Topics Teens Benefit From If Taught In Schools

Teenagers in high school are required to take core academic subjects such as English, math, science, and history, but it’s those real-world skills that many high school graduates are lacking upon receiving their diplomas. We’re taught an assortment of equations and facts that truthfully most of us won’t ever use again, but we aren’t taught about adult responsibilities that will soon be thrust upon us. Electives in schools do vary but mostly focus on arts or sports which certainly have their place but won’t necessarily be useful in day-to-day life upon graduation.

Schools don’t typically offer courses that teach life skills such as cooking or woodworking like they used to decades ago, but they really should. As you know, adulting is hard, and restructuring high school courses to reflect that could be really helpful in the long run for our teenagers. Here are ten topics that should be taught in high schools.

10 Financial Literacy

Being a financially independent and responsible adult is a daunting task that doesn’t really come easy. Do you know what’s really confusing? Credit cards, interest rates, and payment plans. This should be taught in high school so when an 18-year-old inevitably receives a credit card, they know how it works, the fees associated, and how to pay one-off properly. Financial literacy is also knowing how to budget and leave within your means.


9 Health & Wellness

Health care in the United States isn’t ideal however preventive health care is vital for good health. An explanation of health insurance and what services are covered may be eye-opening for teens, but it’s needed.

Wellness can also include topics such as diet and nutrition since healthy eating is also very important for a healthy life. Many people grow up not knowing about vegetables, fruits, and other parts of a balanced diet making this a great topic for schools to cover.

8 Sexual Health

This is a controversial topic, but we know teenagers have sex and will continue to do so no matter what their schools say. It’s been proven again and again that abstinence-only sex education doesn’t produce the results its proponents want.

A Columbia University public health study results that teaching teens to abstain from sex results in more teen pregnancies and STDs. Sexual health in high schools should prepare young adults to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases in a variety of ways.


7 cooking

Cooking is a skill and so many teenagers graduate, move out, then subsist on ramen and bread. While this is ok for the short term, cooking is healthier and cheaper in the long run. It’s also really easy if you know what to do and have kitchen staples on-hand. Take-out is great, but it just isn’t financially feasible.

6 The Art of Conversation

Small talk can be surprisingly hard to do. Social anxiety can play a role and so can not knowing what to say to a person you don’t know or seemingly have nothing in common with. If high school taught a course on how to talk to all kinds of people, and how to handle certain social situations well, the world may be a little less awkward.

A course on this topic can provide conversational ideas and ways to answer common questions. This will teens as they transition into adulthood with relationships with love interests, friends, family, co-workers, and more. It can also teach when it’s okay to sit in silence.

RELATED: Clubs Can Provide Many Life Skills For Tweens & Teens

5 Basic Car Maintenance

Knowing how to check your oil and putting air in your tires can truly be a lifesaver. Getting into more specifics with cars such as the types of fluids cars need under the hood and how to refill them, how to change light bulbs, and other common car issues is a great topic to cover for teens who drive, or will be driving soon . Teens who have cars can be better prepared on the road, which should put their parents at ease.

4 How To Interview For A Job & Make A Resume

Sitting down for your first job interview is a nerve-wracking experience. It can make seasoned job vets nervous so when teens do it for the first time, they will likely stumble as well. They’ll be less likely to struggle if they have some practice and this is a skill that can grow.

A job course can also teach how to look for jobs, apply, and create a resume. Resume formats can vary greatly and teens can struggle with what to write on them.

3 Overcoming Conflict

This is an essential life skill that many never master. The National Association of Secondary Principles (NASP) has been asking for life skills to be taught at the high school level since 1992 arguing that society as a whole would be better off. Teaching teens healthy ways to overcome conflict in their day-to-day life will benefit them and those around them.

Conflict resolution is a huge topic for the NASP. Conflict happens daily and not many have the emotional skills to healthily deal with conflict and move on. This benefits them when keeping a job, if they get into a car accident, and even dealing with internal conflict. Again, this will help teens once they form long-term or close relationships.


2nd Basic Home Ownership & Maintenance

Maintaining a home is a learned skill and many of us move out of our parents’ homes surprised by what needs to be done and how much it all costs. All the dusting, cleaning, washing, etc. can be overwhelming at first. That’s not even to mention the outside of the home and everything that can go wrong inside it such as burst pipes or a broken window. Home and renters’ insurance is another tricky topic and this is where all that can be explained and why it’s important to have insurance.

one Learning From Mistakes

We will at some point make mistakes and fail. A topic taught in high school should revolve around learning from one’s mistakes and moving on. This is an emotional skill, but failure will happen; many get to adulthood and have some setbacks then can’t recover. If that’s not the case, it might take a while to fully recuperate. Perseverance is an important trait and teens need it now more than ever.

Source: Columbia University, National Association of Secondary School Principles, Successful Student


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