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Old 10-28-2011, 05:52 PM
 
Location: South St Louis
3,793 posts, read 3,443,731 times
Reputation: 1942

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I was reading the thread titled "Job search education should be a requirement in school" when it dawned on me: Some of the courses taught in high school are not going to provide the average student with much he or she can really use in life. (Trig for example. Unless you end up working in one of the few fields which require those sort of calculations, really, what use is it?)

On the other hand, ALL students will eventually need to learn some basic skills in their lives-- everything from effectively seeking employment to understanding food labels. But unfortunately, most schools don't offer courses in these important things.

So I propose a mandatory class for all students called "Life Skills". I have here a brief outline of some of the main topics that could be part of the course study:

(first quarter), Learning to Work: creating resumes, applying/interviewing for a job, common job expectations, promotions, payroll issues, talking to your boss, work behavior, leaves of absence, jury duty, unemployment compensation, retirement...

(second quarter), Health Matters: nutrition, meal planning, reading food labels, coping with illness, family planning, parenting skills, understanding medical forms, basic OTC drugs, how to talk to your doctor, basic first aid...

(third quarter), The Business of Life: banking, applying for credit, life insurance, investing, bankrupcy, filing taxes, wills and estates, renting an apartment, mortgages,...

(fourth quarter), Safety & Maintenance: fire safety, emergency preparation, basic home maintenance, basic auto maintenance, CPR, home protection, basic self-defense techniques...

Granted, SOME of the topics listed might be covered in other classes, such as Home Economics, Shop, Health, Business, etc. But those kinds of classes are usually electives, not mandatory.

My proposal is that every student should be taught these basic skills of life. Think of all the advantages this would bring to each and every person as they begin to find their way through this big, complicated world of ours.

 
Old 10-28-2011, 05:56 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,419 posts, read 37,484,068 times
Reputation: 39034
Some schools - like ours - do much of that already.
Family and Consumer Sciences is taught in the junior high.
 
Old 10-28-2011, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Southern California
3,115 posts, read 7,224,166 times
Reputation: 3671
I was taught almost all of that at home, and was able to function just fine as an 18-year-old in the real world.

In my opinion, school is meant to educate us. But the nitty gritty life skills? Don't most parents teach those?
 
Old 10-28-2011, 06:02 PM
 
3,929 posts, read 7,492,210 times
Reputation: 4416
Quote:
Originally Posted by bouncethelight View Post
Don't most parents teach those?
Unfortunately, a lot of parents haven't learned them.

Quarter 1 could also include college information.
 
Old 10-28-2011, 06:03 PM
 
12,605 posts, read 28,023,834 times
Reputation: 7140
Gosh, I hope some parents besides my husband and I are teaching their kids this stuff. My parents surely taught me most of this and rest I learned as I went. Isn't that sort of the fun of growing up? Learning by doing?
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:14 PM
 
18,856 posts, read 31,609,284 times
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Sounds like the cirriculum I had for my SPED students in the summer, Expanded Core Cirriculum. It is being taught! I also showed students how to open up a bank accoutn, use a debit card, read a bank statement, all the things to look at when renting an apartment, like where is the bus stop, grocery store. All my students learned that stuff. Yeh for Special Ed!
 
Old 10-28-2011, 06:16 PM
 
24,503 posts, read 35,336,300 times
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We did learn those lifeskills at school. We didn't go in depth in terms of financial preparedness (we didn't study wills, estates, or life insurance. And in regards to work preparedness we studied how to look for jobs, take interviews, career choices, and resumes... but didn't study jury duty, payroll, or unemployment compensation.

Each school varies.
 
Old 10-28-2011, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Middle America
36,489 posts, read 41,670,258 times
Reputation: 50192
Functional living skills are required for my IEP students. I have students with Down Syndrome who know more about how to plan and follow a grocery budget, do laundry, cook meals, prepare for a job interview, etc. than some typically developing kids the same age.
 
Old 10-29-2011, 07:11 AM
 
634 posts, read 1,344,328 times
Reputation: 798
I teach a careers and personal finance course in high school; it is an elective class. For those students whose parents guide them into this class, they learn valuable budgeting, credit management, personal insurance and skills on how to get and keep a job.

My department is proposing to our board of education next month that this class be required for graduation. It is 1 semester, only 1/2 of a year one period out of eight periods a day.

More than 1/2 of our seniors currently attend school less than the 8 periods a day because they have already met the requireds...they come like 2 - 6 periods a day, then leave early.

I am already getting push-back from parents who say they want to "reward" their children for working hard the 1st three years by letting them out early during their senior year. When I appeal to their common sense about how valuable this course would be, they agree....just not enough to allow this to go through. How about "rewarding" them by showing them how to get and keep a job? Or "rewarding" them by giving them the skills to avoid bankruptcy before they are 30?

Any ideas on things I could use in my argument to the board? I have statistics on bankruptcy, credit card abuse by college students, etc. I'd appreciate any ideas.
 
Old 10-29-2011, 07:29 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,835 posts, read 41,902,030 times
Reputation: 43207
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1greatcity View Post
I was reading the thread titled "Job search education should be a requirement in school" when it dawned on me: Some of the courses taught in high school are not going to provide the average student with much he or she can really use in life. (Trig for example. Unless you end up working in one of the few fields which require those sort of calculations, really, what use is it?)

On the other hand, ALL students will eventually need to learn some basic skills in their lives-- everything from effectively seeking employment to understanding food labels. But unfortunately, most schools don't offer courses in these important things.

So I propose a mandatory class for all students called "Life Skills". I have here a brief outline of some of the main topics that could be part of the course study:

(first quarter), Learning to Work: creating resumes, applying/interviewing for a job, common job expectations, promotions, payroll issues, talking to your boss, work behavior, leaves of absence, jury duty, unemployment compensation, retirement...
Most of these are covered in introductory Business classes already. Jury duty is in Government, UI will be at least mentioned in Economics or possibly an Issues class. Payroll will be in Accounting.

(second quarter), Health Matters: nutrition, meal planning, reading food labels, coping with illness, family planning, parenting skills, understanding medical forms, basic OTC drugs, how to talk to your doctor, basic first aid...
Health class and Family and Consumer Science.
(third quarter), The Business of Life: banking, applying for credit, life insurance, investing, bankrupcy, filing taxes, wills and estates, renting an apartment, mortgages,...
Again, Business and Economics classes for most of them.
(fourth quarter), Safety & Maintenance: fire safety, emergency preparation, basic home maintenance, basic auto maintenance, CPR, home protection, basic self-defense techniques...
Cost and finding qualified staff will be factors here.
Granted, SOME of the topics listed might be covered in other classes, such as Home Economics, Shop, Health, Business, etc. But those kinds of classes are usually electives, not mandatory.

My proposal is that every student should be taught these basic skills of life. Think of all the advantages this would bring to each and every person as they begin to find their way through this big, complicated world of ours.

My next question for you will be "Are you willing to pay for all these program enhancements? If not, what will you cut out of the current curriculum, keeping in mind that schools rarely offer "frills" but have to offer a range of courses?" And yes, that includes Art and Music, both of which have their own category under both NCLB and for the various regional accrediting agencies.

If you make, say, a course in personal finance required you then have to have staffing. The current teacher has 2 sections of that, a couple sections of Accounting and maybe a couple sections of Word Processing (typing if you're old school). Now you have that teacher doing 6 sections of finance and have to hire another staff member to teach the first one's other courses.

Another question, when was the last time you were in a high school?
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