What do you want your children to know?

So this is possibly a bit of an odd question, but I’m wondering what you value most about your children’s education, what would you see as the most important things for them to leave high school knowing?

Mine are only 3 and 1, but as I’m trying to think about their schooling - mainstream? Homeschooling? Montessori? - it’s got me thinking, what do I really want them to know about and do? There’s just so much to learn!

I’m thinking that the broad basics of science are really important to me, along with:

  • the history of our own country
  • some world history (but which bits are most important?!)
  • our government and other government systems
  • life skills: gardening, cooking, driving, knowing how to maintain a house and car (change oil, how car works and main parts, simple building etc)
  • sustainability

But I don’t know. There’s so much to understand in maths, science, engineering, economics, technology, arts and culture, history…

What do YOU think is important? Why?

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Practical skills like cooking and laundry for sure, and also critical thinking! Since my son will grow up with the internet and instant access to a lot of knowledge, I want him to be able to tell if something is good, reliable information, and to be able to tell apart science and pseudoscience.


[name_u]Love[/name_u] this question! [name_f]My[/name_f] husband is American and I am Aussie, so definitely the history of both cultures is important to me.

Some of the things that are important to me, I don’t need to necessarily be taught in school, but I feel I’d like us to address at home. Obviously what’s important to us may not be something of interest to you.

Other things:

  • Age appriopriate sex education/consent education
  • Mental health and Body [name_m]Image[/name_m]
  • Internet safety/Cyberbullying
  • [name_u]Diversity[/name_u], Culture and Religions
  • World [name_m]History[/name_m] - World Wars, [name_m]Major[/name_m] Tragedies, the Holocaust, [name_m]Major[/name_m] Holidays of Significance etc. and crucial periods, for example: The Industrial Revolution, [name_m]Gold[/name_m] [name_m]Rush[/name_m], Great Depression, Civil Rights etc. (Things that affected basically everywhere)
    -Nature/Science - seasons, climates etc. Human bodies, electricity, experimentation, computing etc
  • Maths - Know all the important every day skills necessary
  • Geography - this one I have noticed is a big struggle for most people nowadays, I feel its an important skill.
  • [name_f]Music[/name_f] - a broad understanding of genres and some of the most notable ones.
  • [name_m]Art[/name_m] - same as above
  • [name_m]Job[/name_m] and Interview Prep
  • How to use basic resources e.g thesaurus, encylopedias, dictionaries etc.
    Literature - Know some of the well known classics.
  • Social emotional learning - friendship skills, feelings, conversational skills etc.

Sorry I work in early childhood so I got carried away :grimacing:


I’d second critical thinking for sure, consent, etc. I think the most personal/quirkiest one on my list is art appreciation! It’s really important to me that my kids are exposed to fine art and are able to discern quality works of art. (I don’t mean exclusively symphonies and modernist sculptures, but comic books, Pixar movies, slam poetry, and street murals too!) Across the genres and mediums, what makes a work of art/song/book/play work? What’s the difference between fine art and kitsch? What are its influences? [name_u]Will[/name_u] they be as interested as I am in that kind of thing? Maybe not, but I at least want to expose them to it. :slight_smile: And that’s not really something that’s going to happen at school to the degree I’d want, so it’s on me!


I think it is impossible for a school to teach everything there is to know about everything, every culture, every country, every theory but….

*US history (we are American) but not the wishy washy white washed stuff I learned about, where we (white people of a religious background) are the victors and saviors in every story.

*I don’t know a word to encompass this topic but human relations, I guess? [name_m]Race[/name_m] and the systemic ripple effects. How people relate to one another. What we have in common. Consent. Respect and empathy. Communication.

*World history.
*Govt and related topics. Why and how our country operates the way it does. How elections work.

*Age-Appropriate sex ed. NOT the fear-based garbage I was taught. How our bodies work. Birth control options. The emotional aspect of sex. That type of thing.

*of course [name_f]English[/name_f], writing, math, health and other basics.
*emotional intelligence
*life skills: sewing, cooking, car maintenance, financial education, etc

  • arts: music, animation, drawing, band, choir…

*religious studies (not just Christianity)
*sociology, psychology

I don’t know what we will actually do for our son’s education. If he goes to public school, he will go to a different school system than I went to. It offers more than what I had…they even have a robotics club!

I have considered home schooling but I am comfortable saying I am not qualified to teach. I don’t know different teaching methods or even remember half of the stuff I learned… I DO think that parenting involves helping your child learn and grow, alongside proper education. It isn’t just “let the teachers handle it”. However, with how things are in the US, I am afraid of sending my child to school. That alone is making me wonder what I should do. I just don’t know. I’m afraid to make that choice.

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This is everything I want to teach them which they probably won’t learn in school (or not to an extend which I want them to).

*Basic home ed things like cooking, laundry, effective cleaning…anything they’ll need once they are an adult.

*Make sure they know our culture. Schools mostly teach about other cultures and like most people my age I sometimes fear my culture is more american than anything else even though I never lived there but they export it so heavily it’s hard to not fall for it and a lot of traditions have already been swapped out for american ones.

*Social and emotional skills. A little more tricky cause it’s often learning by doing but I hope I can make sure that they know the value of friendship and social contacts.

*Make sure they actually understand science and not just recite it. I see sooo many people on the internet not getting the most basic science concepts and falling for obvious fake and pseudoscience.

*Sex ed maybe but schools got that covered pretty good (at least when I went to school).

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Emotional education, absolutely. Inner knowledge and exploration - self-reflection, and an understanding of how our past can affect us, inc. in the present, how to communicate, inc. on how you feel, etc. Being a good role-model, showing how to give and accept love, learning about boundaries, and how to question and analyse things. What it means to do the right thing, instilling good morals/ values, etc.

Apart from that, just learning how the world works really! Bringing it all together, rather than having it all be chopped up. Showing interconnectivity.

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