Important Skills Your Child Should Be Learning in School, but Isn’t

Is it fair to say that educators are failing in their supposed primary function?

In a recent Washington Post article, author Sarah Hamaker described how many young adults no longer know how to do simple, basic skills:

Colleges and employers alike are reporting that young people can’t do life’s most basic tasks. With all of our emphasis on academics and what it takes to get into college, essential life skills such as how to do laundry, balance a checking account, or cook a meal, have been overlooked.

Hamaker goes on to give several recommendations about the types of basic skills that parents should teach at certain stages of their child’s life:
skills such as reading labels, using kitchen utensils, fending for himself, and taking care of others.

If young people today are growing up without basic skills, is it fair to say that educators are failing in their supposed primary function?But as I looked through the list of skills for each age group, I noticed that teaching one’s child social skills were a recurring theme. For example, Hamaker recommended that elementary-age children be taught to “carry on a polite conversation,” middle school children be taught to “listen attentively” and “show interest by asking questions,” and high school children be taught how to successfully navigate a job interview.

What I found funny, however, is that Ms. Hamaker placed such a high emphasis on parents teaching their children social skills. The reason I found this amusing is that, for many years, conventional wisdom has argued that children should be sent to school – away from their parents and families – in order to “be socialized” so that they might better function in society.

If young people today are growing up without basic skills, one of which is proper knowledge of how to handle oneself in society, is it fair to say that educators are failing in an area long considered to be a primary function? Is the American society beginning to realize that parents, and not education experts, are truly the best teachers a child can have?

Republished from Intellectual Takeout

Annie Holmquist

Annie Holmquist

Annie is a research associate with Intellectual Takeout. In her role, she writes for the blog, conducts a variety of research for the organization’s websites and social media pages, and assists with development projects. She particularly loves digging into the historical aspects of America’s educational structure.


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