Life skill development – Learning for life

Have you thought about what you are learning by being in a 4-H club, not just by showing your project, but learning valuable life skills to use for the rest of your life?

Michigan 4-H Youth Development offers many project opportunities in youth development.  Life skills is the valuable outcome youth receive according to Michigan State University Extension.

No matter what project area youth choose to learn about in the 4-H youth program, valuable life skills are taught.  These life skills will be learned and used as youth grow into successful adults.

Using the Iowa State 4-H Skills chart, youth can relate through the head, heart, hands and health which is part of the 4-H clover.  Under the head, the life skills are “thinking and managing.”  For heart, life skills learned are “relating and caring.”  Using hands relates to “working and giving.”  Lastly, in the health area, the categories are “being and living.” 

The Targeting Life Skills Model or TLS Model is a simple way to look at a youth development.  Starting in the center is the 4-H Clover showing Head, Heart, Hands and Health. The next list are the categories previously listed.  An example of the chart, under the Health – categories listed in this area are, living and being.  Some of the life skills youth can learn are stress management, managing feelings and self- responsibility.  Under self- responsbility, youth learn to be personally accountable, capable of making moral and rational decisions, using good judgement.

In each of the life skill categories, there is a list of life skills to be learned and can be adapted to age groups. The

MSU Extension 4-H Academic Success Life Skills work group team has defined 13 target areas and have developed information sheets to help work with youth in these project areas.  The CD which includes a 30 minute, 60 minute and 90 minute presentation on life skills is available through MSU Extension along with target sheets, activities and questions broken down in age groups.

For further information on 4-H Youth Programs, please contact your local MSU Extension office.

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