Sending your kids to public school allows them to learn a wide variety of skills, many of which you may not have the time or knowledge to teach them at home. However, there is a limit to what children learn in school. As school systems push teachers to teach towards standardized testing so that students can achieve on target with others in the district, some life skills that used to be taught in school are no longer being prioritized. As a parent, it’s important to know which things your kids aren’t learning in school and supplement their education at home so that they can have the most well-rounded education possible. Here are some things that are no longer being focused on in elementary schools that you may want to teach at home.
Now that so many things are typed rather than handwritten, learning cursive in school is being replaced by learning to type. However, cursive may be an important but neglected part of your child’s education. From reading the Christmas card Grandma sends every year to signing their name on documents later in life, your child needs to have at least a basic understanding of how cursive works.
An easy way to teach your child cursive is to buy them a special notebook with a leather cover specifically for journaling in cursive. Make receiving the journal a semi-magical rite-of-passage for your child and explain the history behind cursive and how it continues to be used today. Finally, have them write in the journal for a set amount of time each week—cursive only. While this may be a struggle at first, as they continue to practice, they’ll get better and better at it. As a bonus, journaling can be a healthy way for your child to learn to manage their emotions.
Digital clocks are becoming more and more popular, even in the classroom. As a result, some schools have done away with teaching children how to read analog clocks. While digital clocks are pervasive in nature, existing on laptops and cell phones, and it may seem like your child will always have access to one, there are real benefits to learning how to tell time.
Unlike digital clocks, analog clocks break the day up into segments. Like pieces of a pie, the ticks on a clock can help your child learn to visualize the passage of time. This is especially helpful for children who may feel that an hour of schoolwork takes much longer than an hour watching TV. Showing how the hands move around the clock face can give your children a better, more tangible grasp of how time works.
An easy way to help your child learn to tell time the old-fashioned way is to keep analog clocks around the house and to refer to them when your child asks what time it is. You can also give your child their own analog watch. Feeling grown-up, just like dad, can encourage them to look at the watch rather than the computer when they want to know what time it is.
Yesterday, we posted an in-depth article on how to teach your child financial literacy at each stage of life, so we’ll only touch on it briefly today, but financial literacy is important. Many adults don’t have this skill down, and you may not feel equipped to teach your children how to handle their finances, but as their parent it’s important that you try. At a minimum, make sure your kids each have a wallet and are responsible for a certain amount of paper currency each week. This can help them learn to budget and save for things they want, both of which will be valuable skills for them to bring with them into adulthood.