What do you want your children to learn?

There’s no doubt that our world is evolving, often changing at a hectic pace. With that comes changes to not only the topics that our young learners study but also the way that they learn. The integration of the internet, smart devices, laptops and even social media into our children’s learning is well established and growing.

The lessons that we learnt

Think about the topics that you learnt at school. Yes, a lot of them are still relevant in this world. But there are also some that have fallen by the wayside and a lot of the subjects that your chldren may now study are brand spanking new to your generation.

What subjects would you add?

Recently, we asked our social media followers, the majority of which are parents, a simple question: What subject do you wish kids were taught at school?

When we devised the question, we were thinking that our readers would suggest some new, modern subjects that kids could learn about. However, the responses were almost completely the opposite. The results can be seen below.

Observations from the results

  1. Practicality reigned supreme – the majority of the responders were keen for kids to learn more about how the world really works, ie finding a job, budgeting, cooking your own meals, loan applications, car maintenance, etc.
  2. Several readers were quite taken aback by the suggestion from others that schools should be teaching children respect and manners. The consensus was that this is the parents’ responsibility.
  3. Some topics that were suggested are in fact taught in a lot of schools, ie cooking, gardening, swimming – though obviously not all schools are able to offer these lessons.
  4. Mental health awareness, strategies and coping skills were mentioned frequently for children growing up in this fast-paced, pressurised and often harsh world.

school subjects

What subjects would you like to see your child taught at school?


  1. gillymama 08/03/2018 at 11:25 am

    Very interesting regarding the survey. I agree that Practical subjects are important as well as academic. Regarding manners/respect I actually think this really needs to be reinforced at school as its not being taught by ALL parents so much these days. The number of times I have had students push me aside, walk into me and not say anything at my kids school is astounding!
    One thing I think that needs to be broadly taught is financial management. We are lucky our school starts teaching that from year 5/6 I think with more in depth teaching from year 9. Its a simple subject that can set our kids up with then knowledge of what they do with the money they finally earn after they’ve finished all their school work. So many young adults get into huge debt as the have no experience with finances.

  2. kymmage 26/02/2018 at 9:43 am

    When I was at high school they offered a stream called “life skills”. It was all that practical stuff – how to change a tyre, how to run a household, budgeting, how to job interview etc. I was actively discouraged from doing the course. I applied and was told, pick something else. This was because I was likely to go to tertiary study. Which I felt was unfair – everyone needs to know this stuff! I still have no idea about my car. While I agree that there is a lot that us parents should be teaching, it’s also important that similar messages come from teachers. My eldest sometimes won’t believe me about something until her teacher tells her!

  3. Shelz69 19/02/2018 at 3:45 pm

    I would for the schools to teach them how to study, how to plan it etc. Setting goals and how to achieve them would be good also

  4. felicity beets 15/02/2018 at 10:27 pm

    I think that it is also important for students to learn skills to help with looking for a job e.g. interview skills, approaching organisations for work, CVs etc and also practical skills such as cooking and budgeting including how much you are really paying when you buy something on hire purchase or how much you actually pay when taking out loans.

  5. Alezandra 09/02/2018 at 3:20 pm

    I believe the practical use of mathematics, science in any environment be it at home, school or outside would be preferable than just sitting down working out equations or memorising chemistry terms. Every little thing we do is a learning opportunity, as parents, our kids emulate us as well. If we sit and just look at just our phones almost 24/7, that’s exactly what they will copy and learn to. With than being said, on the topics that were summarised money management is always good at a young age as well as learning about communication and manners.

  6. Jen_Wiig 09/02/2018 at 1:52 pm

    I’m like majority of other parents I would like my 3 sons to learn real life skills, I’d also like them to learn the effects of looking after a baby at a young age alongside when they have their sex education classes as we have a very high rate of teen pregnancies and alot of them sadly end up with the Dads being hopeless and I don’t want my boys to be Dad’s like that regardless.
    I like the fact there is now more emphasis on technology learning and having their work often completed etc on chrome books or i pads and this is weather we like it or not the way if the world so it’s important for them to learn and keep up to date with technology.
    I’d also like my sons to learn Te Reo Māori and believe it should be compulsory in schools it’s our native language and should be a standard subject taught like English and Math.

  7. MuddledUpMolly 06/02/2018 at 9:01 pm

    As a teacher this really just highlights the need for parents to get a little more involved in their children’s lives and not leave it all up to us teachers! I talk to our son regularly about common sense stuff such as money management and highlight the importance of being wise with our own decisions. I love conversating with our son and it is really so easy to discuss topics such as the above. People should try it sometime, it’s not hard it’s about building that relationship and making an effort 🙂 Quality time is so important!!

  8. danielle2211 03/02/2018 at 9:14 pm

    I agree with alot of the survey list. If I could add to nz schools I think growing your own food, mindfulness and yoga should be there from an early age. We need to be teaching kids how to feel and understand their emotions from a young age., maybe this will help with the growing number of mental health issues young people now face. Healthy mind and a healthy gut is the best thing you can do for a person. Te Reo and Nz history would be next. Te Reo and nz sign language are official languages of Nz so should be taught!

  9. SarahBlair 02/02/2018 at 4:30 pm

    I think that a lot of basic skill should be taught in the home but reinforced at school, manners, acceptable social behaviours etc. Core subjects like English, Maths and sciences are essential, but technology is also important in this day and age. There should be a life skills class offered in high school which teaches students really important things like how to read a contract eg. rental agreements, employment contracts etc. and make them aware of their rights so that they don’t get taken advantage of.

  10. Bevik1971 01/02/2018 at 4:15 pm

    Hmmmmm I still think the basic maths, English, spelling etc are very important but also important are life skills and being taught about the world around us and being kind to it. I am a stickler for ensuring my children use manners – very, very important and will get you far in this world. Learning the basics of preparing and cooking food and about where your food comes from etc to me is also very important

  11. Mands1980 01/02/2018 at 3:50 pm

    Some of these things I agree with like swimming kids do not do enough at school as we don’t have a school pool so we take the kids in after school for lessons. Manners is definately taught at home as well I don’t think the school should have to do this without parent involvement at home. Sometimes I think there is too much technology used and not enough writing but I guess that is the way things are changing.

  12. Kjgee 01/02/2018 at 3:22 pm

    Often I hear other parents talking about things they wished school taught their kids, that I believe the kids should actually be learning at home – things like manners, of course the kids should be using them at school but they should have spent the first 5 years at home learning how to use them! I do think practical life skills and money management could be talked about more in schools. I also think it’s important that the learning doesn’t stop at 3pm, the basics are all easily taught during “normal” times at home, too. Cutting up carrots for dinner and counting them out – maths and cooking!

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