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Should high schools be required to provide a class on real-world problems (such as how to balance a checkbook) in order to better prepare students?

Asked by: thenerdiest
Should high schools be required to provide a class on real-world problems (such as how to balance a checkbook) in order to better prepare students?
  • Yes, students should at least have the opportunity to take a class like this.

    Imagine stepping out of high school as an adult for the first time in your life. At first, you feel blissful and free. However, because your high school never taught you how to manage money, you are soon sitting at a table with bills, unbalanced checkbooks, and tax forms swallowing you up like a helpless traveler caught in a snowstorm. For most high school graduates, this is brutal reality. Only seventeen states in the United States require their high school students to take a personal finance course, and I believe it is time for California to become number eighteen. California high school juniors would greatly benefit from being required to take a personal finance class because they need to know money management skills for real-world problems that may otherwise send them down a road of despair and economic distress.


    Requiring high school juniors to take a money management class or have a new math unit on it would benefit them hugely because what is going on in their lives syncs very well with the situations they will soon encounter. Susan Lidholm, a personal finance teacher in Missouri, says of the subject “...They're getting driver's licenses and figuring out how to finance their first car, becoming more aware of gas prices, and starting to earn money from part-time jobs. And as juniors, they can learn about the implications of taking on student-loan debt while they're considering what college to attend” (Why Most High Schoolers Don’t Know How to Manage Their Money). Juniors who are uneducated in finance are far more at risk for not knowing how to balance a checkbook or going into debt, which could have the potential to lead them down a dark path of further misunderstanding, error due to lack of education, or unemployment.

  • Students need to be prepared for the challenges of adulthood.

    If we provide highly specialised subjects like calculus, why can't high schools provide classes on paying taxes, budgeting, and in general, becoming self sufficient as an adult? I think it is a massive gap in the education system which needs to be filled.

    Many people on the negative side have stated that "It can just be googled". This is true, but so can everything these days. However even though there are interactive programs such as Khan Academy that can teach maths, there are no programs to teach real life skills because, as it is in the name, they must be taught in real life.

    Its not just how to balance a chequebook and how to pay taxes that students should be learning about either, skills like investing (whether it be in property or in stocks), basic computer repair, basic car and potentially household repair, and basic public interaction. Another good lesson could be learning how to write a good resume/CV. A lot of students may not know how to do this, and it could help a lot of students get a part time job outside of school, which would then give them the opportunity to put to practical use the skills they have learned in class.

    Please note: I do not suggest a separate class for each subject I created, only 1 class that covers these subjects in 2 or 3 semesters.

  • Of course this would be good idea.

    There are countless instances in which a person suffers because they don't know how to budget themselves correctly. In school, we're taught so many things that we wouldn't need to know unless we go into a certain area of work. I'm pretty sure people do taxes more often than calculus.

  • Of course, who would disagree?

    Public schools today are a cruel joke because they are not teach kids the things of the real world, despite all the hours a day they spend in the classroom. They need to be teaching them business, engineering, technology, auto-maintenance, computer science, carpentry, etc. Instead, they are pounding them with useless algebra, hundred-year-old literature books, and grammar. It's no wonder so many people are dropping out. What ever happened to vocational training? Public schools are equivalent to prison.

  • Such Classes Are Necessary

    Instead of trying to load a student down with academic courses in the hope that these courses will prepare them for college, some basic courses in personal finance, household repairs, automotive repairs, and (if I may be permitted to add one of my own) a course on basic social interaction. Too many kids (my younger self included) went into college and later adult life not knowing how to interact socially, how to properly budget, and how to do some basic repairs. This became costly, and it should be a course taught in high school as more and more parents are not teaching kids basic skills. Too often these skills are neglected in favor of academic achievements, but now the millennial generation is considered to be the least capable generation in US.

    Just a few tweaks, so instead of making English mandatory for all four years, or trying to pump a student's schedule full of STEM classes which won't transfer to college, high schools should offer some very basic classes in adult living. I know I could have gained quite a bit.

    I think these classes should all be in Senior year (since most colleges only look at freshmen-junior anyway and most kids are starting to understand the adult world then). Although some academic courses should remain, there should be at least be made available if not mandatory: Basic Vehicle Maintenance, Social and Professional interactions (something that is quite needed for a lot of kids today), and Budgeting.

    Such courses could reduce the stress young people have once they leave home, whether to work or study, as they begin to live by themselves.

  • Yes, I fully support this.

    I live in one of those states that requires a semester of personal finance. It is a great idea that I believe all schools should require, it has taught me some valuable information that I will probably use more often than calculus. I would love to learn basic skills such as how to change a tire, how to check your oil or even something as simple as doing laundry. I hear so many stories of people leaving high school and living off of ramen because no one ever taught them how to budget.

  • Real world problems can be googled.

    Real world problems are stuff that can easily be googled and can be understood with minimal effort. I do not think there should be an entire syllabus on how to pay your taxes when the latter can be explained on the internet. On the other hand subjects like Math and Science need to be taught because one cannot easily gain full understanding of them by their own.

  • No no no

    Should high schools be required to provide a class on real-world problems (such as how to balance a checkbook) in order to better prepare students?Too often these skills are neglected in favor of academic achievements, but now the millennial generation is considered to be the least capable generation in US.Just a few tweaks, so instead of making English mandatory for all four years, or trying to pump a student's schedule full of STEM classes which won't transfer to college, high schools should offer some very basic classes in adult living. I know I could have gained quite a bit.

  • Just ask jeeves.

    Jeeves is a better teacher and father to many children who use the internet. This needs to be supported as Jeeves will not last much longer unless donations to him are made. Jeeves must be preserved. Now I have some extra words needed so I am just going to say this sentence.

  • Just google it.

    Students can easily learn how to pay their taxes with a quick trip to google. I do not think that there should be an entire syllabus about it. Any real world related problems' solution can easily be learnt on the internet and do not require an actual class. On the other hand complex and academic subjects like Maths, Science or Art cannot be easily understood by students who are interested in them and thus require a formal class.

  • Real world problems can be googled.

    Real world problems are stuff that can easily be googled and can be understood with minimal effort. I do not think there should be an entire syllabus on how to pay your taxes when the latter can be explained on the internet. On the other hand subjects like Math and Science need to be taught because one cannot easily gain full understanding of them by their own.


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Iacov says2016-12-08T14:10:56.747
My Highschool does offer a class that teaches you these things (I'm actually typing this as I sit in that class) now it's worth noting that this class is not mandatory and I have chosen it as my elective