This course is not the same as sex education. It is designed to increase sexual awareness in teenagers and guide them to make healthy decisions. The course addresses changing bodies and hormones associated with the teenage years.

Tobacco Awareness

The CDC reports that 9 out of 10 smokers started before the age of 18. The prevalence of tobacco is a serious public health concern. This course covers tobacco use and harm to the body, especially for long-term use.

Truancy Prevention

Often students dropping out of school cite social or emotional reasons. This course addresses the fallacies in thinking which lead to student drop-out. It is designed to help students with social, emotional, and academic progress.

Building Life Skills in Youth

Children and teenagers need us to help them. The best way to create a well-rounded adult is to offer not only academic, but life skills. Life skills courses allow teenagers to develop into knowledgeable and cognitively aware adults. If you have a middle or high school student in your home, consider augmenting his or her education with life skills curriculum.

10 Life Skills Your Kids Should Learn in High School

High school can be a stressful time. Many students are panicking about having grades solid enough to get into college. Others are grappling with the daunting idea of graduation from high
school and dealing with new, more serious responsibilities. Social situations make the lives of others challenging, to the point where many have suicidal thoughts. No matter what your child’s plans are after high school, there are certain life skills that they should know to effectively communicate and build relationships with people. During the high school years, be sure your teenager has these ten life skills to enter the world prepared for battle.

Personal Goal Setting

Setting incremental goals can help college students and young adults succeed. Goals should include short-term, long-term, personal, and professional goals. Without formal goals, young adults lack a solid direction and can suffer in all aspects of life. Before sending your high school student out into the world, be sure to help him or her to establish incremental goals.

Positive Thinking and Stress Management

41.6% of college students experience frequent anxiety problems. This may be due, in part, to a lack of stress management training. Every person needs to understand how to relieve stress and remain emotionally healthy. Teaching your student how to deal with the imperfections and stressors in life can improve mental health problems in the future.

Conflict Management

Schools don’t teach much in the way of conflict management and resolution. In elementary school, students are taught to share and keep hands to themselves. Past that point, many students don’t learn how to deal with conflict. Teach your children to manage conflict effectively when the opportunity presents itself. It can also be very helpful to enroll students in short conflict management courses to further develop skills.


Student leaders and student body organizations label themselves as leadership programs, but don’t teach it. Students are often elected to the bodies and represent classes, but don’t learn actual leadership skills. Teach your child from a young age how to be a leader and accept different personalities. Even if the child doesn’t grow up to fill leadership roles, the skill will always be helpful for peer interaction.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

Children are taught to sit and listen at an early age but aren’t taught how to properly interact with people. Parents need to teach children active listening skills. Most people listen with the intent to
reply, instead of listening to understand. If you’re guilty of this yourself, find a course in communication and interpersonal skills. Most people don’t have this skill, so you are placing your child in an advantageous position if he or she learns how to communicate effectively.

Cognitive Skills

Children are often taught to listen and regurgitate information for tests. They are rarely required to think critically, or problem solve. Cognitive and critical thinking skills require a good deal of
time and effort to teach. The process should be long-term, so students can develop habits of better cognition. Cognitive skill courses are a good option to implement the best methods for
your child to succeed.

Time Management

Many students don’t know how to manage time properly. Often, children are on structured schedules at home, but don’t continue them when they move out of the house. Teach your student to manage time effectively on their own. This will probably involve trial and error, but allowing them to see consequences of poor time management is the best way to ensure long-term success.

Financial Intelligence

College students often begin their lives piled in debt from school loans and credit card balances. While there is often no way to avoid student loan debt, teach your child how to spend within their limits. Educate them on the perils of accruing credit card debt and living outside their means. It’s also a good idea to work with your teenager to create a formal budget. It seems simple, but many young adults struggle with this skill.

Substance Abuse

Schools often touch on the subject of substance abuse, but it needs to be an ongoing education for students and young adults. Alcohol and marijuana use has slightly declined in the youth population, but prescription drug use is climbing. Take the opportunity to discuss substance abuse with your child on a regular basis. Be sure you don’t overwhelm them, but keep the lines
of communication open for discussion.


Bullying, mental health issues, and suicide have sadly become a way of life for today’s youth. Schools often address these problems effectively but be sure to be involved in your child’s mental health care. Look for signs your child is being bullied or is becoming depressed. Help teach them from an early age to ask for help when they need it. Never shun your child’s feelings or tell them to “get over it.” Mental health problems are real and can have a serious impact on young adults’ lives.

Life Skills in High School

There are many teachable life skills and this is not close to a comprehensive list. Pay attention to the soft skills your child needs. Think back to the things you wish you had known as a graduating high school student and incorporate them into your child’s life. Students can never be too prepared academically or with life skills.

Education Lifeskills and ONEder

PROVO, UT 04/17/2018- Education Lifeskills is excited to announce that our eLearning courses are now available on ONEder. ONEder is a unique platform that focuses on adapting content and making it more accessible to individuals with a wide range of learning or functional disabilities. Their software also offers many in-depth data analysis tools to help monitor students progress. With ONEder, all of our Education Lifeskills eLearning courses are now more accessible and adaptable to individuals who require learning accommodations.

What is ONEder?

ONEder’s founder, Jonathan Izak, developed ONEder out of a need to communicate with his non-verbal brother. At Education Lifeskills we understand that communication is at the heart of learning. Working with ONEder is part of our ongoing passion to provide evidence-based cognitive lifeskills learning opportunities to as many students as possible. Our aim at Education Lifeskills is to provide students with the essential cognitive life skills that will help them transition into successful adult members of society. Now with our eLearning courses on ONEder we will be able to help a wider range of students with all levels of reading and compression skills.

Eliaz Shapira, Chief Executive Officer at ONEder, stated that “we are thrilled to make Education Lifeskills’ curriculum available to students nationwide. The combination of their curriculum with the ONEder platform—which contains supports and accommodations tailored to the unique learning needs of the individual—is an important step toward closing the opportunity gap. In addition, their curriculum will now provide important insights for parents and administrators. As students complete activities, data will be collected to show parents and administrators how their students are progressing toward standards and goals.”

The Mission of Education Lifeskills

Before Education Lifeskills was formally created, our parent company ACCI Lifeskills (American Community Corrections Institute) received an increasing amount of requests from schools, school districts, and parents to develop a catalog of courses expressly for junior high and high school students. The main feedback that we received from our criminal justice clients and program participants was that they wished that they had been taught ACCI’s essential cognitive life skills while they were in school. This concept and goal is what led to the founding of Education Lifeskills.

What can you do?

We are excited to form partnerships and relationships with schools, school districts, and communities that understand the value of SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) which helps students overcome their self-defeating thoughts and behaviors and achieve higher levels of success academically and socially. As a society, our way of life depends on the ability of the rising generation to be prepared to meet current and future challenges.

Education Lifeskills has an array of course topics and program options that help schools increase the effectiveness of their prevention and intervention efforts. Schools can get started by creating a Lifeskills Link Account on our website to enroll a student into one of our courses. Contact us via our website for more information.

Brand new Tobacco Awareness Course!

The dangers of tobacco use have never been more apparent than they are today. Yet, there are still far too many teens experimenting with this (harmful substance) and suffering the consequences. Our goal at Education Lifeskills is to help teens safely navigate their teenage years and prepare them for adulthood. This goal extends to helping them be educated on tobacco use and give them the thinking tools to avoid a tobacco addiction. With this goal in mind, Education Lifeskills is releasing our brand new Tobacco Awareness Course. This course is the first of it’s kind in Education Lifeskills wide range of teen focused course offerings.

Two teen friends

This course is designed for both prevention and early intervention for students who are considering or experimenting with tobacco use. All types of tobacco use are addressed including vaping, e-cigarettes, and chewing tobacco. Students are presented with several facts, stories and questions that help them see clearly the risks associated with tobacco use. Our courses are designed to help the student engage with content and create an interactive learning environment. Just like all of our courses, our Tobacco Awareness course is available in both printed hard copy format and online eLearning format. Our eLearning courses are also equipped with accessibility features to make the courses usable for individuals with many learning and physical disabilities. We at Education Lifeskills want to be able to provide courses that are successful for every student and take into account their unique challenges when it comes to learning.

Our courses are created using unique cognitive restructuring techniques. These cognitive restructuring techniques work to help change negative and self-defeating thoughts and behaviors, and pave the way for positivity to take their place. This type cognitive restructuring is an evidence based model that is used in all of the Education Lifeskills courses and our parent company ACCI Lifeskills. We believe that people are inherently good and that negative actions are the results of negative thoughts and behaviors. We know that these negative thoughts and behaviors aren’t permanent and can be changed and replaced with positive thoughts and behaviors. This idea is what led our founder Larry Lloyd to create ACCI Lifeskills and subsequently Education Lifeskills.

For a complete catalog of our course offerings, and to learn more about our organization, visit our website today.