Skills that Should be Taught in School

Discussion in 'General Bushcraft Discussion' started by AdirondackBadger, Jun 14, 2019 at 12:24 PM.

  1. AdirondackBadger

    AdirondackBadger Supporter Supporter

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    After reading @werewolf won's recent post, How to Cook Bacon, I thought we should discuss some other important subjects that should be covered in school. Outside of the conventional and long-established education customs that our society traditionally has in place, what skills or subjects do you believe our youth be exposed to on a more regular basis.

    Also, before anyone says something along the lines of, "That is really up to the parents", keep in mind that not everyone's parents know how to do these things either. It would be great if everyone's Dad taught him how to change the oil on their car or had there grandpa teach them all the secrets of deer hunting, but that is just not the case these days.

    I'll start things off with a list, but please add to with your own responses. Maybe some of these are being taught currently public schools in certain areas, but I for the most part, I don't think so . Anyone who is home schooled is likely to have some of them covered.
    1. How to Cook Bacon
    2. Bushcraft and Survival Skills
    3. Cooking
    4. Automobile Maintenance
    5. Home Maintenance and Household Repairs
    6. First Aid
    7. Firearms Safety
    8. Self Defense
    9. Mental Health
    10. Time Management
    11. How to apply for a loan
    12. Personal Finance and Money Management
      • how to save money
      • credit and how it works,
      • the dangers of credit cards
      • interest rates
      • investing
      • filing taxes
      • managing debt
      • creating budgets
    13. How to buy a house
    14. Mindfulness, Character, Etiquette, and Social Skills (MCESS)
    15. Situational Awareness
    16. How to Negotiate
    17. The Art of Conversation
    18. How to buy a car
    19. Stress Management
    20. Dealing with failure
    21. Building Healthy Relationships
    22. Entrepreneurship

    23. Sustainable Living (promoting how to grow your own food, the seasonality of agriculture, buying local, ec0-friendly products and energy solutions, etc.)

    24. Nutrition
      • Who here can tell me they really understand the nutrition labels on food?
      • How much riboflavin you need each week? What is the daily recommended intake of sodium?
      • What the heck are bisphenols, phthalates monosodium glutamate, carrageenan, sodium benzonate, potassium bemzoate, butylated hydroxyanisole, and why should you avoid them?
      • Can you tell me why turkey bacon isn't actually better for you?
      • What is the difference between good cholesterol and bad cholesterol?
      • What are nitrites and nitrates? (Yes, I know this is ironic since number one on the list is how to cook Bacon, but seriously, everyone needs to know how to cook, and you definitely have to know how to cook Bacon.)

    25. Insurance 101 - Gives students a solid understanding of the differences in types of insurance policies, policyholder's rights, how to shop for insurance, how to defend one's rights, etc.
     
  2. CreativeRealms

    CreativeRealms Tracker

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    I think some kind of basic military training would be great as well since it gives people some sense of structure, personal responsibility, and authority figures to look up to. It can also cover a lot of the topics above.
     
    Mick Badgero, bacpacjac, JKR and 8 others like this.
  3. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

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    TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR ONES ACTIONS
    How to write a check / balance a checkbook
    How to change a tire
    How to make change
     
  4. Terasec

    Terasec Guide

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    none of the above
    that's for parents and after school programs to teach
    school is for academics, not to learn to cook bacon
     
  5. AdirondackBadger

    AdirondackBadger Supporter Supporter

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  6. GGTBod

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    Damn mate I feel totally backwards here, I can only tick about 10 things off that list, raised in poverty by people raised in poverty, taught sod all useful by any of them and knew it by age of 7, met a teacher aged 8 called Mr Bell who could see my mental torment stuck in the crab bucket surrounded by happy crabs, he taught me chess and how to think better and put your brain to use, Shame I only knew him for a year, thankfully I clung onto his memory as the type of man I'd like to be like when I grew up :4: only positive male role model I ever met until I tried my best to become my own, in the model of the memory of Mr Bell, my only example u spent long enough time around to learn from.

    Still live in poverty hahaha but I fight and dream and work and plan to get out of it, I'll either win or go mad trying.

    I could have done with a place to learn all of that, none of the retarded adults around me were capable, they could have all done with that when they were at school, instead they were taught just enough to sign their name and count their wages and programmed since birth to think there's nothing wrong with that, so much so they barely aware of it.

    I reckon I would need help to teach myself most of them even now, great list @AdirondackBadger thanks mate
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019 at 4:08 PM
  7. CreativeRealms

    CreativeRealms Tracker

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    I think the main takeaway from this thread is that schools don't do enough to prepare students for the real world. The specifics of what can and should be taught of course be debated but the simple fact is kids don't know how to be independent anymore and that needs to be remedied through parents, schools, various programs, the military, etc.
     
  8. Black5

    Black5 Supporter Supporter

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    And WHEN did you expect these skills to be taught?

    Have you seen a school day schedule?

    With all the crap they indoctrinate kids with, and the BS methods of doing math that some overeducated jerkwad developed to justify his/her tenure, there's no practical time to teach "adult survival" skills.
    I know, we'll take art and music out of the programs.

    Oh...wait...

    Maybe if the football team was required to demonstrate proficiency in a number of these skills prior to being allowed to play?

    Yes. I am bitter.

    Edited to add: I'm not bitter toward the OP, just bitter about our education system and society failing our children in so many ways.
     
  9. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

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    Or we could eliminate all the BS methods of doing math and replace that with "Life Skills" class?
     
  10. CreativeRealms

    CreativeRealms Tracker

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    Yes the school system has to be reformed. Remove all the bloat and replace it with something that's actually useful. I'd even go as far as to say it should switch to a trade based model rather than throwing information at kids regardless if they will ever end up using it or not.
     
  11. Terasec

    Terasec Guide

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    That's what various social programs, mentoring programs support programs, and various AFTER SCHOOL programs are for,
    not the schools role to make up for lack of parenting,
    Public schools have been dumbing down school curriculum as it is, schools have cut grammar, and cursive from most curriculums,
    schools no longer test everyone enrolled as a way to improve their test scores, if you have low grades in school you are advised not to take the national and state tests, as it would lower the schools averages
    kids cant even sign their names,
    at my sons gifted and talented school I browsed the work posted of upper grades not one kid could write a complete sentence,
    my nieces are/were in a specialized high academics public school, their high school reading list was 6-8th grade level books
    I am all for teaching/helping kids and their parents about life skills outside of schools
    one of the reasons am so heavily involved in scouting,
    I also try to involve kids friends and their parents in my outings, whether its my sons or my nieces friends/parents
    kids need more academics not more bacon
     
  12. TomC

    TomC Supporter Supporter

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    It seems a lot of you guys are laboring under the misconception that schools still teach subject matter. Sadly, it's only preparation to pass the next test.
     
  13. AdirondackBadger

    AdirondackBadger Supporter Supporter

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    Yes, my wife is a teacher.


    I agree with you.


    No offense taken.

    Unfortunately the chances of any of this actually happening are slim to none in most places.


    The high school my brother-in-law and one of his daughters was a trade school where they would have classes one week and then the next was hands on lab/field work.

    I would love to see a school similar to this with a bi-weekly schedule that taught traditional subjects one week and then life skills classes the next.
     
  14. AdirondackBadger

    AdirondackBadger Supporter Supporter

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    Okay, let take bacon and a few other items off the list. It still leaves you with a good number of things that it would be subjects to cover in school.

    • Cooking
    • Automobile Maintenance
    • Home Maintenance and Household Repairs
    • First Aid
    • Firearms Safety
    • Self Defense
    • Mental Health
    • Time Management
    • How to apply for a loan
    • Personal Finance and Money Management
    • How to buy a car
    • How to buy a house
    • Mindfulness, Character, Etiquette, and Social Skills
    • Situational Awareness
    • How to Negotiate
    • The Art of Conversation
    • Stress Management
    • Dealing with failure
    • Building Healthy Relationships
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Sustainable Living

      Trust me, I understand the importance of academics. These are all things that I try my best to educate my children about, as well as my Scouts.

      I agree with you that parents should be imparting these bits of knowledge and values on their children, but unfortunately they do not. Those are generally the same kids who do not participate in after school activities, social groups, and mentoring programs outside of school.

      Surprised you have such a partisan look on the matter.
     
  15. perdidochas

    perdidochas Guide

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    An Eagle Scout, for the most part, learns all of those but 4, 5, 8, 9 (and I have no idea what you mean by that one), 11, 13, 15, 17, 18, 21, 22, and 25. I'm not sure that the schools should be teaching all of the above, but parents definitely should teach most of them.
     
  16. Wasp

    Wasp DOWN IN DIXIE Hobbyist Supporter

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    Well they don't teach those anymore, so you may as well learn something useful.
     
  17. Park Swan

    Park Swan Maker Vendor

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    My list is only three things, everything else could follow.

    - First Aid
    - Logic
    - Dealing with emotions / mindfulness
     
  18. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    We used to have a small department of education tucked way down inside the US Dept of Health and Human Services (which used to be Health, Education, and Welfare). A guy named Carter broke that group up in 1980, and the USDE was born... Anyone see a trend?

    I think most of the OP's original topics could be taught in health/PE classes in High School, when there was actually an aptitude/need/desire for them. I took a one semester class my senior year called "Family Living" that was essentially "prep for life"... another semester could have been useful.
     
  19. bosque bob

    bosque bob Guide

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    The basic question seems to concern the role of public education more than specific course content.

    We used to place more value (for some anyway) on public education, at least until the 1970s. Previous to the changes tbat took place then, public education was considered a wise and necessary social investment. That appra9ch included publicly supported education from elementary grades through trade schools and college.

    How and why that changed is another topic.

    While there may be things on the list in the OP that are generally beneficial many are simply neither the responsibility of public education nor the best means to present them.

    Reading and understanding food labels however, requires not only knowlege of organic chemistry and human physiology but also the political climate in which the information is provided and the nature of governmental oversight concrning safeguarding the public.

    Courses covering chemistry, anatomy and physiology, nutrition , civics acrossthe board, the practices and economics of food production and distribution, marketing and more seem well suited to public education.

    Good idea actually. A very good idea.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019 at 1:51 PM
  20. Punisher

    Punisher Supporter Supporter

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    i learned a lot of this at school in the 60s and 70s when they still funded this kind of stuff so i know it works. bachelor living was a class that taught things housework related and shop taught most of the other stuff. for all the poo pooers that say its not schools job i say get a clue. from your perspective you see your situation only but from an enlightened perspective i see inner city kids raised by one parent who's illiterate or perhaps never held a job or has a bank account or ever bought anything on credit. if it is a civilized society's responsibility to provide a public education, why cant that society also try to lift kids out of poverty and a dead end future? i suppose they could get an education in prison if that's still funded. geesh. good post OP.
     
  21. Robert Y

    Robert Y Scout

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    Lots of great things on the lists!

    There is a lot that needs to be taught, but I think a lot of the things on the list are things that families should teach their children. For example, stress management and failure need to be learned long before Kindergarten. I think the role of schools is to teach academic skills that parents don't have time to do while working a full time job, while reinforcing the values and morals that the children should be learning at home. You don't need academic skills to perform some high-paying jobs, but you do need academic skills to attend and succeed in college to have the option to apply for most of the higher paying jobs. That being said--money does not make a job.

    If we're just talking about great things that everyone should learn:

    -How to properly treat those older, younger, and different than you
    -How to respect and dignify women
    -How to build and repair
    -How to take responsibility and initiative
    -To think about the consequences of every action
    -To keep your word, even when it hurts
    -Math, especially when it comes to buying cash vs. making payments.
     
  22. Terasec

    Terasec Guide

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    I am a product of both public and private schools
    my son also bounced between both
    the product of kids overall development from a school with high academic standards far outweigh those from schools with low standards
    I did 2 years of private school before being kicked out and going to a public school, alternative public school with emphasis on life skills over academics, everyone graduated even if they couldn't read or write.
    those 2 years of private even though I was kicked out prepared me for college and life more so than the public school which was a joke,
    it is the same in the work I see from schools my son went to and my nieces,
    a lot of these kids don't learn basic academics because they don't have to. everyone gets a pat on the back and a pass
    someone who learns mathematics/engineering can aim for designing cars, inventing a new engine, and such or choose to be a mechanic
    someone who learns how to change a tire will not have such choices and will only achieve being a mechanic
     
  23. John from Alberta

    John from Alberta Supporter Supporter

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    The challenge is trying to get a 16 year old to care about things they won't need for years like loans, etc. My Dad helped me apply for a credit card while I was in High School so that I could learn about credit and start building my credit score. I took my first loan out from the bank at 18 years old to buy a snowboard so that I could learn about loans and dealing with bankers.

    I agree that a lot of the list could/should be taught by parents, but as mentioned there are plenty of kids out there who's parents never learned any of this stuff themselves.

    I also understand that public school in Canada can be very different than in the US (although I think it also varies greatly from district to district in the US anyways), so you can't really compare apples to apples. I personally like the idea of technical and trade schools that kids can enroll in early on if they're more apt to that kind of thing. Many countries around the world already understand that not all kids' strengths lie in academics and so they are directed more towards areas where their strengths are.

    I learned or had the opportunity to learn all of the below in Junior High and High School.
    • Cooking (Taught in Home-Economics, required in 7th grade)
    • Automobile Maintenance (Optional Auto Mechanics class 10th-12th grade)
    • Home Maintenance and Household Repairs (Shop class, required in 7th grade, option 8th-12th)
    • First Aid (Taught in Phys-Ed+, an optional second PhysEd program where we did more alternative activities like scuba, swimming, first-aid, etc)
    • Firearms Safety (Taught in Outdoor Ed, an option class in 8th-9th grades)
    • Time Management (I believe this is taught generally through all of schooling)
    • How to apply for a loan (Taught in CALM, Career and Life Management, required class in 10th grade)
    • Personal Finance and Money Management (CALM)
     
  24. JosephDurham

    JosephDurham Supporter Supporter

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    Cursive needs to be placed back into the school system. It’s not taught here, but it is valuable, at least to me.
     
  25. M.Hatfield

    M.Hatfield Midnight Joker #42 Supporter

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    I think I love lots of the options listed here.

    I also think some areas of the world benefit from different skills and knowledge.

    Without adding to the extensive list, I will just say that someone's knowledge base in rural Montana might differ from someone living in Chicago or New York City.

    The items I like most are ones that are equally useful no matter where you live.

    Some skills are timeless and useful always while others vary in usefulness depending on other factors.
     
  26. lodge camper

    lodge camper Supporter Supporter

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    edited out.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019 at 3:48 PM
  27. John from Alberta

    John from Alberta Supporter Supporter

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    I've seen cursive writing mentioned a few times here, which is interesting to me. As someone pushing 40 who learned cursive in school I can say with confidence that I have never in my life (after completing school) needed to use this skill. We no longer live in an era where this is a necessary or useful skill. We also no longer learn latin. While I can appreciate the art of cursive writing, and it might be worthwhile being taught in an art class along the same lines as calligraphy, it's just not something that is needed any longer. Or maybe I'm wrong and have just managed to skate by for the last 20 some odd years and managed to miss all of the times where I needed it? Personally I'd way rather have my daughter learn to code over learning a dead form of writing.
     
  28. kairo

    kairo Supporter Supporter

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    Learning to write cursive is not so much about the skill itself, as it is a good tool to help developing brains with fine motor function and control.
     
  29. JosephDurham

    JosephDurham Supporter Supporter

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    Not to mention the fact that when you are told to “sign” your name and “print” your name, there is a difference. YMMV
     
  30. central joe

    central joe Wait For Me!! Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I ain't chiming in here. I like being a member of the forum too much to say that most teachers and most parents consider the schools as a baby sitter. Also if the child is put in a chemical straight jacket it makes their job so much easier. At 65 I have watched and witnessed the change. It's not the child's fault. joe
     
  31. lodge camper

    lodge camper Supporter Supporter

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    i edited my post above for same reason. thanks joe.
     
  32. perdidochas

    perdidochas Guide

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    Besides signatures, I never use cursive. I print or mainly type (word-process). I do wish that schools would actually teach touch-typing (they teach how to use word-processors and spreadsheets, but really don't teach just touch typing, which is the foundational skill, IMHO). I took that course in 10th grade, and I'm sure it has saved me many hours of time--as a writer and as a computer programmer.
     
  33. perdidochas

    perdidochas Guide

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    Not really, you can choose to print a signature, as long as you're consistent about it.
     
  34. Terasec

    Terasec Guide

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    I am just shy of 50 and use cursive often
    Use cursive when taking notes at seminars/training/certification courses etc
    Cant imagine taking detailed notes in block letters
    Also take notes in cursive when on the phone getting information for projects
    Non work related last year took a wilderness first aid course
    Instructor gave us a book with lots of blank space reason for the blank spaces he didnt want us to just read but to fill it in with notes to better remember
    No way would i be able to keep up with notes in block letters
     
  35. perdidochas

    perdidochas Guide

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    Well, my son took three years of Latin in a public high school, and has taken one year of Latin at University. Locally there are at least a handful of schools that still teach Latin. My son's high school has won the regional Latin meet for over 27 years running, and my sons' senior year, they were top Latin team in the state.
     
  36. NattyBo

    NattyBo Guide

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    As an historian, I use cursive everyday. However, it is more on the reading side. We might not need to write letters longhand anymore but I sure want my students to be able to read the founding documents, primary letters etc.
    Latin is quite useful in the sciences, medicine and law. Also it is the root of several languages and if you have a basic knowledge it can help you figure out tons of information and develop critical thinking skills.
    Example. Corpus=body, corpse, corporal punishment(punishment of the body), corporation, habeas corpus (legal term for produce the body), Corpus Christi, Texas means "body of Christ", red or white corpuscles from corpusculum(small body).
     
  37. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    Creative thinking in lieu of mental conditioning.
     
  38. CosmicJoke

    CosmicJoke Supporter Supporter

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    Sorry, I don't think teachers should be teaching kids how to handle firearms unless they are certified instructors. Also, with all the nut jobs these days shooting up schools, I really would rather there was no access to firearms actually on school grounds.

    Here's a thought, many of those on the list from @AdirondackBadger would cost schools a load of money to get the resources to make happen that tax payers would have to pony up. Taxes are high enough here in NY, not being a d***, just making a point.
    Many areas still have Boces where many of the skills on that list can be learned.

    A few like 3-5+9 used to be taught in school. 20 used to be, not it's a trophy just for showing up.

    A lot about how to buy and manage money, that's great, but they need to be taught the importance of getting and holding a job before they worry about buying.

    So, here's a few things I think should be taught:
    How to get job skills and hold a job.
    How to get by without a device doing your work for you.
    Writing- have you seen some kids writing these days? It's horrible! See above about using devices and printers for almost everything.

    I do not have any kids, at times that pains me greatly, but at the same time I am glad I don't have any kids in today's school systems. I see what this new age of schooling is making kids, it p*$$3$ me off!

    I know this may come off as being gruff, that's OK it's meant to be.
    I am by no means trying to insult or be offensive towards @AdirondackBadger , it's pointed at how much influence society influenced by social media and over the top liberalism are really messing with this country.
     
  39. CreativeRealms

    CreativeRealms Tracker

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    Going to go off on a bit of a tangent here but that's the way it used to be. Firearm safety and shooting was taught in schools (and a teacher should be certified to do it obviously same as needing a teaching license to teach anything else). In addition where I live teachers are allowed to carry firearms and there have been issues with it as far as I can remember. I think a lot of the ideas in this thread could help the mental health of kids and make it less of an issue for there to be firearms in schools.
     
  40. ozarkhunter

    ozarkhunter Guide Vendor

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    The dumbing down of public school kids has been a planned regression for a number of decades. An intent to make useful idiots out of the bulk of society helps promotes dependence on those in positions of power. Give someone enough "free stuff" and they will see no need to work for what they need. Create a society "beholdin' " to you and they will continue to support (vote for) more "free stuff". Create a society that makes decisions based on emotion rather than fact and you can steer them into most any "ditch" you like. Publicly call someone a ______ phobe (fill in the blank) and you have an unquestioning following willing to grab a pre-printed sign and march in the streets (and maybe even set public property on fire and steal/destroy private property if you say it long enough and loud enough).

    It SHOULDN'T be the job of public schools to teach the kinds of things in the initial post, but in reality, the majority of kids won't get it if not taught in school. Outside of school, many are glued to "rectangles", be they phones, video games or televisions.
     
  41. Terasec

    Terasec Guide

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    In college i took a class called greek and latin routes of english, was one the the best classes i took
    Wasnt a language class but just roots of the language
    With prefix and suffixes being main part of tge course
    It was great with that i am able to break down just about any western language word and figure out its meaning very useful
     
  42. CosmicJoke

    CosmicJoke Supporter Supporter

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    I know some states and even certain areas in some states teach fire arm safety, and even have shooting programs the same as football or baseball etc. As I stated, I wasn't being argumentative. Just pointing out a few things.
     
  43. 45jack

    45jack Supporter Supporter

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    LISTENING.
    And following instructions.
    You wouldn’t believe the college students I deal with.
     
  44. Terasec

    Terasec Guide

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    Most schools that do so partner with a third party to teach the course
    And usually after school hours
    Timmy isnt going to nra class before english class
    Schools have lots of programs after school hours firearms like anything else on the list should be an afterschool activity
    Location is irrelevant
     
  45. CSM1970

    CSM1970 Guide

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    How to drive with a manual transmission.
     
  46. 45jack

    45jack Supporter Supporter

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    One of my best friends was captain of his high school rifle team. That was back in the sixties.
     
  47. perdidochas

    perdidochas Guide

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    My son studied Greek in his spare time for fun. (and took two years of online Chinese).

    Not a real necessity anymore. I can drive a manual, but haven't owned a manual in almost 20 years (drove one a few years ago, I don't miss it at all).
     
  48. Terasec

    Terasec Guide

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    Where i think schools could improve
    Is not so much offering such classes themselves
    But being a vessel for those that can to offer their services to the youth whether its a free or pay service
    Many schools and districts have strict rules on who/what can solicit their services
    Mostly to avoid conflict of interest
    Dont want gym teachers brother being only soccer training coach allowed to solicit
    But there is room to improve on such programs available in the community to. Solicit
    May be a parent thats an accountant would like to mentor a group about personal finances
    With scouting some schools wont allow scouting materials simply because theres product advertising in the literature
    Things like that have room for improvement
     
  49. AdirondackBadger

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    Totally agree with you on this. If something like this were to ever happen here in NY (and it never would), they should absolutely be fully certified.


    Yes, I understand that. Everything costs money. These are just ideas, some of which are already taught in public schools in other states. That being said, I don't expect to see any of these ever happen here in our state. Taxes are already too high and there is way too much red tape to cut through in Albany.


    Knowing how to properly apply for, interview, and actually secure a job should definitely be in there. Things can go bad though if one does not know how to handle their money before it starts coming in.


    Yes. I have two interns who recently began working at my job and their writing skills are horrendous. One is graduating this summer. The other will be a Junior in September. :confused:

    On that note though - public schools already do teach writing as a core subject.


    No offense taken. While some may think that cooking more bacon was the goal, creating conversation on the subject of expanding our education system was really what I was going for. My plan seems to have succeeded. ;)
     
  50. kairo

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    Agreed. It's way too hard to drink a soda, eat a burger, talk on the phone, and remember to shift.
     

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