School can teach many, many important things for one’s life but it more often than not can be lacking in teaching even the most basic of skills. The following are classes that aren’t traditional in what they teach their students but the skills the students will learn will help them for the rest of their lives.
- How to Prepare you own taxes- Yeah, you could go ahead pay for someone to do this or you can pay for an online program to do this but why are we letting someone or something else do this yearly chore for us? This class should cover how to do a basic tax return and how to do it to get the most out of their tax money. Taxes can seem daunting to those who have no clue on how to approach them and a class that takes away some of the difficulty of it would help everyone.
- Math for Real Life- When did you last use what you learned in Algebra 2? When did you last need to know what 30% off of $60 is? Yeah, there’s a good chance you used the latter more often then the former. A math for real life would deal with math that we all use on a daily basis rather than math that 90% of the population will never again need. Teach how to quickly do percentages in your head or fractions for cooking. Yes, this seems like basic math but when it comes down to it, basic math is what we use more often than not and many of us don’t know how to do it without the aid of a calculator or a spouse who happens to be better at math than us.
- How to Date Smarter/Have Healthier Relationships- I touched on this topic in my story Top Things about Relationships that should be taught in School but I think it bears repeating that schools really fail when it comes to preparing people for the dating world with what they’re calling “Health” class or not even having a class at all about the topic. The teenage years are the formative years of how we learn to be in a healthy relationship so why are schools ignoring this and instead focusing on solely teaching how the ovaries work or abstinence only? Teach both boys and girls how to recognize a healthy and unhealthy relationship and what sort of work that will entail to maintain it while they are young and haven’t formed the bad habits or mindsets that will come later in life.
- Real Life Physical Education- Physical Education is helpful at teaching teamwork and what not but most people stop exercising once they aren’t forced to do it. Have a class that focuses on incorporating daily exercise and the benefits of doing so rather than just having everyone play a pre-selected sport that very few if any of the students care about. Teach more realistic ways to both start and then maintain a healthy lifestyle. Teach everyone how to lift weights that can be done both at home or at the gym. Teach exercise skills that will make the students want to keep being healthy into adulthood rather than dumping it once they graduate.
- How to fix real-life mechanical tools- Do you know how to fix a snowblower? Do you know how to change a spark plug in your car? There should be a class that teaches how to fix things that we take for granted in using on a weekly or daily basis. Yes, there are mechanical classes in high school but very few if any are geared for both genders and none of them teach how to fix things that the students will use that aren’t cars even though they will eventually need to know how to fix them at some point in their lives if they end up owning them.
- Basic Cooking for One- Most people will have to, at some point in their lives, cook for themselves for whatever reason( not enough money to eat out, divorce, death of the cooking spouse). Teach how to cook for just yourself and it will take away the shame of this. Single people shouldn’t be forced to live off of tv dinners or take out. Have recipes that are easy to follow and cheap to make and the students will have a better chance of retaining the information and using it in the future.
- Basic Lawn Care- Mowing a lawn seems simple enough but when you reach your mid 20’s and have never done it before you’ll soon realize there’s more to it than just going back and forth with the mower. A class should be offered that teaches the most basic of maintaining a lawnmower (how to put oil in it, how to sharpen the blade) and how to maintain a lawn that you can be proud of. Basic gardening can even be added to help those interesting in growing more than just the easy to grow plants.
- How to Adult- This class should be an overview of all of the skills adults need to survive. How to make a budget, how to prioritize your time in an effective manner, how to deal with stress in a healthy manner. A lot of teenagers think life will be easier once they’re an adult and they are setting themselves up for disappointment once they realize this is incredibly wrong. Teach the things that most of us have had to learn the hard way to save the next generation a world of heartache and trouble.
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