Lifestyle / Family

Ziphezinhle Msimango
4 minute read
23 Apr 2020
4:30 pm

What we should be teaching kids – that’s not in the school curriculum

Ziphezinhle Msimango

The school closures that have taken place as a result of the coronavirus are also an opportunity to reflect.

Mother and daughter. Copy space

As parents we are for the first time being forced to get into the detail of what our kids are learning in their school life – beyond helping them with homework. So while the closure of the schools that has happened as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has turned our children’s schooling year upside down, on the upside for the first time as parents we are actively engaging with and thinking about our children’s learning.

Also Read: Will the kids be all right? – Concerns regarding academic performance mount

As I have been fumbling at the homeschooling thing my nine year old daughter I’ve had an epiphany that beyond the subjects that I’m currently guiding her through as we home school, these are some of the other things, which are not on her curriculum, that as a mom I believe she should learn because they will help her navigate this thing called life:

Understanding money

It’s so important for her to understand things like budgeting and doing your taxes, and even more so that she understands it to the point where she is fully financially literate. She needs to know that just like businesses have financial statements like an income statement and balance sheet  – so  too does her life. Understanding that her life has its own balance sheet will help her grasp the concept of assets and liabilities and knowing that while its important to work for money- it’s smarter to work to acquire assets that can one day work and make money for her.

To chase knowledge, not money

On an average day my daughter wants to be a soccer player, doctor, chef and engineer. But more important I’ve come to realise as I spend time homeschooling her is that its more important that in going on this journey of choosing her career path, she understands that what should always be her guide should be the desire to get knowledge. This way she will know that her potential to earn is directly related to her level of knowledge,  and this will lead her guide to chase after roles that offer her  access to knowledge rather than  just a big pay cheque or status.

How to put together a CV

More than just being about her learning how to put together something that will get her into jobs/roles, knowing how to put together a CV is also essentially a lesson in how to represent yourself – and represent yourself well. This is a quality, if learned well, will show in other areas of her life, not just in CV’s or job opportunities.

Also Read: Denmark reopens schools after a month of lockdown


How to make mistakes

As we  currently spend time figuring out the entire online learning experience together we are often frustrated, making mistakes and I’m so glad we’re doing this together because these stop starts are giving me an opportunity to highlight that often in life ( where we face new experiences all the time) we make mistakes but we carry on anyway. And that’s the only way we actually ever achieve anything- through trying, failing, then trying again and so on.

That Math is about solving problems, not just numbers

Doing Maths and being good at it often gets the fun taken out of it because she’s focused on getting the answer correct. But as i have had the chance to homeschool, I’ve added enjoyed highlighting and instilling the lesson that math is actually about learning how to problem solve. The ability to look at a problem and apply you mind to how you could actually solve it. This is important because life in a way is a series of problems we face, solve and resolve. The people who face challenges and and have the confidence to come up with multiple ways to problem solve them have a higher chance of being successful.


Bravery is defined as the quality or state of having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty and it deserves to be  a subject on a curriculum. Often the difference between people who express their innate creativity or ability and those who don’t is a lack of bravery in the latter group. So if this was in the curriculum my daughter would be taught that bravery is a muscle that needs to be exercised. In the bravery class the aim would be for all who attend to share how they’ve exercised their bravery muscle and get a bravery certificate to as a prize for passing the class. Now with all the time we have together to homeschool, we’ve added bravery class a subject!


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