The S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education Curriculum for Teen and Young Parents
“I wish we could meet every week. I learn so much and it motivates me. I’ve to realize a lot about myself, but it showed me so much more about myself and what I can do with my life.”
-Tia, Adolescent Parenting Program student
Why this Young Parent curriculum was needed
Like for nearly every teen or young parent, becoming a mother at 15 changed everything about my life. I questioned my future and going after my goals became much harder. Many teen parents face the same fears and challenges. Many lack support or appreciation for the support that is available to help them overcome the obstacles teen parents face. Becoming a teen parent is not a death sentence for a young parent’s dreams. In fact, it can be the fuel that ignites the fire for success.
I created the S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum for teen and young parents to help young parents understand the tremendous importance of their roles as parents and to help them make decisions to improve their lives with and for their children. The curriculum helps students understand themselves, face their challenges, and set themselves up for success while improving literacy and academic performance.
The curriculum has been impactful because I combine a relatable, non-fiction text that young parents actively seek to read with a workbook that uses higher learning standards for English Language Arts to teach critical life lessons. Most students see themselves in the story, and the workbook encourages them to examine their choices and prepare for the future they want to have.
A Life Skills Curriculum for Teen and Young Parents that Improves Literacy
The S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum guides students through my journey from bullying and insecurity to confidence and success becoming a mother at 15 along the way. Through the text along with the workbook and journal, students explore the obstacles that I encountered as a young mother, discuss my challenges and choices, and examine their own. The curriculum helps students discover who they are, what they like, and possible career paths to pursue. With a focus on helping young parents achieve success by overcoming their obstacles, eliminating their excuses, and calculating their choices, the curriculum addresses tough topics that impact students’ lives the most. The non-fiction text has an estimated Lexile band of 1050-1160, which aptly supports the Higher Learning Standands emphasis on text range, quality and complexity. Most importantly, even students who have said they don’t like to read are actively reading the text and improving their literacy skills.
A Teen and Young Parent Curriculum that Helps Schools and Programs:
- Promote self-sufficiency and independent living
- Improve financial literacy and promote setting financial goals
- Promote healthy relationships and healthy lifestyles
- Develop overall parenting skills and parent/child connection
- Reduce subsequent teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted disease, poverty, and welfare dependence
- Improve academic performance, graduation rates, and post-secondary attendance rates
- Develop college and career goals and workforce readiness
- Develop reading comprehension and writing skills
- Build self-esteem and help students value themselves and their futures
- Develop character and teach life skills to help teen parents succeed in school and beyond
- Improve emotional learning initiatives
A Literacy and Life Skills Curriculum the Parent Turned Teacher Can Easily Support
Parents have always played a critical role in supporting the educational achievements of their children. They are also a student’s first teachers of life skills and character development. With many parents now forced into a teacher role, educators need curriculum that parents even without the background and the patience of educators can easily support. Students as well as adults can relate to the text and workbook contents of the S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum. Because the curriculum fosters important conversations, educators and parents learn more about their student as the student learns more about themselves, how to make good decisions and overcome their challenges, and how to set and achieve goals for their future.
What educators say about the S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum for Teen and Young Parents
What students say about the S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum for Teen and Young Parents
How the S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education Curriculum Works
The first step is to contact me to discuss the best implementation plan for your school or district. Then educators who will lead the curriculum participate in the Train the Trainer program. They learn how to teach the curriculum based on their own teaching style and unique needs of their students. Educators receive an Instructor Guide as well as a copy of the textbook for the curriculum and a S.O. What! T-shirt. Implementation of the program can be done in-person, virtually, or a combination of both methods at the determination of each educator.
Students receive a Student Workbook and Journal, a copy of the textbook for the curriculum, and a S.O. What! T-shirt which students are encouraged to wear when engaging with the curriculum. The program starts with students sharing a S.O. What! Statement of a current challenge or insecurity. The workbook includes 14 lessons each of which can be taught over one or multiple periods depending on the goals of the facilitator and identified needs of the class/group. The lessons are designed to fit in 60-90 minute blocks and can be scaled up or down to accommodate various group sizes and learning situations. Although many schools allocate 2-3 class meetings per lesson at least one semester for the full curriculum, most schools spread the lessons over a full school year because of the depth of materials covered in the lessons and the interest of the students.
A capstone project concludes the program. Students revisit the key topics of each lesson, perform a job shadowing activity then write and present on what they learned and how they will apply what they learned to their careers and lives in general. In the final activity, students create their So NOW What? Statements where they express how they will move forward from the challenge stated in their S.O. What! Statement.
Bring This Impactful Literacy Curriculum to Your School or District
Looking for an inspiring, relatable speaker to encourage and motivate your teen or young parents. Bring Summer to your campus in-person or virtually!
Schools using the S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum also get the Summer Send-Off program at the conclusion of the curriculum implementation.
Key curriculum topics:
- Understanding emotions
- Cause and effect
- Relationships and sex
- STD’s and teen pregnancy
- The power of friends
- Money management
- Handling disappointment
- Communication skills
- Planning and thinking ahead
- The importance and impact of education
- Delayed gratification
- Goal setting
- Making a good impression
- The value of hard work
- Handling disappointments
RELATED BLOG POSTS
Say S.O. What!
Your Quick Guide to Achieving Success Over Obstacles!