OPINION: High Schools Should Start Teaching Real Life Skills


There’s no denying the imperative nature of education and the manner in which education shapes young people. The quality of a child’s education can, and often does, impact how they spend their adult years, the availability of different opportunities, and the decisions they choose to make.

Unfortunately, the education system still has a considerable ways to go before they reach the point of truly setting young people up for success. This is especially true of high schools.

Far too often, high school curriculums neglect to imbue young people with real-world skills.  Instead, they opt to teach the Pythagorean Theorem; this is a rather useless bit of information which 99.99999% of adults will never need in the real world.

Teachers know this, as does the rest of the world.

What Should High Schools Really Be Teaching Kids?

Aside from the basics of English, reading, science, writing, civics, and math, high schools should be teaching young people about the following skills:

  • Homeownership/renting
  • Budgeting/money management
  • Filing taxes
  • Choosing a career path

The list could go on and on, but quite frankly, the above skills would be an excellent starting point. High school is supposed to prepare children for the real world; thus far, it’s failed to meet this mark for quite some time.

Far too many young people complete high school and don’t have a clue about important skills they’ll need in order to enjoy prosperous adulthood.

The education system just warehouses students, passing them along from one class to the next; if teaching curriculums placed more focus on helping kids learn to budget earned income, a lot of young adults would be much better off.

Contrary to what some teachers may tell high school students, knowing how to do fractions with letters or learning the square root of 3.14 won’t be useful in the real world.

Thriving in the Real World

The world in which we live is getting increasingly more competitive. Those who lack important bits of knowledge and information risk being left behind.

If schools are going to call themselves part of the “education system,” then they should start really educating young people, not just indoctrinating them. True education means ensuring that high school kids learn information that they can use in real life.