TVA Students Gain Invaluable Life Skills

At Tualatin Valley Academy in Hillsboro, Oregon, students are learning life skills are as important as academic skills.

Last school year, TVA offered a fun, practical and hands-on applied skills course to seventh and eighth grade students. They acquired skills in cooking, financial management, and social and emotional health and explored potential future careers.

The first quarter focused on basic cooking, nutrition, and healthy and active lifestyles. Students learned to prepare simple and nutritious meals such as smoothie bowls, burritos, breakfast toast and more. Students said they loved the cooking unit and tasting their assignments was the best part.

Personal finance skills were introduced in the second quarter of school. Students learned about spending money wisely, saving for their future, avoiding debt, and preventing identity theft. They said the information felt relevant and they were excited to learn more.

Students explored the importance of social and emotional health during third quarter. They learned how to practice self-care, empathy and daily gratitude. Projects and classroom discussions brought depth and richness to their understanding.

Students closed the school year by exploring career opportunities. They each researched a profession they were curious about and wrote about their discoveries in a research paper. They were introduced to a variety of occupations by real professionals who gave presenations in class.

While TVA has a tradition of weaving life skills into standard curriculim, the applied skills course was a unique answer to prayer during the pandemic school year. The course not only met students’ educational needs, but it also met them whether they were at home and at school. 

Students remained highly engaged through the lessons, even during one of the most difficult educational years in memory. As they move on from TVA, they will carry with them a stellar academic education as well as invaluable skills for their future.