Skills of Tomorrow

Words on Parenting Wednesday is a weekly post series on the subject of parenting. I’ll talk about any adventures we have with our girls to motherhood experiences to fun and games for children.

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My girls, Katie and Sophia, aren’t school age yet, but Katie will be in about couple years. So I’m preparing myself for what school will be like for her. I’ve done some research on schools today by what I’ve heard from others and read online and in magazines.

This post is inspired by an article I read in the Parents Magazine called, “Skills of Tomorrow.”

Things have changed in school since I went to school. Ways of learning is different and daily practices in school.

When I was in elementary school, we would recite the pledge of allegiance every morning. As I was going through grade levels, the pledge slowly was taken out of the daily routine. I don’t know how many schools still recite the pledge of allegiance.

Now it has been declared that Pluto is no longer a planet due to it’s size. When I studied planets in school, Pluto was a planet.


When it comes to learning in some schools, ways of teaching a certain skill has changed. The method of solving a simple math problem is different. When it comes to helping our children with their homework, we’ll have to learn the method of teaching in order to solve a problem. Some skills of learning may be taken out entirely.

In the article, Parents Magazine listed three skills that have changed in some schools. Writing, research, and telling time.

1. Writing: The old school way of learning writing is by cursive. Now the new skill is keyboarding. Students learn to print by first grade and start writing on a computer keyboard by third grade. Cursive isn’t even mentioned. Many educators believe that cursive isn’t required very often in the real world. I believe they should still teach cursive. It should be the child’s choice if they want to use the skill in the future or not. Plus cursive is used whenever you sign your name. Printing may be legal on documents, but it’s a lot easier for forgery to occur.

2. Research: The old school way of learning research is by library research. Now the new skill is online fact-finding. For students, research has become more about evaluating the information find online than just finding information. There are some sources online that may not be up-to-date or credible. I believe this is a great idea to teach children to find credible sources online. In college, the number one source my professors didn’t want us to use was Wikipedia. Anyone can add information to the source and it may not be very accurate. There are several library’s online, so children can still find information from libraries, but a lot easier.

3. Telling Time: The old school way of learning telling time is analog. Now the new skill is digital. Most first graders are still taught both ways of telling time in class, but those days are likely numbered. Easy to read digital clocks are everywhere. Clocks with ticking hands are mainly used as decoration rather than functional. I believe children should still be taught both ways of telling time. Digital clocks show only the hour and minutes, but analog clocks show the hour, minutes, and seconds.


For those of you who have children in the school system, what have you found that is different than when you went to school? Are any of the skills listed above true for the school in your area?

-Parents Magazine, February 2013, pg 52-56

6 thoughts on “Skills of Tomorrow

  1. My stepdaughter is 18 and can barely sign her name because they taught it for 5 minutes in elementary school. It’s a dying art and very sad. She has a hard time reading cursive, too. And she is a straight A student…

  2. I’ve noticed all of these changes with my now 7 year old and now that my 5 year old is getting her start I have found that I am not sure I like all of them. You’re right about cursive and the digital time. I have decided to teach cursive writing to my children at home as well as how to read an analog clock. I think these are skills that are still needed despite the advancements we have in technology. Great Post!

  3. Great tips! Thank you for sharing this post at City of Creative Dream’s City of Links last Friday! I appreciate you taking the time to party with me. Hope to see you again this week 🙂

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