What Do Kids Need To Be Learning?
We live in a fast-paced, ever-changing, digital world these days.
Gone are the days of choosing a trade and staying there for your whole career. So, if we're finding it hard to keep up as adults, how are our little ones coping?
How many skills do you remember learning in high school that you never needed to apply in real life? We certainly read and write, a lot of us use rudimentary math skills and all of us honed our social skills at school as well. We all worry about what our children are learning in school and how relevant it is to what they need to know in real-world situations. So, what should children learn to best set them up for life as an adult?
Children learn through play so the first year of school is the most fun but also a time when they will learn many social, emotional, physical and intellectual skills such as:
- Letters and sounds
- Colours and shapes
- Numbers and counting
- Creative skills like cutting and drawing
Preschool is where they will begin to learn to read as they start to recognise their own name and other words when written. Young children also need to be introduced to problem-solving at an early age as this is a much-needed skill in all aspects of life; much more than we realise.
Primary school learning
Kids first start to learn the importance of socialising during their first few years at school. These formative years are critical when laying their social foundation. They'll also be introduced to:
- Visual arts and physical education
- Science Literature
- Languages and technology
Your child's time at primary school will ensure your child understands the basic concepts of the common core of knowledge and competencies. This will be reinforced and mastered in during their adolescence high school.
High school learning
High school is all about learning independence, with kids being able to choose which subjects they take and what career path they might want to consider. They'll also move on to:
- Reading and thinking critically Researching and writing essays and giving oral presentations Solving math problems in different ways
As understood.org puts it "learning to apply knowledge to real-life situations and becoming an independent thinker are important high school skills."
What you can do at home
There are many life skills that aren't taught in school that you can help your child with at home such as:
- Managing finances and loans, Maintaining relationships and open communication Emotional intelligence and self-awareness Learning to recover from failure Time management
Think of all the events you felt under prepared for as a new high school graduate and make a plan from there. Ask your child throughout their school years what they feel they are lacking or what they would like to learn more of. If you need some help or guidance, there are many free educational sites for kids of all ages such as National Geographic Kids, NASA Kids' Club and Discovery Kids.
For further reading, check out this article about what experts say children and teenagers need to learn in school.