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Total Living

Teach students with learning disabilities the essential concept of balance
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A unique, comprehensive, and innovative program that encompasses both the meaning and importance of quality of life, Total Living addresses the need to teach students with learning disabilities the essential concept of balance.

The program includes training that helps them focus on handling their adult lives-teaching them to be proactive rather than dealing with situations as they happen. This practical and effective program was created to make students actually "experience and feel" the processes rather than just read or learn about them. It helps students prepare for a life of minimal stress and maximum richness by showing them how to organize their schedules, make responsible choices, and learn to live complete, well-balanced lives.


The 200-page sturdy three-ring binder includes 30 reproducible units, Teaching Suggestions, and Answer Key.

Students are introduced to eight different aspects of adult life and will learn to utilize methods of incorporating these aspects into their lives in a positive way. The thought- provoking activities are subjective and open ended, which might require students to think in ways that are new to them. There are "Thoughts for the Teacher" on each topic Overview page throughout the program. This feature offers a mix of activity clarifications, enrichment activities, guest speaker suggestions, and related discussion topics. The end-of-program wrap-up brings the entire process together with an emphasis on overall balance in life.



Participants will create a short term budget and a long term budget, identify budget problems and suggest possible solutions, differentiate between wants and needs, identify material desires and target a realistic time frame for acquiring them, and list ways of compensating for material items that are unattainable.

Extended World

Participants will identify and implement specific ways to strengthen their personal relationships and suggest solutions to problems between neighbors.


Participants will role-play parenting situations with other participants, evaluate spousal relationships seen on TV shows and movies, use models to represent family members, identify key family members, portray themselves as they would like to be viewed by other family members, and summarize family holiday celebrations and describe an ideal celebration.


Participants will list both positive and negative examples of physical wellness, create plans for handling work loss due to illness and caring for a sick child, identify sources of stress and ways to avoid becoming overstressed, and think about and record self-actions that result in proud feelings.


Participants will identify maintenance issues and costs in the home, create a healthy, cost-effective menu and shopping list for one month, identify and schedule household cleaning chores, and identify seasonal household issues.


Participant will categorize leisure activities according to time requirements and expense, schedule a month of leisure activities, and plan an affordable vacation.


Participants will identify local community organizations or agencies that need volunteers and list volunteer tasks for each and survey local community members to identify ways to support the community.


Participants will survey local employees to identify the positive aspects of their jobs, conduct a wage survey of local businesses to determine the range of starting wages, role-play an employee in a difficult situation with the boss, role-play a person dealing with personal issues at work, and prioritize messages received at work.

Overall Issues

Participants will create a basic life map; critique the balance in their lives.

Special Features

The binder is divided by tabs into the eight aspects listed above, followed by another section entitled "Reproducibles" that includes 30 reproducibles that correspond with the eight categories. This convenient feature allows teachers to turn to the corresponding area and have ready access to the reproducibles that go with each section.

About the Author

Ellen McPeek Glisan has an M.S. in learning disabilities and started teaching in a cross-categorical classroom in a small rural Northern Illinois junior-senior high school. Writing complete programs that had a clear purpose in the lives of her students became her passion. She has created an entire line of School-to-Work materials for both regular and special education classrooms for children and adults.


  • Product Type: Binder
  • Author: Ellen McPeek Glisan
  • Number of Pages: 200 pages
  • Reproducible: Yes
  • Reading Level: 5.0+
  • Age Appropriate Level: Secondary, Adult
  • Copyright: 1998
Total Living

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