Things we should learn before leaving high school

My daughter, who is now in the middle of her university years and living in an apartment for nine months of the year, was talking the other day about education. She asked a rhetorical question: why don't high schools do more to teach you about managing your finances, preparing your taxes, cooking, maintaining your house and your car?

I think she's right. We pick up many of those skills (or perhaps never even learn them) in an unstructured way outside of school, often to our detriment. What good is it to memorize some algebraic formula in math, or the parts of a flower in biology, if we don't know how to manage a household budget when we graduate?

Some schools are better than others, but some more courses or skills I would add to Lisa's list for all schools would be: mental health and balanced lifestyle, essential communication techniques, practical psychology (especially the role of the ego and how different personality types relate to each other), spirituality or meditation, personal improvement, citizenship and community building.

I realize schools can't do everything, but in my opinion a stronger awareness of some of these subject areas would go a long way to making all our lives better.


  1. Yes....I agree with L. 100%!!!

  2. I think the schools should provide guidance for marriage and parenting skills as well. I am serious!

  3. Hard to disagree.... marriage and parenting are such huge commitments and responsibilities that we should have a fairly clear idea of their impact in advance. We should strive for balance and happier lives for everyone.

  4. Marriage, parenting, spirituality, etc. (all the "soft" stuff) are things we are meant to learn from our families - these are the things by which we carry forward the decades of learning of the generations before us. We use that teaching as a blueprint to work through our own trial & error process, we take what works for us, modify what doesn't and then pass along our learning to the next generation when it is our turn to share. I think this is how we end up with such richness of diversity and choice in our personal, family and community lives. If these matters were taught in an institutional environment, we would lose what makes life taste good.