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Things I wished I learned in school but didn't...

 
gardener
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I saw this today and thought it would be fun to see what you all could add to this list...
Screenshot_20220407-121352-2.png
[Thumbnail for Screenshot_20220407-121352-2.png]
 
Jenny Wright
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*How to EAT good food

We grew plenty of little bean starts or wheat grass cups but never actually harvested and ate anything from those experiments.
 
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Sorry, but I don't believe any of that belongs in the school curriculum. Those are things that parents and/or community members should be teaching. We pile too much onto the plates of schools and teachers. It seems that we've forgotten that "parent" is also a verb.
 
Jenny Wright
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Misty May wrote:Sorry, but I don't believe any of that belongs in the school curriculum. Those are things that parents and/or community members should be teaching. We pile too much onto the plates of schools and teachers. It seems that we've forgotten that "parent" is also a verb.


Not even in highschool when kids should be exploring what possibilities they have for future careers?
 
Jenny Wright
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And what about as part of subjects like science, social studies, and health? Elementary school classes use a wide variety of subjects to practice reading comprehension skills. These things can be included in that as well. I'm coming from the perspective of former public school elementary school teacher and a currently homeschooling mom of 5. I could teach all these kinds of things in both settings. Real life applications are what makes the basic subjects of reading, writing and arithmetic interesting and engaging.
 
gardener
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Great question, Jenny! I so wish those skills would've been taught to me in school! I helped teach some of them at a wilderness school and have to admit, I was sad that I didn't get that chance and that so many children whose parents can't afford such a school don't get that opportunity either. I'm sure lots of parents don't know those things to be able to teach them and/or don't have the time and energy to be teaching their kids. I think kids would be so much more interested in learning if they had more opportunities to learn practical, hands on skills like you describe. That is certainly what I observed working at the wilderness school. I also saw being able to engage in activities like this totally transform kids into much more lively, expressive, creative and kind little people.

Observation skills are absolutely something that I wish would've been taught in school. Given that this is supposed to be the first step of the scientific method, I'd think there'd be more focus, but I sure don't remember any. If anything, I recall being scolded for observing and talking about it. Probably the best way I've been taught this as an adult is literally just sitting and observing with a little bit of guidance before hand. Embarrassingly simple, but so important and worth spending time on.

Emotional regulation and non-violent communication would've been nice. While it would be ideal if kids learned this at home or in their community, I don't think most adults have these skills because they weren't modeled or taught to them either. These skills are so essential for personal and societal health, I don't think it should be left to hoping that the parents have these skills and the ability to teach them. Seems like they would've fit nicely into health or social studies.

Tying all that together, teaching kids the actual how of respecting themselves and others was a big part of what we did at the wilderness school and something that seems to normally be missing, but sorely needed. We taught the kids about self-care and listening to their bodies. To rest when you need to, drink water, ask for help and communicate about your feelings and needs. When interacting with others, to actually pay attention to them. To listen to and respect their words when they tell you what's going on. But also to watch their face since people sometimes freeze or fawn when they're uncomfortable. Do they look like they're having fun, or are they scared or feeling something difficult and need to stop? And again, to get help from an adult if they needed help navigating the complex world of interacting with others.

We also taught them to respect life and nature. The starting point being to not do things like crush insects or rip up plants for fun. Then beginning to consider those beings to have a right to exist and be curious about them. We taught them about the honorable harvest and that it is okay to take plants and animals for food, medicine, etc. so long as you do it in a respectful, responsible way. For example, if you are going to take a plant, to look first and see if there are enough for them to continue growing and feeding other beings if you do. Then to ask the plant, listen and be willing to take no for an answer. To only take what you need to and to be sure to actually use what you take. To have gratitude for what you receive and to find ways to give back.
 
master steward
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I would have gladly traded in one of my study halls for a “life skills class”.  I was very fortunate to go to a school that mandated all boys in the 7th grade attend shop class and all girls attend home economics.  While it would have been nice for everyone to be required to take both ....this was in 1961 or2.  
As a certified science geek, it was my worse nightmare.   I passed the class with a D followed by 13 minuses.   Did wonders for my GPA.   But, I still can’t pick up a tool without Mr. Barton’s voice guiding me how to use it.  For what it is worth, I can’t remember specifics regarding what any other teachers in my 7 th grade taught me.


So, to add to the list, mandate  7th and 8th graders to take home economics and shop. And, add a life skills class as a requirement for graduation from high school.
 
Jenny Wright
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Heather Sharpe wrote:

Observation skills are absolutely something that I wish would've been taught in school. Given that this is supposed to be the first step of the scientific method, I'd think there'd be more focus, but I sure don't remember any. If anything, I recall being scolded for observing and talking about it. Probably the best way I've been taught this as an adult is literally just sitting and observing with a little bit of guidance before hand. Embarrassingly simple, but so important and worth spending time on.



Oh very important skill! I don't think I really learned this until adulthood as well. I started to learn it during my first botany class in college when I learned to identify plants but I really learned the importance of sitting and quietly watching when I became a volunteer at the Seattle Aquarium. Previously to volunteering, I would walk through the whole place in an hour or two and say, "Well that was mildly entertaining. What's next?"  As a volunteer, I would be assigned to stand at an exhibit for an hour before rotating to another one, ready to answer any questions or share some interesting facts. Even what looked like the most boring exhibit of sand dollars became so fascinating when you watched them long enough to see how they moved and interacted. My favorite was watching the cuttlefish. People at most would watch for a minute before walking on, so I would almost yell at them, "No, no! Stay and watch for a while longer so you can see how they change colors and use what almost looks like sign language to communicate with each other!" It was very satisfying when people stopped and stood staring with me for 10-20 minutes and you could see their minds waking up and actually "see"!

Heather Sharpe wrote:
Emotional regulation and non-violent communication would've been nice. While it would be ideal if kids learned this at home or in their community, I don't think most adults have these skills because they weren't modeled or taught to them either. These skills are so essential for personal and societal health, I don't think it should be left to hoping that the parents have these skills and the ability to teach them. Seems like they would've fit nicely into health or social studies.


There are some really great curriculums that teach growth mindset and this kind of thing. I think it makes a huge difference. In our high school health class, mental health was covered maybe one week out of all four years and it was a lecture of words and definitions without any practical or helpful skills or guidance on what to do with that information. I remember going to lunch after one class on eating disorders and my best friend said to me, "I think you have an eating disorder." And I thought to myself, yeah, I probably do, and that was that. Nothing about how I could start addressing root causes of depression and anxiety or body positivity. Yes parents should be teaching their kids these things but if kids are spending the majority of their waking hours in school without their parents, teachers need to cover these things too. My parents were loving and engaged parents but didn't have a clue that I had an eating disorder because they only saw me eat at dinner, and that only in nights that we all happened to be at home for dinner at the same time. (All reasons that have contributed to our decision to homeschool.)
 
master steward
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We don't teach math by only having a child listen to the teacher and watch them write out an equation on the board - we give them questions that they have to figure out the answers to on their own.

So why do we try to teach science by just lecturing?

That said, many of the "experiments" we were assigned to do, the teacher didn't teach the concept of "variability" and "statistical averages" first - so no, you don't actually get the theoretical results from a single experiment - you need to do it 50 times and watch for trends and errors.
 
pollinator
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When we moved to the region in the US where we now live, I was shocked.......pleasantly so....by the fact that the local high schools had a "home building" class!  It more than one upped "shop class" that I attended in my younger days and I could not imagine how much would have been learned of value by installing a foundation, framing and building a house and integrating all of the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC.
 
Misty May
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Jenny Wright wrote:

Misty May wrote:Sorry, but I don't believe any of that belongs in the school curriculum. Those are things that parents and/or community members should be teaching. We pile too much onto the plates of schools and teachers. It seems that we've forgotten that "parent" is also a verb.


Not even in highschool when kids should be exploring what possibilities they have for future careers?



Not one of the things on the list in the meme would qualify for being "college or career ready".

This is just another in the trend of "the schools should teach" (fill in the blank of whatever the speaker's pet project is). People always want to put more and more on the school's & teacher's plate that just don't belong there.
 
Misty May
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Jenny Wright wrote:And what about as part of subjects like science, social studies, and health? Elementary school classes use a wide variety of subjects to practice reading comprehension skills. These things can be included in that as well. I'm coming from the perspective of former public school elementary school teacher and a currently homeschooling mom of 5. I could teach all these kinds of things in both settings. Real life applications are what makes the basic subjects of reading, writing and arithmetic interesting and engaging.



I come from the perspective of a current public school elementary school teacher. Nothing in the meme comes from the "real life" perspective of most children. Those of us on this site have a somewhat skewed perspective but, for the majority of today's children, food preservation, for example, is something that is neither interesting or engaging. The only thing that, in my experience, children would be somewhat interested in would be growing food but, that brings its own problems. Who, for example, is going to tend the garden in the summer?

I think we really need to stop the trend of piling more and more onto the schools and put some onus on the parents.
 
pollinator
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Every child should learn to swim.  Life skill or Life saving skills should be mandatory.

I would also like to see mandatory drivers Ed so that everyone was taught to a standard level.

I will always be grateful that all 8th grade students were required to take a modified program that included cooking, sewing, metal work, wood work and industrial art (silk screening). This "forced exposure" made a real difference in gender mixing in these previously, primarily, single gender classes.  Cooking continued to be very popular with the guys; with at least 50% continued participation.  Female participation continued to be 25+% of the traditionally male classes.
 
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I would add that kids (& many adults) these days would benefit from learning how to function without electronic devices.
 
pollinator
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How much do we actually "learn" in school? I remember saying that I only learned 2 useful things (once reading and simple arithmetic had been conquered): how to change a plug and how to mend a fuse. Neither of these is needed now in the UK as electrical items come with plugs moulded on and the old fashioned fuses requiring wire are no longer in general use.
There used to be a two tier educational system with the cleverest children going to grammar school and the less clever going to secondary modern school. Although this still exists in some areas, when I was 11, the age for transfer to secondary school, it was generally being phased out. I went to the ex-grammar school so studied science and languages although home economics was available for the less academic children. My cousin went to the ex-secondary modern and learned useful things like touch typing and needlework and cookery.
Interestingly, alone of my siblings, my sister studied home economics until she was 18. She is the only one of us who cannot cook. As I get older, I concentrate on learning those things I am interested in like handicrafts and gardening. Apart from my mum teaching me to knit, I found these things out for myself. Education is too important to leave it up to the schools and then, do they get it right? I have mentioned elsewhere that my 7 year old son used to correct his teacher (discreetly) when he thought she got things wrong in their science class. Science was something we did at home, along with cookery and DIY. He now has his own house and is capable of so much more than some of his peers although my love of gardening has not rubbed off onto him.
 
master steward
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Something we were never taught in school was the legal system, economics (tax, money and banking) and politics. I think it would have been useful to cover some of this in the "social and religious studies" class perhaps. I've still very little idea of how the real world works, partly because I've little interest in it, but it would probably be useful when considering who to vote for, managing budgets and bank accounts, or if one got in trouble with the law.

The other thing that would have been a bit useful is grammar. We were taught grammar in foreign languages, but very little in English language - that seemed to be something you just absorbed, but I think it may have made learning foreign languages a bit easier if the building blocks were already there. I found learning a second and third foreign language (learnt out of school) easier than the first partly for that reason, I already had an awareness of tenses, adjectives etc. I should add perhaps that I'm not fluid in any of these other languages!

In retrospect, there was rather too much learning by rote, and less thinking and reasoning.
 
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I just love permies people!  The fact that we can disagree politely and bring new views into focus can fix most problems in society.  I am caught between these views.  My wife is an elementary school teacher.  I was a hydraulic and mechanical engineer for 20 some years.  Most of the top engineers I worked with come off of the farm.

We chose to send our son to public school.  Our son thinks getting a %98 is failing.  He will tell you most of what he has learned he learned on the homestead.  Our public schools have taken agg completely out of their curriculum.  My son is fortunate to have parents that push him to become the best he can be.  I have never looked at his school grade card, because there is no need to.  Being raised where you see direct results from what you have done wrong or right greatly increases his self worth.  He has a purpose and is responsible for fulfilling that purpose.  Not all children get these benefits.  Parents must do their part.

I hope you see my struggle.  I do believe these things need taught, but we had to do it ourselves here.

My wife teaches literal arts.  She was able to teach the way she wanted to for 24 years.  She is known for bringing the low children up to standard levels and above. She has a line of children waiting to be taught by her. This is her last year.  Her ability to use the homestead to catch the interest and bring real life to reading is over.  Next year she has to use a new curriculum that will not let her use common homestead tools.  This curriculum was chosen by someone that has never taught children to read.  She transferred out to become a math/science teacher.  
 
Jay Angler
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Misty May wrote:

Not one of the things on the list in the meme would qualify for being "college or career ready".

North American society has really pushed "higher education" resulting in a huge debt load for many young people starting out. In Canada we have a two-tier system - "Community Colleges" which have 2-3 year programs with or without placements in related industry and "Universities" which have 3-4 year programs some of which also have placements as part of the program. The Community Colleges often teach skills that you used to be taught in High Schools, but somewhere along the line, as Misty wrote, the schools seem to have ended up with more and more on their plates. That said, the Community Colleges tend to be subtly seen as "second class citizens" when in fact I know many people who say they far prefer students from the college system because they get real life skills instead of just theory. We *need* more people with real skills and fewer lawyers.

However, as Christopher wrote, often there are very effective teachers out there that end up being forced to teach based on some theoretical program, that doesn't work as effectively as what the "effective teachers" manage from their own experience. I had an Aunt - long retired now - who sounds a lot like Christopher's wife.

A friend was living in New Zealand for a while when her children were small. There was an "experimental" program at the school her daughter started at that specifically assessed and taught "pre-reading skills" - this included visual tracking, concentration, and other physical skills that they thought supported children's ability to learn to read. Here in Canada, their definition of checking children's vision to enter Grade 1, was could they see the letters at 20 ft. My son lost the better part of Grade 1 to a visual problem no one was testing for. I figured out there was something going on during summer vacation, talked to my New Zealand friend who said, "that sounds totally like it could be visual tracking issues". Six weeks of visual tracking exercises and his reading ability jumped an entire grade level. We can't expect parents to help fix something parents have never even heard of!!

However, I would also suggest that items 2, 8, 9 and 11 would be great ways to teach biology, chemistry and possibly a little physics. A big complaint of students in High School 40 or so years ago that likely hasn't changed, is that the teachers teach stuff with no relation to the real world.  Having at least a bit of teaching that can show exactly what happens when salt and microbes interact with cabbage in a low oxygen environment beside a jar which shows what can happen with free access to oxygen not only teaches chemistry, but teaches that chemistry is all around us. I'm in an earthquake zone - teach the physics of earthquakes!

Item 5 to a greater or lesser degree, is being taught as part of Physical Education programs, particularly if there's an "outdoor education" component. My sister's co-worker called in asking for family leave - her husband had a major heart attack at home the night before. The only reason he was alive is that his daughter had being taking a course in CPR at high school over the last couple of weeks. She kept him alive until the ambulance arrived and he made a full recovery.

Teaching some of the things on that list doesn't require teachers to do "more", it just requires them to combine concepts rather than isolating them. I've taken CPR, and it's actually fairly hard for someone my size to put enough pressure on a dummy to get the job done - seemed like phys ed to me at the time! We were taught in biology all about single-celled organisms - how about compare the ones that make Sauerkraut to the ones we call "yucky mold".

That said, decreasing the pressure on families to "have it all" would also go a long way to refocusing society on learning things together and planting gardens in real life instead of playing unrealistic farm games on FB.
 
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The two biggest things I disagree with how we were taught was about nutrition and the climate/water/rain cycle theory which I'm sure has a name.

We were taught nutrition from the food pyramid and I've come to realize how flawed it is and likely influenced by american agriculture industry. Nutrition should really emphasize the importance of fresh fruit and vegetables. I realize now how much nutrition influences everything beyond just getting enough protein, carbohydrates and fats. Hopefully it has changed since I was in high school but I doubt it.

The climate and rain cycles is so much more involved than we were taught. Of course it probably takes a college level degree to explain fully, but I feel like what we were taught was not even correct.
 
Dione Holt
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Christopher Shepherd wrote:I was a hydraulic and mechanical engineer for 20 some years.  Most of the top engineers I worked with come off of the farm.



I completely agree (but also add they come from boats. I'm the daughter of a fisherman and consider myself a first rate engineer...)

My former company insisted on hiring the top students from the top universities but the best engineers were from regional areas from working class families. How do you teach innovation and problem solving without having grown up needing to innovate and solve real problems in the real world? Watching my Dad fix things with whatever he had on hand taught mea different kind of skillset I'd never get in school.
 
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I think I got more from 4 H than from school.
 
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#4
#7
#10 (about half of the concepts, where used by small farmer, who saved every resource to make ends meet.)
I did not learn on the farm.
All the rest I learned on the farm, including building rabbit box & trapping wild rabbits & harvesting the wild rabbits.
We had many animals, worm beds & crick nurseries, made fishing poles out of bamboo river canes.
Learned about gun safety & hunting, not to kill snakes, wasp or bees unless there was no other way around them.
All living things had a purpose/job to do. Harvest wood safely & clear out the trees with rot first.
How to catch water & repair a pump.  
 
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I wish I had learned that subjects were not separate but part of each other and that unless it applies to your life you won’t actually retain it.
 
Joe Grand
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"Our public schools have taken agg completely out of their curriculum."  Christopher Shepherd
The POUS is talking about food lines, what are people who can not plant/grow crops gong to do.
Tim Pool, said he talked to someone who said that you just go to the store to get milk, as if that was where it was made.
Some people have no ideal of growing & storing food. Grocery store are magic !?!!?
 
pollinator
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What we have learned at school is how to live in a permanent 45 degree angle approaching your superiors and principals
and follow the commitments the feed into you:

- You shalt learn how to live your future, get an apprenticeship, a nine to five job and little earnings.
And when you climb the positions have more of the little income.
 
Sorry but the school is not there to teach you how to handle and save money,  but the school gives you a hint that you get money when you always work for others (for a small income ) but they didn't tell you that you make the professional entrepreneurs (our Bosses) richer under us and also how much money you deserve in your job stated in the wage regulations.

I was just middle class at school and often counteractive by doing other things as listening to the teacher:
(Buying munchies at the supermarket and selling to a higher price as single item was one of my favorite and motivated me to be always one of the first in the classroom.

In the 9 th and last year I was hearing the word "entrepreneur" the first time in my life on a parent's day and to that time it was not to the pleasure of my parents.

The teacher literally told my parents that I am disturbing, unwilling and never made my homework but then at the tests I delivered my obligatory 2-3 (1 = very good and 6 was dissatisfactory) so the teachers could not do anything.

My dad (old school sailor) was ready for the first spank but the teacher continued:
"Just let him do what he does, he is not a working mans class type and will be sure making his way as a successful entrepreneur, deciding how much money he wants and making it finding his own way." (she was French by the way)  

My parents never heard this word either and though an entrepreneur must be something between brothel pimp, pole dancer and black market "supervisor"...

My teacher was right.....
I cover since 15 years jobs that actually are occupied by highly degreed bachelors and masters, beat them with my practical knowledge and common sense to the pleasure of my clients, as long they pay me what I would like to see on my monthly invoice.
I left my motherland at the age of 25 without any tear, settled down and married in Thailand, started a successful freelancer carrier and now with 59 years I have visited more than 60 countries in the world (counting only those I stayed more than 3 month in a row), so that I now start at the end of this season my last life, retirement on a little permaculture food jungle which is a dream since my childhood.

My memories about my school?  
Well, its a single word in a 7 page CV called "Hauptschule" which means secondary school.......
 
See Hes
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Misty May wrote:Sorry, but I don't believe any of that belongs in the school curriculum. Those are things that parents and/or community members should be teaching. We pile too much onto the plates of schools and teachers. It seems that we've forgotten that "parent" is also a verb.



adding to above post of me:

I enjoyed the practical class lessons:

We could choose every year another class.
Workshops like steel and woodworks
Cooking Classes
Textile Classes (YES, I did one year because my parents didn't want to buy me the to that time very popular Rasta hat, so I had in my revolutionary mindset:
OK Mom:
I need red, yellow, green and black wool for the textile class...
She bought and I got my Rasta hat exactly as I wanted it and I stood off the crowd because mine was unique...

The above mentioned things regarding gardening would bust any time frame in school and there you are right @Misty May.
By us was it my Grandfather who had more time as a Pensioner.
He had an acre veggie garden and was bee keeping...  
...and always willing to cut a 20 x 10 meter plot in his backyard...
 
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budgeting, economic factors, basic financial stuff like the rule of 72, balancing a checkbook, how insurance works, how bonds function and some stock market dynamics

learn just the basic stuff

How they function in society, why people buy them... etc
 
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I would have appreciated being taught at some point how to care for myself, my peers, and my community all while respecting the others.

I'm fumbling through that now.
 
Jenny Wright
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Paul Canosa wrote:budgeting, economic factors, basic financial stuff like the rule of 72, balancing a checkbook, how insurance works, how bonds function and some stock market dynamics

learn just the basic stuff

How they function in society, why people buy them... etc


I'm only now learning this kind of stuff.  I had to look up "the rule of 72" just now- I had never heard of it.  I need to make sure my children have a better grasp of financial matters than I did at their age.
 
Jenny Wright
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I don't think it was until college that I really learned HOW to learn.  I learned how to research and regurgitate facts in high school but in college I learned how to make my own observations and to take what I learned from others and examine it and evaluate whether I thought the logic and methodology was sound and whether I agreed with the values behind the conclusions made by others.  Of course there were still the professors who gave you a lower grade if you didn't agree with everything they said, but enough of them taught otherwise that by the time I graduated, I was willing to disagree even if I got a lower grade.  I learned I didn't have to have an institution to teach me things. All types of schools and universities can be great places to learn, of course, but they aren't the ONLY places to learn.  I've made it point to keep studying and learning all the time, from books, from classes and courses, from observation and experimentation, from people online and in person, and so on.
 
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Parental teaching can be hit and miss. And if you have no extended family around and move a lot, even more goes by the wayside, as I imagine it does for many children of single parents. Things I would have appreciated learning in school include:

Basic financial stuff (I didn't know what a mortgage was until we bought our first home when I was 40-something. It took me many years of self-study to understand investing basics, how the stock market worked, and the value of saving for retirement. When I went away to college, I didn't know that long distance phone calls were expensive until my boyfriend's mother brought it up with him. The only thing my mother ever told me was to put money in savings, but I really didn't understand why getting a 10% return was such a big deal the one time she mentioned it. My father, a doctor, didn't weigh in on the subject at all.)

Critical thinking skills

How to take care of my body, mind and spirit well

That learning can be enjoyable and you can base it on your interests. It isn't just supposed to be a rote exercise  (I went through the South African school system for most of my childhood - the principal at my high school there wrote that my grades were excellent but that I had a mind of my own - questioning things was a no-no). I avoided non-fiction for quite a period of time after college because I thought it would be boring. Actually, it was probably our first homesteading experience and Mother Earth News that got me excited about learning new things.
 
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Coming from a rural area, our classes were small but our choices were limited.  Junior high consisted of grades 7-9 and up until the freshman year our only choice was whether or not to take band.  As girls, we were obligated to do two years of home economics, though we did get to explore shop class for half a semester and do mechanical drawing (but didn't get to touch the machines).  So when the freshman year rolled around there was quite a stir as four of us decided we'd rather take shop class and FFA than another year of cooking and sewing.   It turned out that was the year some new trailers had been brought in for the lower grades and we had the opportunity to help build a new shop classroom.   The experience has came in handy many times, especially when we built our house.  Unfortunately FFA was tied in with shop and though I was more than happy to raise green beans and sell them that year, I really didn't have an interest in farming.

College isn't everything.   All through school I was in advanced classes though I didn't have an interest in college.  I did take every art class available and the teacher created new classes for a few of us willing to learn.  Unfortunately art school was mainly geared towards advertising and that quickly ruined my plans of sitting by a lake sketching for a living.  When I did go to college at 28, I was paying my own way except for a few grants and  knew that goofing off wasn't an option.  I quit a credit short of my senior year because I basically burnt out as I'd been working two jobs and taking 21 credit hours at the same time.  I have no desire to return.   I did learn valuable things during my time there especially marketing and education classes which came in handy in our business and remote learning last year.  I also rediscovered that I love to write and explore history.  Too bad it took thousands of dollars to realize that.

So what do I wish I'd learned at an earlier age?  That it's okay to follow the path doing what you love than to do what's going go make you the most money and be miserable.  That it's okay to question things and discover new ways of doing something.  That it is possible to grow things and/or craft to make a living.  
 
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I agree that most items on the list should be learned at home.  And some definitely could be incorporated into science classes.  Actually, when I went to high school (69-73) we did learn about plants, photosynthesis, etc. ion high school.  I was a science nerd and after taking all the life sciences available, I took physics as a senior.  Picture one nerdy female in a class of all guys and thew teacher being the wrestling coach.  IT WAS A GREAT CLASS!!  I learned a lot, to the point that I insisted both my kids, son and daughter, take physics in high school, AND, I encourage all teens to do the same.  It's so important to understand how the physical world works and to understand some ideas, like the seven simple machines, to throw in the permaculture toolbox.  Great thought provoking question!

PS. I also took farm engines in college!  Useful 45 years later.  I don't 'do' very much, but I do understand when a problem is explained to me.
 
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Actually I think parents can teach their children all they need to learn. In a 'perfect world' there's no need for schools. It's because 'modern society' wants adult people to earn money and to work away from home that schools are needed (parents do not have the time for educating their children).

The most important thing children need to learn (in my opinion) is how to interact / communicate with others (humans, animals, the natural world). And then they need to learn to read, so they can read all that's written on everything they need to learn more ...
Math is important too, because whatever you want to make, you need to do calculations.
 
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It is quite a quandry: most schools barely have enough funds and staff to teach the "basics", and most (?) homes/parents barely have enough time and funds to get meals prepared, and don't have any or ready access to a spot of earth on which to grow things, much less time, materials, and skill/knowledge to teach home/homestead-making skills. It will be helpful for us to shift our infrastructure to better support children and their families.
 
Jenny Wright
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I'm really enjoying everyone's thoughts on this topic, whether I agree with everything or not! I thought this post was just going to be funny but thank you all for taking it seriously. I homeschool my children and think often about what things I need to teach them that are most important for their futures (and why I posted this in the homeschool forum.) This is one of my favorite discussion subjects. 🤗

Like some have said, it's more than we should expect from public schools to provide all these subjects, yet at the same time, as someone who spends the majority of my time educating my own kids at home, we can't expect parents to do it all themselves either, especially when those parents do not have the luxury and privilege of teaching their children 24/7.

I think the ideal learning situation, whether public, private or home-based, is when people are given the skills needed to learn (how to read, research, and mathematical sense), skills to communicate (through various forms like writing, speaking, and digital forms), and basic human skills of survival including community, kindness, and respect for self and others (because we can't forget that we are all humans together on this planet, not individual automatons in solitary bubbles). Then hopefully the individual can use these as a springboard to continue learning valuable things their whole life long.

I am writing this while eating my breakfast so I'm sure I don't have it all 100% figured out. 😂
 
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How to responsibly handle money, including multiple ways of saving, budgeting, staying out of debt, giving, non-traditional ways to earn a living, bartering, etc ...
 
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Jenny Wright wrote:I'm really enjoying everyone's thoughts on this topic, whether I agree with everything or not! I thought this post was just going to be funny but thank you all for taking it seriously. I homeschool my children and think often about what things I need to teach them that are most important for their futures (and why I posted this in the homeschool forum.) This is one of my favorite discussion subjects. 🤗

Like some have said, it's more than we should expect from public schools to provide all these subjects, yet at the same time, as someone who spends the majority of my time educating my own kids at home, we can't expect parents to do it all themselves either, especially when those parents do not have the luxury and privilege of teaching their children 24/7.

I think the ideal learning situation, whether public, private or home-based, is when people are given the skills needed to learn (how to read, research, and mathematical sense), skills to communicate (through various forms like writing, speaking, and digital forms), and basic human skills of survival including community, kindness, and respect for self and others (because we can't forget that we are all humans together on this planet, not individual automatons in solitary bubbles). Then hopefully the individual can use these as a springboard to continue learning valuable things their whole life long.

I am writing this while eating my breakfast so I'm sure I don't have it all 100% figured out. 😂



Perhaps it's because the "state of the world" seems so desperate these days that we all take the question / premise so seriously. As I watch the "news" (you know, the little us permie types actually choose to take in), I can't help but think about what could be taught to the current school-aged generation(s) to avoid yet another repeat of these same mistakes. The ideas of self-reliance balanced with healthy community, critical thinking skills and creative problem solving, and better understanding of that all-important "needs vs wants" equation ... it's as though the majority of the world never really got these things.

So, is it even the place of "schools" to teach these things to our children? And how should these topics be approached? Through hands-on gardening and farming, or through theoretical and text book learning? Or is it the parents / guardians of the children that should be instilling these things into their children at home?

Where's the balance there?

I'd argue that it's the "job" of both the schools and the parents, and more. That the burden of the future falls on all of us, and the best way to teach is to do so by example. Teaching today really does seem to have become memorization and regurgitation, with very little if any emphasis on critical thinking and creative problem solving. It was happening long ago when I was young, but it's only gotten worse over time.

Where we sit now as a society, how well we can perform that task, and how we should go about it... that is another whole conversation, and a hot-button topic at that, which probably belongs in the cider press ;)  It certainly does seem these are discussions everyone today is itching to have, and the fact that so many of us out here are, in fact, living as "individual automatons in solitary bubbles" makes that a VERY difficult conversation (often involving capital letters, exclamation marks and lots of typos!).

Permaculture, though, direct from the big black book, is an exact fit to answer this dilemma - it magically covers all the key points. Perhaps summer PDCs offered for credit in middle / high school (grades 7 - 12) would make some sense ??
 
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