...Creative Ways to Teach Communication Skills

A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. --Proverbs 25:11

"What are you talking about, Jenny? What does that mean?" "That didn't sound very nice, Johnny!" "Go ahead, Mary, ask him if you can play with it." "Say what you mean, Billy."

You are probably already teaching your children some social communication skills. Most parents do acknowledge that communication is an important skill. But I'll bet you weren't aware of just how important being an effective communicator is in today's society. What a difference it can make for your child to be a great communicator as opposed to just having an adequate grasp of the art of social conversation! According to a study done by the National Communication Association, only 44% of people feel that they are effective communicators. Our children need better odds for their success in today's society, and here's why.

Effective communication skills are important for school or college.
A study on "Why Communication Is Important" concluded that students with ineffective listening skills fail to absorb much of the material to which they are exposed. It also stated that their problems are intensified when they respond incorrectly or inappropriately due to poor speaking skills.
Let your conversation always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. --Colossians 4:6

Effective communication skills are vital to your child's career.
Results of two different studies show that oral communication is the most important competency for college graduates entering the workforce. Over 90% of personnel managers at 500 U.S. companies said that more communication skill is required for a successful career today. Furthermore, people who enjoy giving speeches earn higher salaries than those who avoid public speaking according to a study done by AT&T and Stanford University. The Department of Labor's research on skills "most needed for all employees in the 21st century" concluded that listening and speaking abilities are necessary competencies tomorrow's workers must master.
You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere. --Lee Iacocca

Effective communication skills can affect your child's relationships.
A survey commissioned by the National Communication Association cited a lack of effective communication as the number one reason for a marriage to fail.

An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of the citadel. --Proverbs 18:19

Communication is a subject that is gaining more and more attention and importance--very much as critical thinking recently did. The problem is that many parents have never taken a communication course and don't know how to teach it to their children. Most curricula centers around a very small slice of communication skills needed for success in today's world: speech and debate. While very worthwhile, these are too advanced for younger children, may be intimidating for shy children, and are fairly dry reading for children with ADD (our little Wiggly Willies!). So what's a homeschool mom to do? Make it fun!

Learning is always more effective when it's fun, so here are some easy and creative ways to teach your children to express themselves well. They are broken down into age groups to make it easier for parents to use.

Preschool
This is an age group almost entirely forgotten by most who teach communication skills because the children are too young for speech and debate. But the truth is, if parents take advantage of the fact that their preschooler has a natural lack of fear in social situations, they can bring up a more confident and happy child!