Life Skills

California State PTA is committed to ensuring that all students have access to comprehensive life skills education. In our complex world, students need to master a broad set of life skills in order to function successfully as adults.  Essential life skills include but are not limited to financial literacy, media literacy, civic literacy, home management, and executive functioning.

Civic Literacy prepares students to transition into adulthood, giving them the knowledge they need to make informed decisions in a democracy. This includes understanding the roles and responsibilities of government institutions, the rights and responsibilities of citizens, and the importance of civic engagement. California State PTA believes that civic literacy education should be integrated into the K-12 curriculum to ensure that all students have a foundational understanding of our democratic system and are prepared to participate actively in civic life. This includes teaching students how to register for voting, engage in respectful and informed discourse, how to advocate for their rights and beliefs, and how to participate in local and national decision-making processes.

The California State PTA further supports integration of Home Management education in the school system as students need skills which will allow them to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Skills such as food safety, basic cooking, cleaning, home maintenance, personal safety, transportation, employment skills, medical care, and mindful consumerism will allow students to step into adulthood, prepared to be self-sufficient and capable adults.

California State  PTA supports the inclusion of Executive Functioning education in K-12 schools.  According to psychologists, executive function describes a set of cognitive processes and mental skills that help an individual plan, monitor, and successfully execute their goals. The “executive functions,” as they’re known, include attentional control, working memory, inhibition, and problem-solving, many of which are thought to originate in the brain’s prefrontal cortex. Modern students are exposed to an increasing amount of information and stressors and should be taught strategies for managing stress and anxiety, and for developing resilience and perseverance. California State PTA supports curricula that teaches time management, organization planning, prioritization and perseverance as key components of executive functioning education.

Financial Literacy education is a critical component of a well-rounded education and is essential for students to be able to navigate the complex financial world they will encounter as adults. In 1999 California State PTA delegates voted to adopt the resolution “Financial Literacy for Youth” in order to define this authority.    Building on those principals, we believe a basic understanding of financial best practices is a key component in breaking the cycle of generational poverty.   The California State PTA believes that financial literacy education should be taught in a way that is age-appropriate, relevant and engaging. It should be taught using a variety of methods and should be inclusive of all students, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status.

Studies have shown that financial literacy education can lead to improved academic performance and increased engagement in the classroom. For students who do not have access to financial mentorship at home, schools can be an essential source of guidance through high school and beyond. Recognizing the potential of financial literacy as a mode of upwards mobility, the California PTA supports legislation that champions financial literacy topics including, but not limited to money management, living expenses, credit and borrowing, financial planning, taxes, and financing student loans.

In today’s digital age, Media Literacy is an essential life skill.. Students must be able to critically analyze and evaluate information presented through various forms of media, including social media, advertisements, news sources, and entertainment. As stated in its 2023 Position Statement, California State PTA supports the integration of media literacy education into the K-12 curriculum to ensure that students develop the necessary skills to navigate and interpret media in an informed and responsible manner. This includes teaching students how to identify bias, misinformation, and propaganda, and how to evaluate the credibility and reliability of sources.

The California State PTA firmly believes that comprehensive life skills education is crucial to the success of our students. We support legislation and advocacy that seeks to integrate financial literacy, media literacy, civil literacy, home management, and executive functioning education into the K-12 curriculum,  This will lead to:

  • Better decision making
  • Ability to problem solve
  • Improved communication
  • Greater self-awareness
  • Increased coping abilities
  • Stronger relationships
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Healthier lifestyle choices

This will serve to provide students with the tools  needed to navigate the complex world they will encounter as adults.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email