Besides chemistry and algebra, there are other types of classes that should be taught in high school. Many teens, like me, graduate without possessing basic skills needed for living in the adult world. I muddled through my twenties, making poor decisions because I didn’t know any better. The following 7 classes that should be taught in high school would actually do a lot to help young people enter adulthood.
1. Credit Basics
I was 19 when I signed up for my first credit card. The credit card company came to my college campus and handed out free candy to any student who applied. I had no idea I was starting down a very slippery slope when that shiny new credit card arrived in the mail. As a poor college student, I suddenly felt rich because I could buy whatever I wanted with credit. This is one of those classes that should be taught in high school so teens understand the importance of maintaining good credit.
2. Survival 101
Wouldn’t it be great if schools taught us how to grow our own food? Most of us weren’t born knowing how to catch a fish. I know it’s not likely I’ll get lost in the woods, but it would be comforting to know how to build a campfire without matches, if necessary. If high schools showed us how to survive during a natural disaster or other emergency, we’d all be a lot better off. This is especially true for those of us who weren’t Girl Scouts.
3. Banking & Loans
Most teens can’t explain how a certificate of deposit (CD) works. What about a fixed or variable rate mortgage? Schools should offer a class on the basics of banking and loans. There should be a section on student loans because most of us take out college loans without really understanding the ramifications. Growing up, my parents rarely talked about money so I was completely lost when it came to understanding loan terms.
4. Intro to Home Systems
I don’t know the first thing about my home’s electrical, heating or plumbing systems. If my furnace breaks down, I have no trouble-shooting skills whatsoever. A class that covers the basics could be incredibly helpful. I’m not saying we’d come out of it as master electricians, but it would be nice to know basic electrical information. For instance, can you or your teen explain how a GFCI outlet works?
5. Insurance Basics
I know the topic of insurance is a real snooze-fest. However, we all need to buy insurance at some point, whether it’s for a car, home or life. When I turned 18 and had to buy my own car insurance, I didn’t have the foggiest idea how to read the policy. I blindly trusted my insurance agent to choose the best coverage for me. I may have been overspending or under-covered without even realizing it.
6. Car Maintenance
For me and the majority of my friends, a class on basic car maintenance would have been useful. I know some teens can already change a car’s oil or troubleshoot a bad alternator. The rest of us must rely on AAA if we get a flat tire. These simple maintenance skills would inevitably come in handy at some point. This is true even for non-drivers.
7. Personal Safety
Teens should be taught commonsense safety and protection skills. How can we expect to enter the real world at 18 without knowing how to take care of ourselves? The class could include topics like identity theft, basic first aid skills and self-defense techniques. In a world of GPS technology, many of us can’t even read a map or a compass. What if our lives depended on it?
Many teens enter adulthood lacking basic skills for living in the real world. What other types of classes can you think of that should be taught in high school?