Have you ever heard your son object to doing his school work by saying, “I’m never going to use this!” My boys say this on those days when they are wanting to do anything other than their school work. I hear this much more often than I would care to admit!
This is a hard objection to respond to because there is some truth to what they are saying.
Will they ever need to know the atomic number of various elements later in life? Will they need to be able to complete calculus problems after they’re done with school? Will they need to know the difference between a gerund and a present participle or know how to diagram a sentence? Probably not.
So, how do we answer our sons when they ask us this question? Is schoolwork a complete waste of time?
Here are 10 things your son will learn from schoolwork that he WILL use later in life:
1 – Benefits of Memorizing
Our brains are muscles and they must be exercised. Memorizing information is like mental calisthenics. When we train our brains by memorizing information, we give it the strength to retain and remember other information later on. By the way, it’s more beneficial to memorize information over time than it is to cram. Studying information half an hour a day for a week is much more effective than studying for four hours in one sitting.
2 – Brainstorming
Our boys need to be able to think outside of the box. They need practice brainstorming both on their own as well as in groups. Give them the time and freedom to be able to brainstorm solutions to various problems throughout their school year.
3 – Certain Information WILL be Used Later
Some of the information our sons learn during school WILL be used on a regular basis. Knowing how to read is essential to success in our daily lives. It’s important that our children know enough about history that they aren’t doomed to repeat it. Basic math skills are used quite often in regular life. The ability to think logically is vitally important in a society where untruths and propaganda are constantly bombarding us.
Depending on what type of career your child ends up undertaking as an adult, this will be true of other subjects as well. And since you might be unsure of what career your son will pursue at this time in his life, it’s important to study a wide range of subjects while he’s “in school.”
4 – Following Directions
When your boss gives you directions, they want you to follow them completely. He won’t give multiple reminders. He won’t want to have to hand hold. Our sons need to be able to receive directions, process them, and complete what they have been asked to do.
5 – Getting Along with Others
This skill is priceless in the workforce. Your son will need to be able to get along with his co-workers his boss, and especially with customers. Difficult customers are some of the hardest people in life to get along with. How better to train for this task than to have to get along with your siblings all day long?
6 – How to Learn/Research
Learning how to learn is essential. Throughout our lives, we will need to be able to learn new information. If we don’t know how to do something we need to be able to figure out how we can acquire that information and then learn it. I am a book lover but I have to say that the internet has transformed this task for us. It’s so easy to watch a YouTube video showing us how to complete a home repair or pretty much anything else for that matter. It’s also wonderful to be able to Google anything that we don’t know or understand. There are good and bad aspects to our technological world – but this is definitely a good part.
7 – Project Planning
We need to be able to give our sons complex projects and have them handle it from beginning to end. They need to be able to plan ahead, organize their materials, obtain necessary resources, and manage their time. Try starting with small projects and working your way up to more and more complex ones. This is excellent practice for them.
8 – Respecting Authority
It’s important for our boys to respect authority. Whether it’s a police officer, a church elder, or a boss, he will need to show proper deference to those in authority over him. This is practiced on a regular basis by giving respect to Mom and Dad.
9 – Technology
The more familiar your child is with a variety of computer programs, the easier it will be for him to learn additional programs in the future. There are lots of ways that we’ve tried to help our boys become familiar with technology. They have both been given digital cameras of their own to use for taking pictures as well as videos. We’ve allowed them to use computer programs such as Camtasia and Pinnacle Studio to edit their movies. We ask them to type some of their papers in Microsoft Word so that they will know how to use word processing software. You want your boys to feel comfortable sitting down at a computer and figuring stuff out!
10 – Time Management
When your boss gives you an assignment with a due date, he will expect you to return to his office with your completed work either by or before the deadline. He will not give constant reminders. Our boys need to learn how to turn in their completed assignments on time as well.
Once our boys leave our homes, we want them to be equipped to be responsible leaders. The time that we spend teaching them is valuable. We are training their brains to learn and giving them a skill set which will serve them well in their future careers.
The next time your son complains that he’ll never use whatever you’re teaching him, have a discussion with him about what he will use. Boys are much more willing to learn when they see the value in what they’re being taught.
QUESTION: Can you think of any other valuable skills our sons are learning from their school work? Please share a comment below.