Which high school courses should be mandatory
Back when schools were started, they were started to help children learn to read, write, do arithmetic and other basic subjects that many parents did not have the time or inclination to teach their children. That concept should never have changed, as it has over the years, to include everyday basic teachings of things that we, as parents, should be teaching our children at home.
Our children should learn many general life skills at home before they ever enter the school system. They should learn tolerance of others, patience, understanding, manners, respect and other social skills from their parents and other family members. That’s not to say that they all do. And, since the education system must involve all our children, there will be those cases where the school system, by setting rules and patient discussion, may have to include some of those teachings during everyday classroom activities.
Our educational system is being bogged down with political issues like “No Child Left Behind” which burden teachers, parents and children with trying to teach every child every subject in the same way and at the same time. Rules at school try to “teach” behavior issues by utilizing punishments for words or actions that truly don’t belong in school. Punishments however, in the case of most children, do not actually teach anything. Rewarding those students who do well, behave well and follow specific guidelines for behavior would most assuredly work much better. Talking and discussing issues that come up with the individual student who is not understanding or breaking the rules will be much more beneficial in teaching him the correct behavior.
We need to stick to basic teaching of English, Reading, Math, History, Biology, Art, Health, etc. These courses, especially in younger grades, will be more than enough for children to come to grips with. Children, through these basic subjects and being taught in a classroom of peers, will gain a broad background to build upon in later schooling years and in life.
High School students should be able to branch out to include specific trade instruction such as Industrial Arts, Home Economics and Art instruction to name only a few. They should have the option to further advance their knowledge in areas of Math, English, History, Civics, Economics, etc., also. A well-rounded person, academically, is what we all strive for from schools for our children. In this way they have the basic academic skills to broaden those areas they are most interested in and that pertain to the field of employment they wish to land in the future.
Sticking to the basic courses like Math, Reading, Writing, History, Grammar and Health etc. will make a strong foundation for further instruction.