Life Skills 101 at Sitnam High School

Here at Sitnam High School we pride ourselves on a quality well-rounded education which is why no student may graduate without showing aptitude in our semester course Life Skills 101. Some students may already have many of these skills but we feel it’s important to make sure everyone has a solid foundation for an adult life. This course will cover:

Balancing a checkbook
changing a car tire
changing the oil in your car
Getting a loan / understanding different mortgages
Credit Card interest rates
hanging drywall / patching holes
doing your taxes
compare and contrast policies of two candidates in an election
unclogging a sink
power tools
What have I forgotten?

Cooking 101
Introduction to Pet Care
Maintaining A Healthy Relationship (with lab)
Drywall? Call the guy.

kitchen and food safety

first aid

I’m not so sure changing the oil is all that important. It doesn’t cost that much, $30 or so, and to do it yourself you have to find a place to take the oil, which around me is hard to do any more.

I’m also not convinced on the hanging drywall, I’ve never had to do it and if I’m going to need to do so the person who cut the hole is probably going to fix it anyway. Now patching a hole is a different matter, and I should get to patching the one I have now.

I think something about the price of eating out vs making food should be taught as well. I know a lot of people just go out to eat and wonder why they don’t have money.

Use of correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar: It matters, even on the internet.

Assertiveness. This will teach the valuable skill of being able to jump on your landlord’s ass to get him to fix the damn heat/sink/leaky pipes coming from the apartment above you forcing you to sacrifice one of your pots to catch the dripping water. Also, to get your neighbour to stop blasting Aerosmith at 2am.

How to jumpstart a car (lifesaving in cold climates)

How to drive on icey roads (even living in Sweden I’m surprised each winter how many people don’t know how to get up an icey hill)

Different types of fires, fire extinguishers and how to use them.

Basic electrical skills

The first Christmas after I moved out on my own, my mom got me the book Where’s Mom Now That I Need Her? - primarily a cookbook (was a godsend for bachelor cooking, and even now that I’ve been married for almost 10 years, when it’s my turn to cook I often turn there first) but also has things like bike repair, vehicle maintenance, first aid, sewing, and all those other things you need to know when you’re out on your own.

Most of the stuff already covered (and probably a lot of the stuff that has yet to be posted) in this thread is in there.

Basic legal principles (e.g., contracts, torts, property, criminal law, maybe throw in some consumer law)

Doing your laundry (the advanced course will be “ironing.”)

I agree that changing oil and hanging drywall are useful, but not necessary life skills, while basic cooking is.

I’d add: basic computer security (i.e. why not to download and install programs from suspicious sites, why not to give out your passwords, why you really won’ t be getting five million dollars from Nigeria).


Basic child care - even if you are never a parent, its likely at some point you’d need to watch children

Longer range planning - (i.e. if I commit to a $300 a month car payment, I won’t be able to move out of my mother’s basement until I double my income. If we have kids now, we won’t be able to afford childcare and then one of us will have to stay home with kids - and the budget says we then won’t be able to both eat and pay our mortgage.)

Problem solving (but I could move to nights, she could continue to work days, and while we won’t see each other much for about seven years, we can make this work).

Nutrition and health

I think the balancing one’s checkbook session should be modernized to a session on using Electronic Banking.

I didn’t learn any of that stuff in high school and I’ve done fine, having learned everything on your list by just learning when the need arose. It’s not a bad idea to have such a course, but I think it’s better to prepare a person’s brain to reason and make better life decisions. The one about evaluating political candidates is excellent. The other things on the list … meh. Lessons about diet, career, and post-secondary education options would be on my list. Thinking back I wished that I had more coaching in those areas in high school.

Write a resume. Heck, when you graduate you should have a diploma and a working resume in hand.
How to make a baby, if you want, or how to avoid making babies if you don’t want.
Basic sewing - even guys can do it!

For some folks, “Putting Away” is the 200-level course.

A pre-requisite for the Assertiveness course would be Voice: Enunciation and Projection.

If people would learn how to speak by actually moving their teeth and tongue, we might be able to eradicate the phrase “Sorry, I didn’t understand you.”

In high school? I think that’s a bit much.

Also don’t think high school kids need to be taught about understanding different types of mortgages. Who has a mortgage before they’re 25-30?

Basic probability and statistics, as it applies to things like casino games and lotteries.

Some common scams, warning signs that something is probably a scam.

Recognizing domestic abuse. Emotional/psychological abuse as well as physical. When to run away from a relationship.

Recognizing date/acquaintance rape. This will protect both potential victims and people who might not know that having sex with someone while they are passed out drunk is rape. A discussion of state laws regarding age of consent and its possible ramifications should be part of this unit as well.

Excellent suggestions. I’d volunteer to come in and teach that for a day or two if it was offered in my area.

Grocery shopping.