Whether you are a parent or a teacher, you realize there are not enough classes offered for students in high school that will help them succeed in real life. I’m not saying Algebra and World History are not important. They are. But there need to be additional classes that will educate students on how to manage their adult life once they are finished with school. While many of these life skills should be taught by parents, very few actually are. Here are a few life skills classes that I would make mandatory for all high school students if I were running the country or even just one school district.
Basic Vehicle Upkeep
I have encountered college students and adults in their twenties and thirties that do not even realize how to properly put air in their car tires. They do not know how to change their oil, replace windshield wipers, or how to change a flat tire. Even if this class was only nine weeks long, so much could get crammed into it so young adults would no longer have no clue what the gauges in the car actually mean. I must admit, I would have benefited greatly from this class back in the day and I am guessing most of you would have as well. Make this class mandatory for all sophomores in high school since they will more than likely be receiving their license in the immediate future.
This might be the most important class that should be offered in high school. For instance, politicians are having a field day discussing how student loans need to be reduced or eliminated entirely. But here’s the thing: Nothing is free in this world. If they aren’t paying for it, then the rest of us are with higher taxes.
Finance 101 would discuss bank accounts, investment accounts, how to manage a budget, and financial responsibility. Maybe this would deter students from choosing $50,000 a year colleges and perhaps they would realize the benefits of attending a $10,000 a year university instead.
Health and Fitness
I realize that you are probably saying at this moment that high schools do offer Health classes and most have PE every single day. This is true. But obviously, we need to do more. Nearly 40 percent of adults in America are clinically obese. This does not even take into account the people that are merely overweight. More and more, young children are becoming obese as well and it will probably stick with them through a lifetime. Positive body image is one thing, but gluttony is quite another. Obesity brings on a variety of health problems that are affecting everyone as our health insurance premiums continue to rise higher simply because we overeat. Perhaps a mandatory yearly Health and Fitness class that meets three times a week could prevent a few of these problems.
Simple Home Repair and Renovation
With HGTV being so popular, I am surprised that this is not already a class in high schools across America. If you have ever worked with a contractor or repairman of any sort, you realize that most of the time you are at their mercy. They charge you an obscene amount of money for simple fixes. Most home repair and renovation can be handled without having to contact someone that is charging $50 an hour. You could easily as an adult fix leaky pipes, lay down flooring, hang drywall and paint, change out fixtures, and install cabinets without needing to rely on anyone else if someone would just show you how in high school.
If you are a high school teacher or an administrator, there are ways you can incorporate these skills into your classes right now. In fact, iAchieve may be able to help you figure out how through our professional development courses. It is all about addressing the problems and creating solutions to them. These life skills that every student should know needs to be added to the curriculum one way or another.
Written by: Ryan Crawley