With Liam turning 5 in July, I’ve been paying attention to things I’ve never had to before, such as school. It never really occurred to me that things have changed at all since I’ve been in elementary/middle school, but apparently they have. Some people argue that it’s for the better, and others argue that it’s all going straight down in the metaphorical handbasket.
Personally, I don’t think I have enough experience with school age kids just yet to be able to voice my opinion on what works and what doesn’t, but I do know that one thing seems to be blatantly and obviously missing:
I’m not talking about skills such as interacting with others, sharing, whatever. I mean like, “adulting”. Apparently these things started disappearing when I was in school because I was fairly clueless on a lot upon graduating, but now they are all but extinct. I’m talking things like how to balance a check book, how to budget appropriately, how to perform basic maintenance work on your car, cooking/shopping/nutrition, building things, how certain tools work, gardening, etc etc. I’m sure there are programs at schools out there that exist but it’s definitely not the norm. I do agree that these are things that could definitely be taught at home by parents…but when is that going to happen? School lasts longer and longer these days, then kids come home with hours of homework. Combine that with parents who work full time and when is this teaching going to happen? No, it’s not the job of schools to teach your kids how to change the oil in their cars but really, aren’t basic life skills just as important as knowing how to solve an equation or edit a sentence? All the mathematical knowledge in the world isn’t going to save you when you burn your spam because you’re broke from not budgeting and getting ripped off from paying someone to do something you could have easily done yourself.
I don’t want this to be a touchy subject because heck, not all of us have time to instill this vast HOW TO BE AN ADULT knowledge upon our kids. I barely do and to be honest, I can’t do it anyway because no one taught me. But because I know what it’s like to feel an inch tall when buying a house or going to Home Depot, it’s important to me that my kids don’t. I want them to excel in academics, yes, but I also want them to be able to take care of themselves and not rely on others. I feel like as a society, we are becoming so technology dependent that we are forgetting how to manually do things for ourselves.
Surely I’m not the only one that’s thought of this, and I definitely don’t have a plan other than just involving my kids in every daily activity instead of sending them off to watch TV when I’m changing the oil in my car. How do we raise capable kids? Is there a secret?