Why I Think Our Kids Need To Go Back To School To Learn Basic Life Skills

I often think about the things Id do if I had a lot of money. No, not shop retail at Nordstroms, Im talking meaningful things. Like ways I would give back, make an impact, and affect change. And theres one idea Ive had for a while now that I just keep coming back to whenever I have philanthropic thoughts.

Nope, its not a cure for cancer or a way to end world hunger, even though I wish I was qualified to make those things happen. What Id like to do is something that Im sure would greatly improve the quality of lots of lives, especially the lives of todays youth. Its something a little low on the general populations radar, Im sure, but no less significant.

If I had the resources, Id like to design, build, and run a new type of school throughout the country. A school that kids would go to post-high school but pre-college. And not even for a year. Maybe just for a gap semester. Im envisioning it as a place that would teach all our future generations of kids what I believe to be some of the most important life skills they can take with them into the worldskills theyll use and rely on every day of their lives.


What Im talking about (and dont laugh cause this is serious), are skills like egg boiling and tire changing and sewing on a button and reading a thermometer. Skills like how to pump gas and check your own oil and reconcile a bank statement. These are real-life abilities that we all need in order to function in the real world. I mean, unless were all independently wealthy with a ton of hired help, were on our own to manage our to-do lists.

Im not talking about skills like how to apply mathematical equations or conjugate Spanish verbs or properly answer an open response question. Those are obviously important ones, but theyre certainly not the kinds of skills most of us are going to draw on in our regular every-day lives after we graduate from school. I know I havent. Like, the last time I needed to apply a physics formula was in eleventh grade physics.


Think about it, how can any of our kids possibly manage in todays world if they cant cook for themselves or iron a shirt or make themselves a doctors appointment or recognize when its a bad time to check their Instagram feed? They cant.

And while its absolutely our job as their parents to teach them all of these important life skills, I think most parents will agree that our kids are oftentimes more responsive to the things theyre taught by people other than us.


Right now, according to a video that came across my news feed this summer from ATTN:, todays generation of kids arent being taught the essential life skills they need to survive in todays world. ATTN: claims that 30% of kids in college havent got a clue how to boil an egg on their own. They also say that 52% of US teens cant change a tire. And 70% of todays youth cant sew on a button.

Now I distinctly remember taking Mrs. Potters home economicsclass back in the late 70s, where I learned the finer art of making my own shark pillow and pot holders and the mad science behind button repair. But my own girls never had a class like that in junior high or high school. And even though Ive hammered most of those things into my own girls heads, I wonder why every single school in this country isnt teaching kids these kinds of skills.


At my Life Basics School, though, theyll learn em all.

Well have basic cooking classes and a basic personal finance class that teaches kids how to manage a personal bank account. Well teach kids how to use an ATM machine and how to write checks. Well educate them on how to navigate a kitchen and a laundry room. Theyll take basic Home Ec classes where theyll learn how to sew on that button or use a sewing machine to hem a pair of pants.


I dont know, maybe its because were a generation of helicopter parents who are constantly doing everything for our kids thats made it impossible for many of them to learn to do certain things for themselves.

Whatever the case, this is our new reality and we need to do something about it. So Im leaving a coffee can on my front porch. If youd like to donate to the Life Basics School Fund, please drop in whatever spare change you have. Dont worry, itll be legit, well have our own football team (team jerseys sewn by our students, of course.)


Do you think kids these days are lacking the basic life skills they need to succeed as adults? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

For more from Lisa Sugarman, visitLisaSugarman.comandTwitter.

Read more: https://www.littlethings.com/basic-skills-school/