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

 
pollinator
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote: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.



I agree that there is no need for schools, at least how they are now. I think they are used to indoctrinate children to think that they need careers, to unquestionably follow orders, need to fall into debt, need to go to a university, to be blindly patriotic, ect... How would they tax us for 40+years if a larger portion of society was more self reliant, perhaps only working part time jobs. Sorry this is probably too political because this is not in the cider press, Im probably just making more work for the great staff.

I would like to see critical thinking emphasized. How to do good research would be a good subject to hit upon because education is a lifelong process,  we learn as we want to know something. I would love to see emphasis on the scientific method, the 'science' is never settled. With these three things and basic reading, math, grammar, ect... would set people up for a successful life no matter what path they choose.

Many of the things in this thread would be great to have as an option for the children to learn, if they choose. I would like to see more real life skills that are elective. If I have no interest in gardening, perhaps I would like to take a class on small engine repair or welding.
 
pollinator
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@ Justin Gerardot

I am fully agree with this.

All starts with the 3 basics: reading, writing and math. (for covering the modern life)
Then the kids should be supported by whatever they like really to do.

Some like to study further but is this really coming out of their free will or is this already part of the brain wash procedure?

I always loved to help my Grandfather in his garden and the reward was the pride as a hunter and gatherer that ended up on the plate.
A success story or also sometimes a fail (e.g everybody agreed that this year the harvested potatoes were very small) without blaming each other.

Nobody was teaching me how to hunt pigeons with our self made bow and arrow but when I brought one home mother would have made it but also correcting me that we have enough in the fridge so there is no need to kill this animal.
This was an instinctive reaction from my mother. Boy we have enough to eat, spare the birds for a later time when food is scarce and do not empty the forest now otherwise we have to relocate and this will weaken us.

I mean we use what is given in our blood or part of our instincts.
Enforced learning did work for me counterproductive.

Here some mind sets everyone has.
At the fire pit every loves to throw sticks in, why: Because our instincts tell us keep the fire going to stay alive.
Arachnophobia is in almost all of us. Why: Because at the begin of human life spiders were huge and deadly poisonous.
Its still in our instincts.
Flush the toilet but with having a look what you "produced" Is noting else than a daily instinctive self health check..

People in the tropics have not built up a thinking ahead mind because it was no need for. It was always warm so we just go into the jungle, knocking over a primate or rabbit and the meal is there.
Northern people try still to keep food in stock and having a full freezer because if we wouldn't have done it the coming winter would have killed us.
Geographical Borders have been created long before as the individual tribe warned the other tribes not to steal from their plate meaning not come into our hood.

Basic learning and education should be combined with the practical necessaries to keep the life going focusing on that what we really need.

Give a man a fish and he will eat one day. Teach a man to fish and he will survive a lifetime...  
it's so true:
So why the teachers told me not to waste my time hanging around at the river going fishing with the lads, why they told me I would waste precious time to get a better education...
So why I finally with 60 years of age bought myself a farm as a fulfillment of a life long dream...
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I think nutrition is an exemplary thing to teach a child, I would also suggest Controlled remote viewing to all who are interested in learning to expand your conscious and intuitive abilities. My favorite teacher is at intuitivespecialists.com (Lori is so loving and kind I highly recommend!)
 
master steward
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What I never learned in school is permaculture.

I am sure it is taught in some colleges or universities, though these might be few and far between.

To me, permaculture is living within nature.

What I know about permaculture I have learned from this forum and the wonderful people who share their knowledge of all kinds of different things from permaculture, plants, cooking, health, etc.

The way nature uses patterns fascinates me so I try to incorporate patterns into my daily life.

This last year I have learned so much from nature.  The way seeds are washed away with the rains and how wildflowers are planted by these rains.

I have learned to live with the weeds. The ones I disliked the most have moved out of my space.  The ones that are trying to invade my space get pulled up little by little as I walk my dog.

I also enjoy seeing my wildlife on a daily basis living their life within nature.

Again, permaculture is living with nature.
 
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Jenny Wright wrote:I saw this today and thought it would be fun to see what you all could add to this list...



#18 - How to pay taxes, how to calculate capital gains from short and long term positions hehehe
 
pollinator
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As Jay Angler wrote: "...teachers teach stuff with no relation to the real world."

This was my biggest complaint, and why I was a pain in the butt.  I would always ask for context (ESPECIALLY WITH ALGEBRA); where, how will I use this in the real world?

I was fortunate, and am truly indebted to many of my teachers. Especially that I was taught to read with PHONICS and learned how to break down a word into its components, so that even a word I had never seen before could be broken down, its root word(s) located, so that it could be pronounced, spelled and comprehended.

Miss Astel who didn't actually kill me for being so difficult (I was the only one in the class who knew how to read), and taught me that it is not just ME that matters.

Miss Woodward, my second grade teacher who turned our classroom into a learning lab with duck and chicken eggs we hatched and raised, along with the guinea pig (who also had babies) and salmon eggs we raised and released.  Our desks were around the perimeter, the center was the "zoo".  From these animals we learned everything: reading, writing, observation, projection, planning, logging, tracking, math, multiple sciences (ecology, biology etc.), compassion...Never have I been so engaged in learning as I was in this room.

Mrs. Gibson my third grade teacher who realized that most of the "troublesome" kids were actually bored and started a special program that removed us from class for an hour a day and put our unchallenged minds to work on critical thinking, planning, decoding, problem solving, riddle solving, how to look beyond the obvious.  We then had to make up what we had missed, keeping us from irritating the teacher and being "disruptive" in class.

I am still angry that I was denied access to the "intermediate" section of the library for years, as access was based on age, not ability.  I remember vividly the day in second grade I challenged the librarian to pick any book from the age appropriate "primary" section, so that I could prove I HAD read them all...30 books later, I got special permission to borrow from the intermediate section.  I will never understand why they would restrict access to books, knowledge or thwart a child that WANTS to read.

I pity the teachers in high school who could not explain the REASON we were learning stuff.  Especially Mrs. Smedley, my poor 8th, 9th and 11th grade algebra teacher (the only subject I every actually failed, and did so multiple times).  I simply could not, and still cannot grasp why there are LETTERS in a math problem???  Yet, in 10th grade, I had a different teacher, and got B's...

Please teach reading with phonics.  
Please teach math in a manner that makes sense in the real world.  
Please teach science in a manner that is relatable and has real world applications.  
Please teach geography and history together, as they are so inextricably linked.  
Please teach about other nations, cultures, languages and include this in history/geography so there is context.  
Please teach that everyone is different; that differences should be celebrated and admired, not challenged to conform.  
Please teach that EVERYONE is valued, regardless of religion, race, economic status, clothing taste, hair color, gender, gender identification, who their parents are or who they choose to share their life with.
Please teach pride in a job well done.
Please teach that the journey that is as valuable, if not more so, than the destination.
Please teach that it is okay to say no when one is uncomfortable or overwhelmed.
Please teach compassion, not pity; strength, not bullying; love, not hate.
Please teach that uniqueness is to be cherished, and celebrated not squashed into a "box" and forced to "conform".
 
pollinator
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Lorinne Anderson... wrote:

This was my biggest complaint, and why I was a pain in the butt.  I would always ask for context (ESPECIALLY WITH ALGEBRA); where, how will I use this in the real world?

I was fortunate, and am truly indebted to many of my teachers. Especially that I was taught to read with PHONICS and learned how to break down a word into its components, so that even a word I had never seen before could be broken down, its root word(s) located, so that it could be pronounced, spelled and comprehended.
...


That was what I wanted to know too, at school: how is this useful?, or why is this the way it is? But most teachers taught: listen to what I say, study your books, be sure you can repeat that when asked ...

That method(?) of reading you mention, that's what I learned too. But I don't think I learned it at school. I was able to read before I was in the class in which reading lessons started (children aged about 6 years). My mother taught me at home with a 'leesplankje' (a Dutch method of the first half of the 20th century). I think that's a similar method as 'reading with phonics'.
The teacher did not like it that I was able to read, because I did not pay attention to her during the reading lessons. But I still feel the advantages of being able to read 'new' or 'difficult' words, break them down in smaller pieces and finding their 'roots' (like you say). When I finished high school I would have loved to go on studying 'the origin of words' (etymology) ... but the problem was: this was only part of studies in which 'literature' was the bigger part... and I did not like the Dutch literature ...
Probably this ability (phonic reading) helps me understand foreign languages too (f.e. English and French).

 
pollinator
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Everything on the OP list looks good to me ... these, and more, should be taught. Wait a minute ... I home-school ... there isn't anything we can't or won't teach to our kids. Perhaps this breaks down to these scenarios ... the child is:

1. public-schooled: your child is getting the curriculum your state demands for the child; for whatever reasons, you've got your child in this venue
2. home-schooled: your child is getting the curriculum that you think is best; for many reasons, you've opted out of public school venues
3. something else altogether (private school, un-school, etc.)

As we home-school our children, we try to give them a well-rounded curriculum of the same basics as public-schooled children, but then we go above and beyond. We build home-school lessons around anything and everything, and they consume it like they're drinking water in the desert (the little sponges). We take them outside and do things that no public school would ever attempt to do.

We don't do this "after school" ... any subject, any topic becomes fair game for a home-schooling lesson. The kids are plugging away at "the curriculum", but then dad will walk in and say "get up kids ... we're going here", or "we're doing this", or even "we're building that". Afterwards, they pick up the spot in the curriculum where they left off, and keep plugging away. Sometimes the event is quick, and sometimes it's all day long ... not a problem when home-schooling.

In this vein, anything on the OP list seems fair game ... and more.

By the way ... algebra *will* save your lives! At least, it's what I tell the kids, and they start groaning ... but then I give them an example, and they stop groaning and think about it; same for geometry, trig, etc. A bit of googling, and you can come up with all the necessary examples. The kids may still not believe me, but there is less groaning, and sooner or later, they'll see it for themselves ...
 
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I want to add that there are different kinds of memory

Reading
Writing
Listening
Touching
Smelling
Tasting

Each is wonderfully connected to different parts of the brain

Every person learns in a slightly unique way
 
pollinator
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Teaching various life-hacks would be nice ...like how to fold a shirt in 2-seconds, for instance:





 
pollinator
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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.

I’d like to gently remind that a great many children do not get the “should learn that at home” experience. School is supposed to prepare children for life. That includes both basics and learning how to study. That was what the teacher run “ study hall”  was for. The increasing class size trend (of decades) makes it impossible for teachers to even know what each student needs. That opened the way for the no lee way cram it in one size fits all curriculum. Remember, funding the school gets is based on number of bodies in the seats. Not all children have parent(s) who can expertly teach enough at home. I’d rather not leave those children behind. Just because I had the drive to claw my way up out of ignorance and poverty doesn’t mean that’s in reach for all kids.
 
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:As Jay Angler wrote: "...teachers teach stuff with no relation to the real world."

This was my biggest complaint, and why I was a pain in the butt.  I would always ask for context (ESPECIALLY WITH ALGEBRA); where, how will I use this in the real world?



My epiphany came when I was an undergraduate. We were introduced to The Feynman Lectures On Physics.

Our small college library had "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" and I read everything I could find about him.

It also had The Newtonian Casino which described how shady respectable names in Science can be. They attempted to win at Roulette by putting computers in shoes and applying orbital mechanics. This is before the internet existed.

I flunked my diploma but I learnt a whole lot more.
 
pollinator
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Misty May wrote: Those are things that parents and/or community members should be teaching.




I agree with you, Misty, but they just don't and they won't  no matter how much coaxing, lamenting  and hand wringing we do:Busy lifestyles, not owning land, not knowing themselves how to do any of that. So what do you do when they should know that but don't: You put it on the plate of teachers, along with Sex Ed and History reading and math and a host of other things.
And yes, teachers have an awful lot to teach already. Their plate is full.
I also do not agree that none of this is taught. My Public school teachers taught me a lot of these things. I can still remember studying the various parts of a mushroom, rubbing leaves, looking at the tracks of animals. I remember collecting leaves in the Fall and learning about trees. They were awakening in us a love for nature, and did a darn good job of it too.
That was in Elementary School. In my Home Ec. classes, I learned the basics of cooking and preserving food. We were encouraged to plant a small garden [just radishes, in a window sill because many didn't have parents who owned land].
Lacking was maintaining a garden: Kids do not take well to weeding, and many years ago, we did not understand the benefits of compost and creating good soil. All of this has to be taught in a way that is age appropriate, too. Acid versus basic soil was not taught until we learned chemistry, but a good many of these things were approached. We just didn't go very deep because there are so many other things that are important as well, and the mind of a 9th grader can take in and retain only so much...
 
gardener
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  • How to interact with the county government.
  • How to: register to vote, educate oneself about an upcoming election, and physically vote.
  • How to decide when violence is appropriate.
  • In the US, how to fire and care for various styles of guns safely.
  • How to enjoy a novel.
  • How to read scientific publications for strengths and weaknesses.
  • How to engage in sexual conduct safely -- physically and emotionally.
  • How to clean and maintain the school facilities.
  • How to determine what various taxes pay for.
  • How to engage productively with city counsel, the school board, the police department, etc.
  • Handcrafts/sloyd.

  •  
    pollinator
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    I was just thinking about this last night, even though I hadn't seen this thread this week.

    I do think those things have a place in education.
    I was allowed to not learn how to can vegetables, something my mother, grandmother and great-grandmothers all spent a lot of time doing. Now in my 50th year, I wish I had be forced to learn that. How can I teach my children things I don't know how to do? Luckily, I was forced to learn to read, analyze and observe the world--so I know I can re-learn how to can vegetables and other forms of food preservation.  But my husband's side of the family held a lot of knowledge that wasn't recorded in books. So it's not always possible to recover that lost knowledge.

    There are educational theorists who spend their entire lives puzzling over what should be taught. And they have yet to reach a consensus.
     
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    There are volume of books on what they do not teach in school.
    A few more on thing they did teach, but do not teach now like your rights as a citizen.
    Hunting,fishing, trapping, forget growing your own animals, fish, garden, orchard & herbs.
    Books like Foxfire are for history of old times, not something to know how to do.
    If we keep going the way we are headed, it will be a depression & some will relearns some things.
    For the first time in 62 years, I fear for all American children.
    Some are ready & willing to move forward.
     
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    Have you never heard of the FFA or 4H these are agricultural based curriculum offered in public schools
     
    Joe Grand
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    Terry Austin wrote:Have you never heard of the FFA or 4H these are agricultural based curriculum offered in public schools


    FFA s for big production farms, last time I was in it.
    4H was an after school like scouts, where I went to school & I went to one of their camps.
     
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    I have read Permies.com for many years but never have posted.
    The info is interesting and just reading today's post which stated " I love Permies contributors!" I agree.
    My school started a FFA chapter and I think this is a good avenue to teach kids life skills.
    I look forward to more of Permies
     
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    I wrote a sustainability programme to use in what is called a "behavioural " school...teaching many of these things, and used them to also teach literacy and maths...it worked very well...very practical life skills
     
    gardener
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    JudyJ Johnston wrote:I wrote a sustainability programme to use in what is called a "behavioural " school...teaching many of these things, and used them to also teach literacy and maths...it worked very well...very practical life skills


    I'd love to hear more about your program. What was included in it and how was it implemented?
     
    pollinator
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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.



    Some of this is actually already in the preschool to 6 grade curriculum, or at least it is in California. When I studied Early childhood education, we had a whole section of school gardening.
    Most elementary schools, some middle schools and pre-schools has school gardens. I visited one at Palomar university, that had eatable plants not only in their preschool section, but in their Baby to Toddler section too. I saw strawberries growing in containers and herbs planted around the play area, snow peas and lettuce.  The children were encouraged to explore here too, and pick food for lunch and snacks.
    In my local buy nothing group, we helped a teacher neighbor set up an elementary school garden, and it is huge. How plants grow, is part of the natural science module for all children here,
     
    Joe Grand
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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.


    I think you are right, But people use school, church, 4H, scouts as a baby sitting club.
    The most important thing in life was taught outside the classroom.
    My mother made her four sons learn everything in the home, even change baby diapers'.
    I did not use a sewing machine, but I could sew on a button.
    At eight years old I woke up cooked pancake from scratch, heated a plastic bottle of syrup without a microwave.
    Mother & my older sister & mom went twenty miles to the grocery store & was late getting home.
    Smaller children told me they were hungry (never miss a meal), so  made cathead biscuits & we had peanut butter   &
    syrup sandwiches. No one fuss about how I could have got hurt or might have burned something.
    Father taught me how to make Rabbit boxes, we got one to two rabbits a week.
    Make cane fishing pole, hunt & cook squirrels, doves, quail.
    I could go on & on, but home schooler can do more than state run day care schools.
     
    Ulla Bisgaard
    pollinator
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    Joe Grand 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.


    I think you are right, But people use school, church, 4H, scouts as a baby sitting club.
    The most important thing in life was taught outside the classroom.
    My mother made her four sons learn everything in the home, even change baby diapers'.
    I did not use a sewing machine, but I could sew on a button.
    At eight years old I woke up cooked pancake from scratch, heated a plastic bottle of syrup without a microwave.
    Mother & my older sister & mom went twenty miles to the grocery store & was late getting home.
    Smaller children told me they were hungry (never miss a meal), so  made cathead biscuits & we had peanut butter   &
    syrup sandwiches. No one fuss about how I could have got hurt or might have burned something.
    Father taught me how to make Rabbit boxes, we got one to two rabbits a week.
    Make cane fishing pole, hunt & cook squirrels, doves, quail.
    I could go on & on, but home schooler can do more than state run day care schools.


    That’s how I taught my children too. All of my kids know how to get food on their table from growing and raising food, too cooking and preserving. My son is the one most interested in these things, as he has taken to canning and fermenting like a fish to water. I taught my kids about foraging too, and what plants to use for medicine. It’s how my mother raised me, and I have build on that knowledge and thrived with it all of my life.
    In todays world, knowing that they have learned this, makes me feel a little more safe for them. I know that no they will always know of ways to feed themselves even during hard times.
     
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    How to build a cold frame, root cellar and green house out of found wood and rocks.
     
    Kathy Gray
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    I wish I had learned in school things that would help me survive, with lessons on building a cold frame, canning food,        Building a greenhouse, and a root cellar. And Advanced ways to grow and preserve food,
    81018C97-CAE8-4280-A03F-C7F86576632E.jpeg
    Surviving
    Surviving
     
    Posts: 48
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    Needless to say Mike but you used that electronic device to post to this site.
    I think that parents should be the primary teachers of their children. I can say that if the parents aren't involved in this, then the children will be a product of whoever teaches them. They will have the mind set of those teachers.
    With all due respect to those teachers I will say that if you are mindlessly putting forth the class materials that are provided then there isn't much you are doing for your students. The things that are taught in the public schools where we live need to be seriously reconsidered.
    I will also have to disagree about a community teaching my children. There are very few people in our community that I would just turn my kids over to to be taught how to live out the rest of their lives.
    I live within 5 miles of where I was raised.
     
    Sid Deshotel
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    to whoever wrote
    "This was my biggest complaint, and why I was a pain in the butt.  I would always ask for context (ESPECIALLY WITH ALGEBRA); where, how will I use this in the real world?"
    I hated math when I was in school. But, having said that as a fire protection piping designer learned that most of what I did for a good portion of my working life used a LOT OF MATH.
    Still don't care for the ways that it's taught today but it is necessary.
    Without mat how would you get to the moon.
     
    Joe Grand
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    With blogs,sites & youtube, most of us can fill the holes in our learning.
    However some of the thing people post on Youtube seem to have no common sense, as if they heard part of the truth
    but did not get the core. Tack welding is a thing, it hold metal in place until you can finish by running a bead.
    I have seen people tack the whole ran instead of running a bead, I am lost at why there is no R&D.
    When I was young, you had to pay to go to welding school or know someone, now you have moving pictures.
    Life is so much better for anyone under the age of thirty.
     
    Edward Lye
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    Joe Grand wrote:
    However some of the thing people post on Youtube seem to have no common sense, as if they heard part of the truth
    but did not get the core.



    I couldn't agree more.

    I was aghast at one air-conditioner video proposal to fit two PET bottles filled with ice behind a table fan.

    Good idea until the ice melts. If a kid knocks this over while playing ....... water and electricity = tragedy.
    The fan was two-wire. No mention/precaution of a RCD.

    I contacted the poster and youtube - zero, nada, zilch.

     
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    For me the most important thing that should have been taught in school and in college, but was completely ignored was personal finance. Not how to balance a check book - that is simple math, but really focusing on TVM - the Time Value of Money and in graining in all of us the benefits of saving early and consistently!
     
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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.



    I agree to a point.
    HOWEVER,  I think maybe some of it could be covered as part of a biology class.

    We cut up frogs. That only helps those who want to be doctors, nurses and serial killers.
    We had chemistry where we spent 6 months memorizing and being tested on the periodic table. As far as I know, that helped no one because in my college class, the whole table was painted in the wall.

    Biology should cover
    First aid
    The difference between modern medicine and where medicine evolved from
    How compost works
    Intro to nutrition and how to read foods labels
    How things/plants grow -in general.

    We didn't WAY too much time studying ancient ways to name things and how the names evolve. That should be college level.

    Chemistry should cover how chemistry is used daily. How yeast forms and is used to make bread.  How baking soda and vinegar react.  An entire chemistry class could be taught in a kitchen and home based curriculum that shows how and what is used for cooking and cleaning or homes daily. Show what chemicals are dangerous and WHY and why they are in everyday products.
     
    Morana Revel
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    I think we confuse what should be a teachers responsibility, what should be a parents responsibility and what should be a community responsibility.

    Example
    My HS biology class had an out of class project assigned to either collect 50 bugs and identify them or 50 leaves to identify. I picked leaves.  My father took my to the local herb healer who took me on a nature walk and that sparked my lifelong love of herbalism.

    However, as an adult, I can get much of the same information on a community level with the local home extension service, which is a national government program. They also have many classes available as 4-H classes. Our state also had a large group of people who do nature walks to teach people to identify plants.

    Parents can easily enroll their kids into 4H- but they don't. They continue to say "someone else should teach this" but they don't want to drive the kids anywhere outside of school hours or on weekends.

    Another example
    I was given free first aid and CPR classes at age 14 at our local hospital. Mom just had to drive me there on a Saturday morning. My brother had learned several years before me and had to perform CPR on a stroke victim at the local flea market so I was keen to learn. I've since had to do CPR  4 times.
    These days, there are classes available at the red cross and other places. Some cost, some do not. Yes, it COULD be taught in school but there are other places to learn these things.

    Things like sewing, cooking, basic nutrition, plant identification walks and such are all available in most communities (or they are in mine in po-dunk Kentucky) they just might not be the most convenient to attend for busy parents.
     
    When all four tires fall off your canoe, how many tiny ads does it take to build a doghouse?
    List of Rocket Mass Heater Builders
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