Teenagers Need to Learn Life Skills in High School, Because Many Aren't Learning at Home

In recent years, the percentage of young adults returning to their parents' homes after leaving has risen. This is the Boomerang Generation, becoming independent only to return to their parents' homes like boomerangs. While this generation has usually been associated with worsening economic conditions or painfully high student loans, recent studies suggest that the rise in the boomerangs is also associated with failure to complete college.With college becoming more of a necessity, it might seem strange that the number of people boomeranging is so high. One of our family members had a college roommate who dropped out and went back to her parents because of her inability to do laundry. This is quite a comical example, but stories like these are plentiful.We believe having more real-life learning in high school may solve the new generation's inability to become independent. This can be achieved through simply including extra Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills requirements for life skills.Some of these TEKS would include learning about taxes, mortgages, insurance loans, voting, sexual health, resumes, job interviews, cooking, and mechanics. For learning how to do taxes, we would want to incorporate a TEK in math classes. In an economics class, we would require students to learn about mortgages, insurance loans, banking and housing.In history class, students would have to learn about the importance of voting and civics. Then, in physical education, we would require sexual health knowledge.In English class, students could learn about careers and jobs. Cooking and nutrition would be added to health class. And any TEKS concerning mechanics would be taught in science classes.Each of these particular studies is significant in the world beyond high school, which is why they are necessary. Also, these areas of study happen to align with required courses.Nothing can be entirely taught in school, that is true. But we must consider that a child can't learn everything at home. Or maybe parents don't take responsibility for teaching life skills to their children? Or the parents don't know?We believe that though high school students are often unmotivated and, well, teenagers, they need skills that will give them the chance of success in the adult world. Some students are adept in schoolwork but deficient in the skills of navigating life.If in school we can teach these skills, graduates going to college or trade schools won't need to worry about their living skills and can focus on their education. More students can finish their studies and earn degrees and certificates.And once out of college or trade school, young people can focus on their careers and responsibilities as citizens and adults. Thus jobs will be done better, people will better understand their role in society and be better rounded as both students and individuals.Annabelle Toe, Avery Dean, Arianna Ruocco and Sydney Gill are students at Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas. They wrote this column for The Dallas Morning News.  Continue reading...

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