Having a child of my own has made me worry about things that I never even thought of before. Growing up and going through high school I remember constantly complaining about why I need to learn Algebra or how to write a lab report in Biology class. I mean I couldn’t possibly use this in real life right??
Well while that is true, I have never used either of those skills in real life I am now thankful that I was able to receive such a well-rounded education.
Something that has really bothered me since then, and even more now that I am raising a child of my own, is that teens don’t learn the everyday skills that they will need once leaving their homes to go to college. I am fortunate that I had adults in my life that taught me these things, but many children don’t have that and should be taught these things in school.
1. Time Management
Teens going off to college are often overloaded with a full class schedule, having a job, and developing a social life away from home. My first year of college was an absolute disaster because I did not have the structure that my parents provided me with at home. I had no means of balancing areas of my life. Time management is often a learn by experience type of skill, but I feel as if kids should be guided in the right direction and be made aware of the responsibilities that real life is about to throw at them.
2. How To Build Credit
Credit is a scary thing. Even now as an adult, it still scares me! When I graduated high school I had no clue what credit was or that if I was late on my brand new car payment that it would eventually come around to haunt me years later when I wanted to buy a house. Teens need to be taught the dangers of damaging their credit and how to build it. I use the free Credit Karma app to keep track of any activity on my credit reports.
3. How to Budget and Save Money
Budgeting is a common skill that every adult need to know how to do. Especially when teens start paying their own bills. Budgeting and savings can make sure students and young adults don’t get behind on their rent or car payments, which ties back in with the impact of late payments on your credit. Saving money and having an emergency fund is ideal for teens trying to make it on their own. Everyone needs to learn to plan for the unexpected things in life.
4. How to Build a Cover Letter and Resume
This is especially crucial for young adults that are moving towards graduating college, but teens need to know at least how to appropriately fill out an application for a job. This is something that really shocks me that schools don’t have built into their curriculum. In my opinion, this something kids need to learn as soon as they’re able to start applying for jobs. There are several free resume builder websites that will provide a template to help your teen step by step.
5. How to File Taxes
My first couple years out of high school I worked at a restaurant and had my Mom file for me. It’s okay to ask for Mom’s help sometimes, but eventually filing taxes is something they will need to learn how to do on their own. Turbo Tax is an easy to use system that you can walk your teens through to teach them the basics. I even filed on my iPhone this year with the Turbo Tax app!