Beyond the Classroom Learning Lessons for Life in High School

In my opinion, a class in lifestyle management and life skills economics should become a mandatory class in the current high school curriculum. Although many required subjects in high school help to prepare students for further education throughout college, I do not believe all of these help students in the real world. Learning about Shakespeare and derivatives may promote the intelligence of young learners, but frankly, I have no clue where I will use this in my real life.
Requirement of a common sense economics class would be very beneficial, seeing as I know nothing about how to handle taxes, insurance, or my bank account. My W-2 form came in the mail the other day for a part- time job and I have absolutely no idea what to do with it. W-2’s, W-4’s, IRA’s, IRS what are all these acronyms? To graduate from my high school in Maryland, you need to pass one art class. Other than appreciating beauty, how does this benefit the student? To succeed in life, students need to know how to fill in a W-4 form. We need to know what interest rates and APR mean to us. We need to know how to evaluate credit card offers and how to negotiate obtaining a loan. We need to know what a credit score is and how a good or bad one can affect almost everything in a person’s life, including employment. We need to know what kind of insurance would benefit us term, whole life, universal again, what are all of these? Health insurance HMO, PPO, HSA; these term! s are completely foreign to me.
The other part of the class should address lifestyle management strategies. In our society today, many teenagers have no chores to do at home. My friends are amazed to discover that I know how to do laundry, use a level to put up a picture, comparison shop with coupons, and cook more than breakfast. All students should be taught the basics of home repair. What is that ball in a toilet and what does it do? How do you change a furnace filter or a fuse? Car maintenance should be another skill taught in this class. Driver’s Education classes cover the absolute basics of driving. A more in-depth instruction would be helpful.
Many high school graduates/college graduates end up living with their parents after their graduation. Perhaps if they were taught more of the basics of actual living, they would be more prepared for independence.
Requiring a class that would instruct students on this common sense type of instruction would be very beneficial and better prepare students for the real world.