What Schools Teach That Isn’t On The Lesson Plans

August 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Parenting

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Children in science classKids are from Krypton, Parents are from Pluto Radio update Aug 5, 2010: “Why do I have to know that?” Remember wondering in school why you had to learn chemistry when you weren’t going to be a scientist? Or, why you had to take art when you hated to draw? Well, it’s not the learning of science, art (or most other subjects, for that matter) that is important; it’s the life skills developed in studying subjects, particularly ones for which kids find no value. Because, no matter what subject is being taught, the life lessons are actually more important than the actual subject matter. I’m not discounting academic subjects. However, I am saying that the skills kids need to learn to be successful in those subject areas are the things that will carry them into their future.

Here’s some of what they learn: to work hard, get along with others, cooperate, wait their turn, respect authority, handle frustration, do things they may not want to do, learn from their mistakes, get organized, be accountable for their actions, do their personal best, discover their capabilities, develop confidence and competence, manage their time, and so on and so forth. I’m sure you can add some of your own ideas to this list, when you realize just how much schools teach that isn’t on the lesson plans!


  1. Recognize that school is a place to learn life lessons.
  2. Understand that making mistakes, being unprepared, facing the consequences are all part of the learning process.
  3. Realize that grades reflect not only how well kids learn the subject matter, but all the skills it took to get there.
  4. Model the skills you want your kids to learn: patience, prioritizing, follow-through and so on.
  5. Show your kids you love them…through your words and your actions.

Enjoy your kids!

Radio For Women


4 Responses to “What Schools Teach That Isn’t On The Lesson Plans”
  1. Brenda says:

    I so agree with you. I tell parents without reservation that the only subject we really teach is responsibility. The coursework is the vehicle and the process is the lesson. The content will disappear as the years pass; but process and responsibility will never be lost.

  2. Dr. Vicki Panaccione says:

    Thank you for putting it so succinctly. The coursework is the vehicle and the process is the lesson…well said!

  3. Brenda says:

    I spend the bulk of my time as goalie for the child (and the teacher) arguing the value of the space needed for those spontaneous real lessons that reach beyond and are more lasting than content. Teachers feel bound by curriculum and calendars and parents are preoccupied by what they don’t know and can’t control in their child’s future. Such tethers are suffocating, neutralizing the opportunities available to really help the child build himself.


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