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Wednesday, 5 October 2011

What They SHOULD Learn in School

I know I will have all the teachers shouting at me that there is not enough time in the busy curriculum these days but I am not getting at you, only the system.  With the current work (or lack of) situation my thoughts about what they don’t learn in school is even more important.  I know you will also be shouting that parents should teach their kids these things but not all of these basic things occur when the child is around to show them how to do it.


How many children who have left school (and indeed a lot of young adults) know how to do the basic things that are required to live a normal lifestyle.  I think all children should learn the things they need to run a house, a car, their finances etc.  Everyone male and female should be able to do all the household jobs around the house:

Cook basic meals using fresh ingredients, i.e. how to prepare and cook fresh meat / fish and vegetables - rather than just being able to put a frozen dinner in the oven or microwave.

Do a healthy supermarket shop buying all the essentials and budgeting for them.

Thoroughly clean the house and know how to do it and with what products.

Wash clothes at the right temperature, put them out properly on the line, fold them neatly, iron any that require it.  Change the bedclothes and towels regularly.

Change a light bulb, change a fuse, unblock the sink, put up shelves and know how to use tools to make / repair things, clean out the gutters etc. and all the basic household maintenance jobs.

Decorate a room using wallpaper, emulsion and gloss paint, plus paint the outside of the house if needed.

Do all the necessary gardening jobs, cutting the lawn, weeding the flower beds, planting and growing flowers and vegetables, painting the fence etc.

Wash the car, change the oil, change a tyre, check the tyre pressure etc.

Be able to administer First Aid and CPR.  Know how to look after someone who is ill and when to call a doctor.

Look after household pets – what they need and what they should be fed, how much water and exercise they need.

How to handle money by only spending what is coming in and not borrowing, the financial cost of borrowing, how to use credit cards by paying the total at the end of each month and to budget for extra expense without going into credit.  How much to put aside each month for household bills.

I am sure there are some other things that I haven’t thought of here in my usual “off-the-cuff” blog.


I know you will be saying that parents should teach their children these things and the school curriculum is for academic things but what is the point of our children leaving school with good grades but not be able to even live on their own if they did manage to get a job, as they have no idea how to run their own flat / house.  These skills would be so useful to them in everyday life and yet most leave school with no knowledge whatsoever of how to do most of these things. 


Children are not always around when the parent is doing these things to even notice how they are done – parents who both work may well hire someone to do these things because they can afford it, and if one parent is at home then a lot of these things are done while the child is at school.  As for things like changing a tyre, unless the child happens to be in the car and they are on a safe road to let the child be out of the car, then it is unlikely the child will be shown how to do it.  Similarly household shopping etc. are now so automatic to the parents that they neglect to show the child how to do it as well as the fact that the child is often very reluctant to take any notice of the parent showing them, whereas if it is taught in schools they will learn these things in a proper way.  Hopefully it would be an interesting subject for them as well because they could see how these things will apply in real life as opposed to some of the other subjects they are learning.  LOL – whether they bother to do them at home then is irrelevant because at least they will know how to do them when the necessity arises. 


I know a lot of us gave the children “jobs” to do as they got older but they rarely learnt more than a few basic jobs.  Also how many of us just finished the jobs the child had started or not done at all as it was easier.  It wouldn’t help at all if they are in their newly rented flat and the light blub blew which fused the electricity.  If they don’t know how to put the power back on, how to replace the bulb or even have bought a spare bulb to have in stock, then it wont help at all if they have 16 “A” levels, they will still be on the phone asking what to do (LOL - as long as they have a mobile and don’t rely on the power for the phone to work) and if you are 160 miles away all you can do is give them verbal instructions as you can’t pop round to sort it out and give them a light bulb.


I would love to hear your views so please do let me know (LOL – and I will know you are bothering to read my blog as I often feel I am talking to myself) so even an “I agree” or “I disagree” will be fine as at least I know someone is out there reading this as my Following List doesn’t seem to increase.

Todays trivia snippet:

The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven:
£ 10,120.00 

(Another fact all our children should probably know before they rush out and buy their own as soon as they leave home).


The chuckle for today:

1 comment:

  1. You raise some good points... but it is the parents responsibility to teach the kids those things you have mentioned. The parent has to figure out HOW to do it.

    One of the things we do is:
    Give them a budget for a meal. They must then plan the meal and prepare it.

    If a tire needs to be replaced on the car, the kids take an active part in this.

    All kids have chores and because I have 4 of them we rotate so that each child gets to participate and experience it all.

    I do not wash my kids' clothes once they turn 12. I do not clean their room once they can do this on their own. Their is a time where I will help them, up until the age of 7 or 8.

    Kids take turns in caring for the animals. If a child wants an animal they are responsible for its care. If they cannot do this, then the animal will find a new home!

    My kids have also participated in painting rooms, fixing plumbing issues, help on the job (we are both self-employed). The older kids care for the younger kids and initiative is expected (and completed at 50%) of the time.

    My kids also play outside. They don't get to play video games until certain things are complete like homework - and they only get one our of video game or computer time.

    It's my responsibility. Its the teachers job to educate them academically. Too often I hear ... how do you get your kids to do these things?
    Frankly, they don't have a choice, I am not a maid. And it allows everyone to take equal share in running our home!