12 Much-Needed Skills Schools No Longer Teach Kids

In today’s rapidly changing world, school curriculum has evolved significantly. While some changes are necessary to adapt to new technologies and knowledge, certain essential skills have been left behind. This article explores a few of these forgotten skills that schools may no longer emphasize but could still be necessary for thriving in the modern world.


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Cell phones became common in the late 90s, leading schools to remove typing classes from their curriculum, assuming students would learn to type on their own devices. However, this resulted in students developing slow and inefficient typing methods, hindering their ability to focus on the content they were creating. Reintroducing touch typing (typing without looking at the keyboard) remains critical, as it enhances cognitive automaticity in students and frees up their minds to focus on ideas.

Shop Class

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Though shop classes are disappearing from schools, they offer a valuable combination of practical skills and exploration. Students develop hands-on abilities with tools, explore potential careers in fields like engineering, and gain problem-solving experience. This class fosters creativity and confidence and helps bridge the skills gap in trades by preparing students for in-demand careers. Shop class offers more than hammers and saws; it empowers students for the future.


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Civics used to be taught in middle schools in the 1960s. Once a core subject, it declined in the latter half of the 20th century. Civics education is crucial in shaping informed citizens and maintaining a healthy democracy. Beyond memorizing government structures, it empowers students with practical skills, encourages civic engagement, and addresses gaps in civic literacy. By reviving civics education, we can shape informed citizens who actively contribute to our economy.

Horticulture and Agriculture

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Horticulture and agriculture, once classroom staples, offered valuable skills to students. These subjects cultivate awareness of sustainable living, environmental responsibility, and self-sufficiency through growing food and managing resources.

From fostering a love of nature to opening doors to careers in landscaping or sustainable farming, bringing horticulture and agriculture into the curriculum can empower students for a lifetime.

Driver’s Education

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Driver’s education used to be taught in high schools but has become more privatized and online. This system is expensive and unregulated, leading to some teens getting licenses without proper instruction. To address these challenges, returning driver’s education to high school could offer benefits such as practical skills training and group-based learning, ultimately better preparing young drivers for the road.


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Some kindergartens have reduced playtime in favor of more structured lessons to improve reading scores. This is concerning because research shows that play is crucial for emotional and social development. Studies indicate that children participating in play-based learning perform better academically and socially in the long run than those in rigid programs.

Critical Thinking

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Critical thinking, once a high school elective, has vanished from many curriculums. Time constraints and mandated subjects pushed it out, leaving students with less opportunity to analyze information, debate ideas, and develop the vital skill of questioning everything. This contributes to a society that struggles with evaluating information and respectfully engaging with opposing viewpoints.

Home Economics

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Home Economics, originally designed to train women for work outside, became associated with domesticity. With a rise in college-bound women, schools geared towards academics and neglected practical skills. This led to the decline of Home Economics, now known as Family and Consumer Sciences.

These courses once taught budgeting, cooking, and essential life skills, leaving many adults unprepared. However, as these courses disappeared from secondary education, many adults now lack these crucial skills. The loss of cooking instruction is linked to unhealthy eating habits, as processed foods become the easy choice.

Letter Writing and Addressing Envelopes

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In the past, schools taught kids how to write letters and address envelopes. This helped them improve their writing, practice penmanship, and learn about formal communication. Even though most people use email now, knowing how to write letters and address envelopes is still useful. It can help you write personal messages and ensure your mail gets delivered. Schools should bring back these lessons so students can learn all the different ways to communicate.

Latin And Greek

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Latin and Greek, once pillars of education, are fading from school curriculums. Learning Latin and Greek might seem old-fashioned, but it helps students in surprising ways. It can improve their English vocabulary and grammar, which can boost their SAT scores. Colleges also like to see students who take these classes because it shows they can think critically and love learning.

Cursive Writing

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Schools are grappling with the role of cursive in the digital age. The Common Core curriculum, widely used in elementary schools, no longer mandates teaching it. However, according to research by University of Washington professor Virginia Berninger, it’s an important skill. Her studies show that up to grade six, children who can write – whether printing or cursive – express more ideas and write faster than those who rely solely on keyboards. They learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand and can generate ideas and retain information better.

Speech and Etiquette

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Once upon a time, schools offered speech classes – a dreaded yet valuable opportunity for students to refine their verbal abilities. A class called Etiquette also existed, where students learned more than just table manners. They practiced tying ties, mastering handshakes, and understanding the significance of eye contact. Unfortunately, both these courses have faded from curriculums. According to hiring managers, good speaking skills are their top priority when evaluating candidates. So, if schools aim to prepare kids for employability, they must recognize the value of these skills.

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