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3 Ways the Internet Can Teach High Schoolers Basic DIY Skills

3 Ways the Internet Can Teach High Schoolers Basic DIY Skills

Once upon a time, wood or metal shop was a regular part of a high school’s curriculum. Students learned some basic skills through various projects and whether they knew it or not those experiences added to their development as young adults. Since high school is a time when teens are adjusting to a greater sense of responsibility becoming eager to do things more independently, having that knowledge was a plus. Nevertheless, for various reasons most notably financial difficulties in a lot of districts, these non-academic electives are no longer held and as a result some basic DIY skills are lacking in today’s young generation.

What does it matter if high schoolers know how to use a bandsaw or hold a hammer correctly? It’s not like students would go home and reshingle the southern side of the house or fix all the windows and doors so drafts won’t enter but having those opportunities were positive developments that could possibly open future doors.

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That said, bringing these or similar electives back is a must, but schools are financially strapped and even if parents are willing to pick up part of the tab, the costs sometimes outweigh the desire. That’s where the internet comes in. Students with interests in learning various DIY skills can use the web to meet their needs—either in groups, or individually. It may not be the shop of years past but can still be a meaningful experience for everyone involved. Consider the following:

1. After school groups

Students could form a Student DIY Society and meet for a series of extra-curricular activities after school. The society would vote on researching a number of beginner level DIY issues such as how to use hand tools correctly, when to use certain types of machines, or finding solutions to common home-related issues such as how to repair a leaky sink.

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All the information can be researched online and brought before the group. This includes watching videos, contacting owners of certain sites who developed step by step solutions to problems, and training each other on the various ins and outs of certain situations.

As an added benefit the group could seek out several local handymen who, as a public service, could take the time to meet with students to talk about how they got started and how they are influenced today by the many home improvement websites at their disposal.

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2. Independent study for credit

Schools could allow students to create their own independent studies based on a particular area of home improvement such as carpentry, plumbing, or landscaping. After choosing a subject, students would use the internet to research a particular topic and report on it. A local carpenter, plumber, or landscaper could be brought in to help guide the student through the process.

In order to receive credit for the independent study, schools could set up and maintain a website or blog where students document all the information including any step by step how-tos they picked up along the way.

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3. Holding a competition

A third option is for schools to hold a DIY home improvement competition wherein one or two topics are chosen and interested students would be challenged with an issue. The challenge could be as basic as how to fix a crack in cement, to something  like energy efficiency and how to make better use of utilities.

Students would research and familiarize themselves with the topics online and prepare for answering a number of questions. Parents could even get involved, and a home improvement-related prize could be awarded.

The bottom line: When extracurricular activities featuring basic DIY skills are unavailable, innovative ways to expose high school students to these skills can be found through using the internet. The importance of such skills should not be minimized because they are forever applicable, and whether it’s tomorrow or in ten years, they will be beneficial.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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