Carnival of Education

At the Carnival of Education, hosted by The Ed Wonks, 30plusteacher takes on another blogger’s list of courses high schools should offer, including How To Do Laundry and Clean Your Living Area and How To Cook a Week’s Worth of Healthy Food. What are we supposed to do, asks 30plusteacher.

Build on a laundry room in every high school and purchase sorting bins for every student.

. . . While I am not a supporter of many of the menu choices I see in my school cafeteria (pizza served with mashed potatoes) perhaps this would be a better class for parents in order to provide better choices than drive-throughs for dinner.

I’m with 30plus: I’d like to see schools focus on teaching academics and leave parenting to parents.

About Joanne


  1. I work for city government with the homeless and homeless prevention agencies and it is amazing how many people benefit from “life skills” offered by these agencies. I am not new to government, but new to this area, and I am very impressed with “life skills” efforts in general. I have seen so many programs fail and it is nice to see something that actually works in a short period of time for a change.
    However, I believe outside of regular school hours is a better time for “life skills”. In my community, there are many not-for-profits that are currently offering “life skills” classes and tutoring support for kids in after school programs and on the weekends (because for whatever reason, parents have not taught these skills). However, I also hear from these same agencies that their kids needs more hours of fundamental classroom instruction too, and I believe that most of the agencies that offer “life skills” would not want school time to be replaced with “life skills”. For the kids that cannot depend on their parents, I believe that the next best thing is to support agencies that are already offering or trying to offer life skills in after school programs. Schools should work with these agencies instead of competing with them.

  2. Interesting issue. We’ve long been addressing non-academic needs through our schools – where do we draw the line? Is PE academics or life skills? What about health education? Both have been required for some time.

    I suppose it comes down to where you want to set the bar along the continuum. I for one would love to see widespread instruction of financial and media literacy – both are clearly life skills, and not traditional core academics, but both seem to fall into the current mission of schools, which is to prepare kids for life as adults.