While a well-rounded education is extremely important, trying to ensure that children have everything they need to serve as a foundation for whichever career path they choose results in learning a lot of irrelevant information. Furthermore, basic life skills that they will need to function in society as adults are omitted.
Life skills should be worked into the curriculum at schools, with a focus on the high school years, Here are four life skills that every child should be taught.
CPR and First Aid
With modern technology making it easy to access free online CPR classes, there’s no excuse for not knowing this life-saving skill. Some even argue that it should be mandatory to take the training on a regular basis, creating a safe network of trained individuals no matter where you go.
Children who are enrolled in extra-curricular activities or take courses outside of school will learn first aid and CPR. However, it should be incorporated into formal education to ensure that everyone who is graduating and entering the workforce has training under their belt. Whether or not they choose to renew is up to them.
It’s rare that anyone handles their own taxes with a pencil and paper anymore, due to the advancements in online software and the availability of tax preparation services. However, going through the motions of clicking buttons or recording income to hand over to a professional doesn’t give anyone an in-depth understanding of what they’re paying and why. Given the fact that most people hate paying tax, they should know the ins and outs of the process.
By giving children a few lessons in school, assigning a persona, and teaching them how to calculate everything and research to see what claims one might be eligible for, educators would ensure that graduates enter the workforce knowing how to follow the process themselves.
A lot of children have no concept about how much it costs to live as an independent adult. They learn that budgeting ensures you aren’t spending more money than you make, but don’t learn it in practice. Think of how effective it would be to have students create a budget based on an assigned monthly income scenario, then make a trip to the grocery store to see if they can stay on budget.
Researching different insurance providers, the cost of rent in various areas, and understanding the less enjoyable aspects of being an adult can help offset debilitating debt and poor money management.
Critical Thinking and Communication in an Online World
These lessons address a growing issue specific to our changing society, and how we interact with each other as a result. Much of the information shared on the internet is inaccurate or spun out of proportion. Imagine a world in which someone can think critically and determine what’s real and what isn’t before following medical advice shared via an internet meme.
Rather than fighting with people in comments, imagine an in-depth lesson that showcases how freedom of speech does not mean freedom of consequences. That things you say and share online can impact you for years to come. The lessons could look at cases of cyberbullying that resulted in suicide and businesses that have gone under based on one person’s online review that started a firestorm.
Face-to-face communication has greatly sufferedas technological communication has become the predominant way of speaking to one another. As a result, many of today’s youth don’t know how to start a conversation or use their manners in public settings. To be fair, plenty of adults have seemingly forgotten as well. Learning how to communicate with other humans should be a skill taught in modern schools. Studying is a never-ending process, and it is also relevant for learning English.
The educational needs of society are always changing to reflect an evolving world. Some of the basics, however, always remain the same and prove to be valuable life skills for children and adults alike.