Classes teaching teenagers how to ‘adult’ are becoming increasingly popular across the country. The classes teach life skills like cooking, budgeting and time management.
Experts say younger generations are behind on some basic life skills because many haven’t left their childhood homes.
The U-S Census Bureau said, in 2015, 34 percent of Americans between 18 and 34 still lived with a parent. That’s compared to just 26 percent in 2005.
We sat in on a family living class at Legacy High School to see how prepared these high schoolers are for the real world.
Family Living Teacher Kim Hertz says, “Well I think it’s always been around. And I’ll tell you, in the mid-west we value this a lot, so these classes have always been very popular.”
In this particular class, students are learning about relationships.
Senior Haley Boeder explains, “What you should do, and what you should not do, and if it’s a bad relationship, how to get out of it.”
They broke flower pots representative of their own relationships. Then students wrote down the things that stress them out the most on the pieces, and glued them back together.
Hertz says, “Our students are finding or hearing from siblings or older people in their lives, about the struggles they face, and thinking, ‘You know, maybe it’s a good idea to look at this while you’re still in high school.'”
Senior Hayden Bothwell adds, “I just feel like those are the important classes that kids should actually be taking. Most of the classes, and most students will agree, you don’t learn things that you’ll actually use in your future life. So classes like family living and independent living that I’m taking right now, will actually teach me something that will actually have value and I can use in the future.”
Hayden Bothwell plans to go straight into a career in sales after he graduates this spring.
He shares, “It’s really taught me about educated decision making, thinking about what I’m going to do with my future and how to, I guess you could say, work with other people and talk to others, and communicate properly; how to avoid conflict, but also if there is conflict, how to resolve it at the same time.”
Hertz says it’s not necessarily that today’s students are actually behind.
She explains, “Part of it is based on their responsibilities at home. What have they been expected to do before they graduate high school, versus is high school graduation the beginning of those responsibilities.”
She says these classes are important to help bridge that gap between childhood and adulthood.
Legacy High School offers 12 different FACS, or Family and Consumer Science courses, ranging from independent living where they learn about mortgages and car insurance, to cooking and sewing classes, like the classic Home Ec. classes.
Some of these classes are so in-depth, students get to go job shadow and really have a window into their future.