Schools Need to Teach Common Sense Along with Math and English.

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Say What You Want... These Guys Are Go Getters.Public education has changed in the last 5 years.

Government has done a good (please feel free to replace good with poor, less than adequate, terrible, dreadful, completely appalling, or pathetic) job at dictating what curriculum schools must teach.

I believe that educators need guidelines in the area of curriculum, but there is something that we should be mandated to teach; yet it continues to be overlooked.

Common sense.

English, math, and science are important areas for students to master. But isn’t common sense an even more important skill to learn before graduates head off into the world?

I believe that most people think you are either born with common sense or you are not. You have the gift or you don’t. It is not something that can be learned.

I disagree.

I think it is time that schools recognize the importance of teaching this skill. We must do a better job of preparing our students for the future.

Why is this so important?

We are teaching a generation that is going to take care of me in a nursing home one day in the near future, and their poor judgment frightens me. I want to make sure the person changing my diaper has a good head on their shoulders.

We have to find the time in school schedules to teach common sense.

Our country can’t continue to parade students through graduation ceremonies who lack this basic skill.

Examples of our societies pathetic mastery of common sense is all around us.

We live in a world where people buy bottled water. Why? Walk over to the sink and turn on the faucet. It is the same water. And it’s free (basically free, don’t email).

Just because they put a mountain on the label doesn’t mean the water is from some mystical mountain spring.

It doesn’t come from Colorado; it comes from a garden hose in a factory in New Jersey. And I am willing to bet the guy running the hose hasn’t even washed his hands.

If more people had common sense they would notice that EVIAN spelled backwards is NAIVE.

If that isn’t enough to convince you to join my movement to add a Common Sense Class to every school curriculum, I have more.

My truck’s service manual says to change the oil every 5,000 miles. So why is it that I change it every 3,000 miles? The answer is that I have no common sense.

Actually, I do this because some 17 year old kid with grease all over his shirt (with his name above the pocket) puts a sticker on my windshield. I must follow his directions, or my truck engine will blow up. I have no common sense.

Lack of common sense mistakes are all around us.

Neck tattoos. Why do people think these will stand the test of time? My ties look out of style in 9 months. A tattoo of Bugs Bunny on the side of your head doesn’t show much common sense (or fashion sense).

The buying of houses that are too big and unaffordable is yet another example. Who needs 5 bathrooms, and more importantly who is going to clean them? Just because your friends have a brand new house doesn’t mean you need one. Use some common sense.

Americans are not taking care of their health. We spend trillions of dollars fighting illnesses. Why don’t we spend that money on prevention instead of trying to cure what has already happened? No common sense.

As soon as you’re done reading this, put down the donut and take a walk.

People are making more and more mistakes that prove our lack of common sense skills.

We don’t save enough of our paychecks for a rainy day. We put what should be embarrassing pictures of ourselves on MySpace. We spend time watching Brittany Spears’s life go into the dumpster instead of reading a book.

We buy permanent life insurance when term life is what we need. We supersize our fast food meals, simply because it seems cheaper (with no regard to its effect on our impending death).

We waste time watching TV or reading blogs instead of something more productive (okay bad example… I do love that Mike Rowe).

Schools have to step forward and save us from ourselves. We can be taught common sense and we can’t afford to wait.

In education we feed kids twice a day, look after their health, teach them to drive, help them get into college, provide extracurricular opportunities, discipline them, and test them and then test them some more.

Surely, we have time to teach common sense. We have to do this for the good of society.

And more importantly we must do this for my sake.

I am not getting any younger. Every day I am inching closer to that nursing home.

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12 Responses to “Schools Need to Teach Common Sense Along with Math and English.”

  1. Jen
    on Feb 29th, 2008
    @ 10:01 pm

    Absolutely. And I’m convinced that the better kids get at filling in multiple choice standardized tests and writing in a set (awful) format for those same tests…the more common sense leaks out. The more passages about nothing they read and answer questions about? The more actual facts and knowledge is swept right out their ears.

    Add a few more tests here and there and they’ll be lucky to remember to feed themselves.

  2. Alisha
    on Oct 22nd, 2008
    @ 3:14 pm

    I have always wanted to write a text book on common sense and have all the schools teach it. I haven’t given it much thought lately because I didn’t think the idea would ever progress. I just happened to be looking for solutions to teach people common sense, when I came across this article. You have inspired me to continue with my research on the subject “common sense” in an enormous way. What also inspired me is I have a 4 yr old niece who lacks common sense and I am hoping somehow teach her the aspects on life and someday overcome this hurdle in the longrun.

  3. Rich Fontenot
    on Oct 23rd, 2008
    @ 9:43 am

    I just finished administering the TAKS test and it amazes me how far our students are behind when it comes to common sense. I preach and teach common sense daily, but these are high 17-18 year old kids. I would love for somone to develop a common sense curriculum, but it needs to be geared towards the elementary and junior high students.

  4. Betty
    on Mar 8th, 2009
    @ 11:39 am

    My son went to private school for pre-k and kindergarden. He is now in 4th. The difference between what he learned and the way he learned it in first 2 years of schooling are increadible. Children pick things up very quickly. It could be as simple as giving them 3 tasks such as, touch your nose, touch the desk and get a piece of paper. Then increase the number of tasks and distance between the tasks. Asking a child if you do this, what might happen. This teaches cause and effect, which is essential for them to develop life skills. ” If I run out in the street I may get hit by a car.” Not all young children identify “chasing the ball into the street” is still running into the road. There has to be consistent reminers and tools for them to develop common sense on their own. Talk about it at the dinner table, come up with different scenarios(sp.?) And yes, yes, include it in public school cirriculum!!!!

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  9. Forest
    on Jan 11th, 2010
    @ 11:27 pm

    I don’t know how this site works because I just found it on google… Anyway, I thought I’d leave a comment. This is a GREAT article. It’s amazing, I thought this almost exact thing this year. I’m 15 in 9th grade. At the beginning of the year as a “get to know each other” game we each got a paper with a question on it. Mine said, “If you could give any gift to anyone in the world, what would it be?” My answer was: Common Sense. To everyone. My teacher then asked me why. Well why do you think, haha? I didn’t need to explain myself.

    So what I was getting to. It does seem as though K-12 supposedly “prepares” us for college, and thus a “better” job. Why spend so much time preparing when it could be started now? And why make these “better” jobs have a necessary “college degree?” Why not spend K-12 getting ready to do these jobs, so you’ve got your next Microsoft Owner at age 18? WE COULD BE READY TO ACCOMPLISH THIS SORT OF THING AT AGE 18 BETTER THAN WAITING UNTIL WE’RE 22. Or however old you are when you get a degree.


    So, how did I word that? Does that kind of make sense? Is there a way you can contact me, because I’d like to know what you think about this.

  10. generation A
    on Jan 14th, 2010
    @ 9:37 pm

    I used to think that critical thinking, cause and effect are all common sense. If they are, then common sense is already being taught in schools. If not, then I strongly advice that this be incorporated into the school schedule.

    I personally, say that children should be identified and placed in their different areas of expertise, as from when they are in their 3rd grades. That way, they will grow in their areas of expertise, and can even make changes on or before they get to k12.

  11. Joe
    on Apr 12th, 2010
    @ 2:32 pm

    haha nice :)

  12. Bridgett
    on Aug 15th, 2011
    @ 11:00 pm

    yes schools, I am dealing with this exact topic currently. I have a soon to be 14 year old that I just pulled from school to homeschool. Academic is a issue but b/c school sees it as the only thing they need to teach my son was getting further and further behind. I feel like this, at home I can teach him the three R’s (reading, riting and rithmetic) along with common sense. But if he continued to stay in the traditional school setting he wasn’t learning CS. Once he came home he was doing homework until bedtime so when was I going to teach it. We have been struggling for years with this and I figure better now than never. Wish us luck. Can you suggest any good books to help with teaching Common Sense, I googled it and can’t seem to find anything. Thanks

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