Welcome to the first week of Habits of Friendship: Communication. This week we will dive into our first social skill: Communication. In this friendship habit, we will learn all about eye-contact, personal space, listening, and body language. Communication is truly the first key to meaningful, life-long relationships.
What is Habits of Friendship?
Maybe you missed last week’s post that introduced The Habits of Friendship program. If so, head over here to read up on the program and get your free, printable progress tracker.
In short, after Habits of Learning took shape in my mind, I began to realize it was an incomplete program. Our lives are not just about learning, they are about more than that.
If you have been here for a while, you know I talk a lot about goal setting and balance. When I am talking about those things, I often quote one of my favorite Bible verses: Luke 2:52.
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.Luke 2:52, KJV
In this verse we see that as Jesus grew from child to man, he developed in four areas of his life:
- Wisdom: Learning and education
- Stature: Physical health and wellness
- Favour with God: Spiritual development
- Favour with man: Social and emotional development
Habits of Learning focuses on the “wisdom” part of that verse. Habits of Friendship will focus on “favour with man”. These are the two modules that will be taught, two times a year at A One-Room Schoolhouse.
Once you have completed the progress monitoring circle listed in the introductory post, you are ready to dive into week one Habits of Friendship: Communication. Here is all you need to do to get ready for this week:
- Download the lesson plan (link below), print it if desired.
- Bookmark this blog post that includes live links to use for each lesson containing a video.
- Print off the resources included in at the end of this post (You will only need the first page and then pages three to seven for the lessons. The rest of the pages are included as enrichment materials.
- Make sure you have some blank paper and coloring supplies on hand.
Now you are ready to go!
Remember to Practice
The general instructions for the Habits of Friendship stay the same from week to week. This week (and from here on out) you will want to encourage your children to do the exploration activities from the previous week’s lesson.
This may be a copy sheet, hymn study, or memorization. Maybe they might like to read a book from the list or watch one of the video links. It does not matter which activity they do, what does matter is that they are still thinking about and learning about the previously studied habit.
Furthermore, make sure you are always looking for ways to praise your children as they progress in the previously studied habits. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO DO!
This focus on continual practice and praise will help further development and generalization. It reinforces the idea that we are always working to improve ourselves.
Below are some of the special elements that you might want to read about before completing the Habits of Friendship: Communication lessons.
· Always play out the positive side of the skill.
· After the role-play, provide feedback on how the situation was portrayed.
· Keep reversing the roles of the participants.
· Stress the process, not the results. This is not Broadway, just practice the skill in a fun and loving way.
· Sometimes it is hard to get students to truly engage in a role-play. If this is the case, consider offering a reward for a job well done.
Breaking down hard tasks or new skills into manageable pieces can make something overwhelming more attainable.
Hundreds of books, videos, blog posts, and lectures have been given on active listening. This waterfall of information would paralyze a student or adult. In this active listening lesson, the skills needed are broken down into four manageable pieces.
- · STOP
- · LOOK
- · LISTEN
- · ASK
If a student can cross a street safely (stop, look, and listen) then they can learn how to be an amazing active listener.
STOP reminds students to stop their mind from wandering to other ideas. Focus on what the speaker is saying.
LOOK cues students to use great eye contact. Remember the 70% listening rule?
LISTEN helps students to be aware of their body and mouth. Active listening is not quiet. Don’t interrupt but engage your body and voice.
ASK indicates that it is time for students to ask open-ended questions. Some great-for-all-situations-questions are given as examples in the lesson.
With these four steps, active listening becomes easy and natural instead of overwhelming and intimidating.
Lessons Learned From The Telephone Game
When playing the Telephone Game a message is given to the first person in a line of people. They pass the message on by whispering it in the ear of the next person in line. The message goes from person to person until it reaches the end of the line, and that person announces the message to the group.
In most cases, the message that is announced to the group is significantly different from the message that was originally given to the first person in the line.
While the game is entertaining, it also teaches us important lessons that people often forget.
1. Speak clearly, slowly, and with confidence.
2. For accurate communication, fewer words are often better than many words.
3. Information passed from one to another often gets confused or changed.
4. Gossip is one of the worst forms of communication.
5. Listening is just as important as talking.
6. Asking for clarification is a key step to understanding.
7. If you don’t have anything nice to say, it may be best not to say anything at all.
8. Make sure your words mean what you think they mean.
Grow Our Community
We are growing rapidly and we are so pleased with your support. Keep tagging your friends, using our hashtag (#habitsoffriendship), and sharing your Habits of Friendship journey.
Let’s keep the social media ball rolling and share this program with your friends! Take pictures and videos of your Habits of Friendship: Communication lessons. Post these on Facebook or Instagram. Use the hashtag #habitsoffrienship and tag @aoneroomshoolhouse. Follow the Schoolhouse and our hashtag to join other Habits of Learning users!