11 Life Skills NOT taught in school, but should

From growing your own food to cpr to car repair, these are essesential building blocks of successful adults… so why are our children not taught these skills in school?!


America seems to focused on teaching young kids how to fill in a circle with a pencil and less time learning skills that might help them get by, and even get ahead, in life.


Below are 9 courses that schools should bring back, or add to, their curriculum:


  1. First Aid:  First aid, including CPR, should be vital for students to learn.  Lifesaving skills like the Heimlich Maneuver, CPR, proper bandaging a wound, and identifying an allergic reaction are basic first aid techniques that everyone should learn and know.
  2. Home Repair:  Kids today think owning a home today is easy, simple, etc.  Contrary to their beliefs, there are so many tasks to do around the house (or apartment) that they are unaware of.  While most find it rather simple to hang a picture on a wall, will they find it simple to unclog a toilet?  Fix a drippy sink?  Change an air conditioner filter or a furnace filter? How about install (hang) a LEVEL set of shelves that will be secure to place fragile items upon?
  3. Budgeting:  Nowadays High School Grads LACK the BASIC financial skills necessary to make IMPORTANT decisions when it comes to their own wallets!  Math class word problems should be more focused on real-life skills like balancing a check book rather than if a train leaving Point A will ever meet up with another train from Point B.  Math problems should revolve around more realistic situations and less on the imaginary.
  4. Car Repair:  How many hours a week do kids spend in vehicles a week?  How many kids know how to jump start a dead battery?  Check the pressure in the tires? Change a flat tire?  Change the oil? Check the oil?  It’s unfortunate that we have people today, adults, who don’t even know how to pump fuel into a vehicle.
  5. Self-Defense: When I say self-defense I don’t mean the karate chop tricks to break boards with fists, but self-defense as in teaching kids how to protect themselves.  How to identify dangers when walking down the street.  How to react in an emergency.  Self-Defense classes can build confidence within kids so they have the power to keep themselves safe.
  6. Cooking: This seems complicated to many who are not use to it.  Kids will stick to the effortless, PB&J, ramen noodles, Mac and Cheese and hot dogs, or pizza delivery instead of branching out to healthy, a bit more effort to make, types of foods.  Very few schools offer this type of class and for those who do offer, they skim over the knowledge leaving the kids lacking in the skill.  Food… It’s kinda important, shouldn’t we treat it as such?!
  7. Swimming: Approximately 4,000 people die every year from accidental drownings.  Most are kids under the age of 14.  If you live, work, recreation, etc around water, shouldn’t we teach our kids the basic, and ultimately life saving skill, of swimming?!
  8. File Taxes:  The dreaded taxes.  The most annoying but unavoidable fact in life.  Nothing is certain but Death and Taxes. In Georgia, High Schoolers are so knowledgeable in taxes that they not only files their own taxes, but they also volunteer to prepare the income taxes for low-income residents in and around their community.  To keep our kids from filing wrong, or not even attempting to do it at all and getting in trouble with the “tax man”, shouldn’t we teach our youth this inevitable skill?!
  9. Coding: Coding?! Isn’t that just for Science Geeks and Tech Nerds?!  In todays world of technology it’s very important to learn about the technology and the different ways students can use it to advance their career. Whatever they may choose pursue in life, technology will be there.  In the UK it is mandated that students learn computer programming in primary and secondary schools, yet in the US nearly 90 percent of schools offer no, or very little, computer science classes.  We need to help our kids to not fall into the “If theres not an app for that, it can’t be done” trap.
  10. Cleaning:  Most kids today can’t even keep their rooms clean, don’t know how to wash dishes, or even how to vacuum.  How can we expect that when they go out in the world that they will not pollute Nature when we have not even taught them how to clean at home.  In Japan they have no janitors in their schools.  All of the students are the janitors.  They not only learn, by hands on, basic cleaning skills, but also how to respect their surroundings by not polluting it in the first place.
  11. Firearm Training:  In todays society this one is in a bit of “controversy”.  But statistics do show that in the areas of the US that have the most strict gun control laws have the higher crime rates and the areas that have the least strict gun control laws have the lowest crime rates.  But this isn’t about control, it’s about learning.  Teaching our kids firearm safety is a valuable lesson.  The more you know about a thing, the less you will fear a thing.  To learn not only how to shoot a firearm, but how to clean a firearm, store a firearm, firearm safety techniques, etc.  A firearm, for many adults, is a valuable tool for maintaining ones safety.  Many Sheriff’s across the US have stated that in an emergency, when your life maybe in danger, it’s better to have a gun in hand than a Cop on a phone.  In the 1950’s, schools had gun ranges, taught gun safety, etc.  Why did we stop?


Comment below what other skills you feel should be taught in schools that is not currently available to our youth.




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George Lucas Educational Foundation






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