The most important lesson not taught in school

School curriculum includes History, Math, and English, yet it seems to me that the lesson that isn’t being taught is how to apply this education.

For instance — Money. How to use it. How to deposit it, save it, spend it, earn interest on it, pay bills with it. Kids graduate from high school without any simple knowledge on how to balance a checkbook, or even deposit checks.

I’ve trained 5 different people on how to do our nightly deposits. Only one of them knew how to fill out a deposit slip, and how to endorse the backs of the checks. When I asked these other employees if they have a checking account, they respond that they are just given cash from their parents for lunch or gas money. Their parents even help them cash their paychecks.

What happens when they leave for college? How are they going to pay their bills?

I wasn’t taught how to use a checking account in school, either, and so I paid cash for everything when I first moved away from home. Every month I would take a trolley from the city into the Garden District of New Orleans to pay my rent in cash, instead of just writing a check and mailing it.

It seems to me that there should be a class in high school devoted to Finances. Teaching the basic knowledge of checking accounts, savings accounts, and how to compound interest to make more money. Also, teach kids how to figure out interest rates so that they aren’t suckered into Rent-To-Own scams or high-rate credit cards.

I took snowboarding in school. Whitey took bowling. Neither of us were taught how to manage money. Seems a bit silly.

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3 Responses to The most important lesson not taught in school

  1. Jen says:

    I had to take “Consumer Economics” in high school and they taught how to use/balance a checkbook. They even taught the difference between IRA’s, bonds, CD’s, etc. It was a good class, and I appreciate it now than I did then.

    But there are other day to day things that it’s important to teach your kids. Like how to do laundry. It really sucks for their first roomie, if they DON’T know how to wash clothes. Peee-yew!

  2. Jana says:

    This is one skill E has. She writes them and I sign them. We are still working on the checking account though.

  3. gottabkd says:

    I took Economics in grade 10.. not because I wanted to but because it was I “science” grade I could easily aquire. Looking back on this course, it was totally useless for applying it to everyday life. Sure it taought Global stuff, but nothing I really use today.
    Shop (either wood or mechanics)and home economics should have been required learning for everyone, both boys and girls. These courses taught things relevant to today, like cooking and laundry, and who knows, if I was able to take shop (it’s was a “boys” course that girls didn’t do/need)then maybe I would have been a carpenter, plumber or electrician. At least I would have known how to use a saw LOL.

    But your are right, there needs to be courses that teach the basics of life. Courses that allow you NOT to learn the hard way what fundamentals are ahead in life. 🙂

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