They say schools prepare students for life in the real world, but many of the basic life skills children need to navigate adulthood — like budgeting and changing a tire — aren't exactly part of the curriculum. Well, one school in Ontario, Canada is shaking things up by teaching its students practical and important life skills.
E.J. Lajeunesse High School made headlines in May this year for implementing ‘adulting’ classes for its Grade 12 students. These programs cover different topics meant to prepare the students for living on their own after graduation. CBC lists the different classes provided:
- Car maintenance (how to change a tire, how to check a car’s oil)
- Home maintenance (how to patch a hole in drywall, how to check breakers, how to use power tools)
- Financial planning (how to budget, how to manage credit cards)
- Clothing (how to sew on a button, how to hem pants, how to iron and sort laundry)
- Cooking for one (how to cook five meals with one rotisserie chicken)
- Mindfulness (how to manage stress)
Teachers at the school emphasize the importance of these classes.
Jeanette Giroux, a science teacher who is also in charge of the sewing club and teaches the sewing class, tells CBC, “I just feel like sewing is a skill that we’re starting to lose. As much as technology progresses, you’re still going to need pants.”
She goes on to say that sewing is a skill the youth need to learn because it is “starting to die off with our grandmothers.”
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
For Melanie Moyer, who leads a cooking class, the programs are meant to teach students how to feed themselves.
“We try to incorporate vegetables, eggs and different types of proteins so that once they’re out on their own they can buy one chicken, a few ingredients, and feed themselves for a week,” Moyer tells CBC.
A video editorial created by CBC notes that according to school officials the students of E.J. Lajeunesse High School were initially reluctant about participating in the program. However, eventually, they found that they were able to learn important life skills because of the classes they took!
Lauren Hodgins, who took a class on personal finances, shares that she realized just how much money she had gotten so used to spending. “I spend a lot and I don’t even realize it. You don’t realize how much you’re spending until you sit down and think about it. I’m going to have to cut back on certain things.”
Micheline Limoges, principal of the high school, reflected on how the program has impacted the students at the school. “We’ve had a lot of eye-opening comments made such as, ‘So if I don’t get my nails done every week, I could save $1,300 over the year,’ and ‘I didn’t realize my parents pay for all these things,’” she shares in the CBC video editorial.
Limoges also says that while all of the classes are available for their students, not all of them are going to take the classes.
“Not all students are going to take shop and learn how to change a tire,” she tells CBC. “Not all students are going to take an accounting course to learn personal finance.”
Regardless, it’s great to see that schools are beginning to see the importance of teaching children skills that they will be able to apply in their daily lives after they leave school. Would you like to see Philippine schools apply the same strategy to their curriculum?
Learn more by watching the CBC video editorial below.