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Learning Life Skills in School, Helping to Combat Poverty
Lack of life skills in school
I look back to my experience in school and the plethora of information I was taught. I learned a lot about math, science, and even had a decent physical education program. But I learned little of how to write checks, apply for college, get and use a credit card, or to simply organize myself and my days in general. Those skills were assumed to have been learned elsewhere.
Teaching these non-traditional life skills seems to be a huge part of what should be included in education for our youth. Right now, from my experience, these kinds of things are largely missing from education. Being able to do things like get and keep a credit and be organized are just some of the things that students will need to know about and how to do correctly and effectively lives.
I never learned these these kind of skills in school to any useful extent and the same goes for the people I have talked to now at college, I haven't heard of anyone having their education include those kinds of things. This is something that should change, so that students are more prepared for their futures.
Some schools my attempt to teach things like how to know your credit score and what it means, but I don't know of any universal standards that are around that strive to make sure that students leave high school with the basic skills to function in society that demands a basic knowledge of finance, law, and other general life skills.
Which is the most important for students to learn?
Causation of poverty
A lack of the teaching of important skills in schools, in part, contribute to the cycle of poverty. Even if they have the motivation and the work ethic to better themselves, they don't have the knowledge and skills to do it. Social programs can help people of little means, and should never be cut out, but there needs to be more done to break the cycle of poverty that so many people are stuck in.
Teaching students while they are school how to manage their time and money and offering the extension to that learning at home can be a great way to teach students how to manage what money they do have. And by doing that, students can learn how to manage their lives effectively. Hopefully, if students learn those skills they can positively influence their family to adopt some of the ideas they learn about.
The Poverty Cycle
Cycle of poverty
Much of what I talked about above is further explained by the cycle of poverty. The cycle of poverty is a lack of the ability for certain people to better themselves because of the type of background they have and the type of setting they are in.
The people around them don't have the knowledge or education to be able to get out of poverty, so they can't pass on skills they would help their children to better themselves. So these people become trapped in a cycle that goes through generations.
By teaching these skills at schools, it will hopefully cut down on the influence the cycle of poverty seems to have in determining the outcome of many people's lives once their graduate from school.
Investing back into schools
Graduation rates are often correlated with the socioeconomic status of the city the school is located in. Those cities have no problems keeping their students out of poverty and getting them to go on to college and or jobs because that is the norm where that school is.
The fight and focus needs to be taken to schools where there is a lower socioeconomic situation for most students and that have a lower graduation rate. This would imply that there is a lack of the teaching and knowledge of critical life skills that will help students better themselves after high school.
To simply say these students are lazy or don't care is inaccurate and insulting to those people. Many of these people work hard, but they are simply lacking the skills to be successful.
I went to a school that had mostly middle class people in it, and I never learned about how to manange my time, finances, pay bills, or anything. If my parents weren't there to assist me every step of the way, I would have fallen straight onto my face and struggled mightily to get into college and to figure out how to pay for it. Not just to get the money, but where to send the money to, how to send it, and how to keep track of what I sent and when.
Upon graduation students should leave with ability to manage their finances and their lives, in general, on their own. Many people have support at home to assist with such matters, but many people don't. The people that don't are left to wallow in their ignorance about what they weren't taught.
Teach life skills and change our world
When to teach these skills
Life management skills can be taught at the earliest levels of education in a variety of ways. They can be incorporated into many, if not all, areas and subjects. For example, when doing math, word problems could be geared towards money managing problems. Or students can be expected to keep a binder throughout the year and to keep it organized.
It's a bad thing that students are not taught how to manage their time at all in school. They are given a schedule of where to be and when and that's all there is ever to it. Students are never made to organize their time or to practice managing their time expliciting or indirectly while in school. They are somehow expected to learn this skill on their own outside of school. They should be taught time management skills from a young age, so they can develop the important life skill of time management.
Much of the problem parallels the problems there is with the physical health of people. If people aren't taught how to be physical active and to value it, they are going to be much less likely to be physically active and fit.
Education should be geared towards learning practical life skills. Purely academic skills can still be learned effectively with the incorporation of the teaching of skills students will need to know about and how to use throughout their lives. Those academic skills are important, but they are often emphasized over other subjects
Breaking the Cycle of Poverty
Creating a new cycle
By giving students the skills necessary to make it in the after school world, every single one of them will find themselves in, they will helped to navigate it better. The learning curve will be much less daunting and steep for them.
They will be less likely to make poor financial decisions early in their lives that could have long lasting effects.
I believe the creation of new cycle needs to be attempted to be created. A cycle that encourages and shows students how to be responsible with their money. Shows them how to navigate basic finances, so they can better understand what they can and should do with their money. And shows them how organize their time and life, so they can get more money and maximize their time to get the most out of life as they can.
I believe this all starts in the schools and from a young age. The earlier students know about these important areas and are taught about how to be inept in them, the more likely students will be able to break out of their cycle of poverty and start making a better life for themselves and a better lives for the people around them.