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September 28, 2023

Schools Should Not Teach Children All Life Skills

It may be an unpopular opinion, but there’s a strong case to be made that schools should back off a bit.

It happens every time. A post about an inappropriate school lesson goes viral on social media. The comments section is filled with angry parents proclaiming how inappropriate the lesson is and how students should instead learn about financial literacy, how to file taxes, how to cook a meal, etc.

There is no question that inappropriate school lessons should be exposed and removed from classrooms. But the question that should be asked is this: Are schools responsible for teaching kids all life skills like filing taxes, how to manage their money, or how to cook a meal?

The answer differs depending on who is asked. In America, parents have outsourced their child’s education to public and private schools. Sometimes outsourcing is necessary. Other times, the parent feels inadequate to teach their child at home. Most parents expect their child to be taught how to read, write, and do basic arithmetic when they outsource education to public or private schools.

Another question that must be asked: How engaged are parents in their child’s education? Again, this answer differs depending on who is asked. Most parents in the private school arena would say that they are very engaged in their child’s education. In public schools, however, there seems to be a decrease in parental engagement.

This trend is evident with the current friction between parents and teachers. Parents believe that if their child is behind in school, it’s obviously the teachers’ fault. Teachers believe that the lack of parental engagement is causing students’ failures to go unnoticed. This TikTok video explains how students are passed on to the next grade level even if they fall behind. The teacher in this video explains how seventh-grade students are performing at a fourth-grade level, and teachers get blamed for this. The teacher goes on to ask why parents aren’t noticing that their child has been behind since the fourth grade. Honestly, that is a fair question.

A child’s primary teacher is the parent. The parent-teacher dynamic must be corrected. The parent is responsible for their child’s educational success, and the teacher is only a temporary partner.

The lack of parental engagement has welcomed the state to attempt to fill in where it sees fit. This is why school districts adopt the whole-child approach and try to provide wraparound services.

We either co-parent with the government or we don’t. Giving the state the opportunity to teach children how to file taxes, how to cook meals, and how to manage their money only makes the parent obsolete. If children can learn all sorts of life skills in school, what is left for the parent to teach?

For now, schools must stay in their lane and parents must not outsource more learning to schools. Thankfully, we have information at our fingertips, and learning new things has never been easier. Take the opportunity to teach your child how to file their taxes or manage their money. Spend time teaching your child how to cook meals. Your children will appreciate it.

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