Equipping Children to Succeed in a Rapidly Changing World

Posted on November 15th, 2019 6:41pm
By: paulteitelman

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Whether we’re talking about automation or climate change, it is no longer possible to believe the future will be much like the past.

With the rate of technological change ramping up in exponentially greater cycles, and with demographic and environmental realities fundamentally changing how we conceive of humanity’s future on the planet, it is important to acknowledge that our children will face opportunities and challenges very different from the ones we faced.

While this may be cause for existential anxiety, it also poses a more practical question: how can we help prepare the children of today for life in the twenty-first century, when no one is quite sure what the next fifty years will hold?

There is no one clear answer to this question, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways you can start helping your child get ready for life in this brave new world. As your Toronto tutoring agency we at Prep Academy Tutors have seen first hand just how significant a role education plays not only in giving kids the concrete skills for academic and career success, but in helping them develop a flexible mindset and the confidence to take on new challenges.

If you want to make sure that you are doing everything you can to prepare your kids for success down the road, here are four pieces of general advice that can help you equip them for a life of learning and adaptation.

Focus on Communication Skills

There’s a common idea that the ticket to success in our tech saturated world lies in learning to code, or mastering other, related computer engineering skills.

While it’s certainly true that the tech industry has become one of the central tent poles of the Canadian economy, tech is about a lot more than just coding — and at a time of offshoring and automation, the hard skills required to be a programmer may not actually be as essential as they once were.

Instead, many employers are looking for applicants who have strong communication skills who can not only understand complex information, but simplify it and disseminate it. Communicators have always been an essential part of the public and private sectors in Canada, and it is likely that even a highly automated world will still require people who can write and speak clearly.

For this reason, one of the most important skills you can impart to your children are old fashioned ones like how to write a formal email, proper conversation etiquette, and good written communication skills.

Ironically, while we can communicate more easily and efficiently than ever before thanks to chat apps and social media, many students are not developing the high level literacy skills needed for clear and effective writing. Fortunately, you can improve your writing with our Toronto tutors who specialize in literacy and written communications.

All of our tutors have extensive experience and can offer lessons in the security of your own home, and can help your children not only prepare to pass standardized exams like the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test, but develop the real-world skills that will stand them in good stead once they enter the workforce.

Start Preparing for University Applications Early

Getting children ready for the workforce isn’t just about identifying skills they will need and helping your kids appreciate and develop them — it’s also about taking concrete steps to make sure they are ready to move on to the next stage in their education.

In the knowledge economy of the twenty-first century, a university degree is rapidly becoming just as important as a high school diploma, and getting into the right program in the right school can open up incredible opportunities for hard-working students.

But while post-secondary enrolment in Canada is increasing steadily, if your child is considering an elite program like medicine, law, engineering, or technology at an ivy league school, they will be competing against some of the best students in the world.  

If you want them to come out on top, you’ll need to start preparing their university application early to ensure that they have the best chance possible. Admissions staff look for well-rounded candidates who are engaged in a variety of community and volunteer activities while also having a strong GPA, so you’ll need to find a way to strike the right balance between extracurriculars and academics.  

One of the best ways to make sure your high schooler has the support they need is to get them tutoring help specifically designed to help them pass the SSAT. Your Toronto SSAT prep can be a snap if you have dedicated support from a tutor who knows how the test works and can help your child use their study time as efficiently as possible.

Help Them Expand Their Skill Base

According to recent statistics, the average person will change careers at least twelve times over the course of the first thirty years of their working life. The days when training students to do one or two jobs well are long gone, and parents who want their children to be able to participate in the workforce of the future will want to ensure that they have as wide a base of skills as possible.

The teenage years are a perfect time for young people to explore their interests and develop a solid knowledge of a variety of subjects. When done strategically, it can help ensure that they have a lot of different skills to draw on once they start working.

There are several ways you can help your teenagers to expand their skill base, from encouraging them to sign up for new clubs and extracurricular activities to helping them find jobs during the school year and the summer.

But you should also make sure they are developing the core competencies they will rely on in the workplace. If you are worried that they are falling behind in essential skills like numeracy and literacy, search near you for our tutors — we offer tutoring in a number of different subjects, and tailor our approach to the specific needs of each child. 

Encourage Curiosity

But perhaps the most important quality parents who want their kids to succeed in the coming years should cultivate is curiosity. With so many changes coming in such rapid succession, it will be the curious people, the ones who never stop learning, who will be best able to adapt to a rapidly evolving world.

The current generation of high school students has more access to information than any previous cohort before them, and it is the task of the parents, in these uncertain times, to help their kids navigate all this data in edifying and healthy ways.

While the dangers of unfettered access to the internet are very real, building resilience in young people requires letting them test their limits, explore boundaries, and learn to exercise their curiosity about the world around them in ways that make them feel empowered and confident.

Sometimes this means steering your children in a particular direction and giving them a chance to experience new things in a controlled and safe environment; at other times, it means letting go while they set out on their own, following their own interests and passions.

This can be just as scary for parents as it is for children, but in the long run it can be one of the best ways to teach them to approach the world responsibly and with their sense of wonder intact.

Being a parent has always been hard, but it is especially difficult in periods of rapid change, when the hard-won wisdom you have culled from a lifetime of experience can seem completely inadequate to the challenges of the future. How can you make sure that you are your children with the support they need to succeed on their own terms in a world that feels completely unpredictable?

This is not a question that most of people will ever be able to definitively answer, and in most cases the best a parent can do is help their child develop a broad base of knowledge, skills, and competencies that will help them stay flexible and curious as they grow older.

While it is important to ensure that your children are achieving the kind of academic credentials that have become a prerequisite for entering the modern workforce, it is also necessary to focus on less tangible skills, like open-mindedness, empathy, and adaptability.

At Prep Academy Tutors, we understand that parents today are facing unique challenges, which is why we have designed our tutoring service to help students do more than simply master the curriculum.

Our tutors will not only work to ensure that your child understands their math or English homework, but will come alongside your child and help them develop the kind of confident, inquisitive, problem-solving mindset that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives. Call us today to find out more!