You’re back to school! While you might dread having to go to class, do assignments, and study all over again, there are definitely some things you wish you could change about your school experience. From the classes you wish you had taken to the skills you wish your teachers had taught you, there are plenty of important things that high schools and colleges should teach their students but don’t. Here are 10 essential things schools should teach but don’t.
1. How to do Taxes
If you’re self-employed or work a side job as a contractor, learning how to do your own taxes will save you money in both time and expense. Even if you don’t work outside of an office setting and never plan to, it’s still good to understand how taxes are calculated and why they’re necessary. If you ever do get a job working for someone else—and that should be your goal!—taxes become a part of every employee’s life.
2. How to be Smart with Money
Students are taught how to get good grades in school and how to operate a business once they graduate. Little time is spent on how to manage money or run a household. It’s important for teens to learn smart financial practices, so that when they are adults, it will be easier for them to live a debt-free life.
3. How to pay Mortgage
If you’re buying a home, chances are you’ll have to pay a mortgage. A mortgage is an amazing loan product for people who want to become homeowners, but it can be a bit confusing. Here’s how it works: you sign an agreement with your bank or credit union that allows you to borrow money in exchange for paying it back over time. Your monthly payments go toward reducing your debt and paying back interest on that debt.
4. How to Trade Stocks
In order to trade stocks effectively, you need a strong understanding of what’s happening in financial markets and an idea of how specific stocks might react to those forces. The earlier on you can pick up these concepts and start learning about them, the better off you’ll be when it comes time to trade for real money.
5. Tax Preparation
Taxes are so complex that most people pay someone else to figure out their tax liability. If you want to start your own business, though, having a solid understanding of taxation will be key. Taking an accounting class or enrolling in a tax preparation program can give you an edge over other entrepreneurs and help you establish your own firm.
6. Calculate Budgets
Budgeting can help you understand how to make your money work for you. It’s a way of deciding where your money should go each month so that you can live within your means and get out of debt quicker. Calculating a budget is very simple to do. Simply add up all of your monthly expenses and divide by 12. The result is what you should be spending on average each month for those expenses if you want to keep debt levels under control.
7. Do Your Own Research
Kids spend so much time doing assignments that they don’t have time to learn how to do their own research—and it’s a vital skill for college and beyond. Make sure your kid is in tune with databases like LexisNexis or Factiva that can help him find info quickly and easily. Explain why it’s important to cite all information correctly, too.
8. How it will Help Them in Help
Knowing what you want to do with your life is key to a successful future. If students are sure of their interest and career path, they can develop and solidify their skillset in that field. When students graduate without knowing what they want to do with their lives or how their degree will help them get there, it’s very likely that they will struggle to find and maintain long-term employment.
9. Anger Management
The ability to control one’s anger can save you from a lot of hurt and pain in your life. Anger is a normal emotion, but can quickly get out of hand when we don’t know how to handle it. Children need to learn that they are in control of their emotions and actions. A great way to start teaching anger management skills at home is by practicing various relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation (great for tension headaches!) before bedtime each night.
10. Different Sexualities and Genders
Just as schools should teach more than one language, they should also not rely on binary genders. Make sure to introduce your students to a variety of gender identities at an early age. For example, when you’re teaching about flowers or trees and ask what kind of flower or tree is pretty or has many petals etc., ask them if there are other kinds of flowers or trees that might be considered pretty and have lots of petals.