Baby Boomers, GenX, Millennials, iGen… each generation has its own name and reputation to follow it.
We’re in a day and age where the upcoming generations are practically born with cell phones in their hands… with calendars jam-packed with supervised activity. They’re over-scheduled, stressed out, and undersocialized… and they’re going to be running the show before we know it.
There is so much stress put on parents and teachers to prepare these kids for higher education and the professional world, all before they enter the kindergarten classroom. This is why we want to help you shape your children into capable, well-rounded, compassionate and curious human beings! If this generation can master the 5 C’s, the rest will come easy.
So, what are the 5 C’s, and why are they important?
Critical Thinking: teaching the ability to think rationally and clearly
The best skill we can teach children is the ability to think critically. Give them this tool, and the rest comes easy.
The definition of critical thinking is “the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment.” At its simplest, to think critically is to rationally hunt for, and to understand the “why” behind the “what,” and to comprehend the consequences and outcomes of actions and decisions. Armed with the ability to gather information, question the obvious, and to sort through possible outcomes, children will be able to make clear, level-headed conclusions in their life and learning.
This ability to search for the “why,” and to apply conclusions based on that investigation, provides students with a sense of control in their learning—if they apply critical thinking to their specific problem or question, they will be hard pressed to not find the answer. This skill extends into extra-curricular activities, home-life, play, and eventually into the “real” world and professional realms.
Communication skills not only make us better talkers… they make us better listeners, too.
Collaboration: teaching the ability to work well with others
Group projects aren’t simply a schoolroom exercise. Successful and leading businesses look to hire individuals who are able to collaborate well with team members and coworkers. They are interested in hard workers who can bring their strengths to the group. What might set one strong job candidate from another is their ability to work well with others. It doesn’t hurt that collaboration and team building exercises help develop critical thinking skills.
Creativity: teaching the ability to think outside of the box & innovate
Creativity is desired at both the collegiate and the professional levels. Readiness to think outside the box—often in group environments—is so highly valued during this time of innovation. It is a common misconception that not everyone can think creatively. While one may not excel in the arts, or areas that are traditionally “creative,” they are still capable of thinking creatively, innovating, and helping to expand the world.
Communication: teaching the ability to connect with others, to present oneself and one’s ideas and to listen well.
Communication skills are not just about talking—it’s equally about listening. In order to be a good communicator, one must be able to properly navigate both sides of a conversation. Thinking critically and collaborating with others is only so good until you have to communicate your rational, creative ideas and thoughts to others. Public speaking skills, interpersonal relationships, networking, and interviews all rely on strong communication skills. To help your children or students hone their communication skills is to help them improve themselves as family members, friends, significant others, business partners, coworkers, bosses, networkers, and leaders.
Compassionate Community Connections: teaching the ability to feel, show, and act on sympathy and empathy, and to be an active part of a larger community.
Involving your children and students in community service learning projects allows them to build their emotional intelligence, compassion, and to understand the importance of making connections within the community. Through service learning projects, children are able to develop real-world skills to not only help through school but also in their personal and professional lives. Participating in service learning teaches leadership, problem-solving, collaboration and communication skills, time management, and unity. It reminds them that there is the personal community, the school community, their city or town community, their national community, and the global community, and we are part of them all. It richens and deepens their perspectives of the world, all while helping to build applications and resumes, which is simply a bonus!