If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that life is unpredictable. We never know what the future holds.
Who would have dreamed, just a year ago, that cloth face coverings would be a booming business in 2020? I never would have dreamed that I’d be living through a global pandemic and toilet paper would be a hot commodity. But here we are.
As educators, this serves as a reminder for us that we are preparing our children for an unknown future. How do we prepare our children to not just deal with the uncertainty, but to thrive in the careers of the future?
We don’t know what the future holds
We don’t know what kinds of careers will be available to our children. We don’t know where their lives and interests will take them.
I think we can predict some things about the cutting-edge careers of the future, though. Our children will be required to learn new skills on a regular basis. Technology and the skills needed are constantly changing.
The world and technology are always changing
Even within my lifetime, technology has changed the world so much. I’ve had to learn many new skills that were not taught in school.
I have a diverse educational background and I have always loved learning so I have taken a lot of college classes. I have Master’s degrees in psychology and business administration. I have also taken college classes in computer science and engineering.
None of those classes prepared me for all of the new technology I’ve had to use in my daily life. Jobs in the tech field will require learning about even more new technology.
Lifelong learning is vital to adapt to the changing world
Some people seem to adapt well and learn new technology with relative ease. Others, and this is not entirely based on age, seem to resist and struggle.
Those who struggle to learn new technology quickly fall behind in their careers and struggle to manage daily life.
I think it is pretty certain that our children will need to be adaptable and curious about new technology in the future.
It will be vital that our children know how to learn and that they are always open to learning new things. A lifelong love of learning will be a key quality.
Careers of the future will require innovation and creativity
I think we can also predict that the jobs of the future will require innovative and creative thinking. Computers will handle nearly all rote tasks that only require memorized facts or calculations.
There are still certain things it is good to just know from memory. You wouldn’t want your kids to have to pull out a calculator for every simple calculation. They shouldn’t have to use Google to determine that Africa is a continent, not a country.
I think we can say with certainty, though, that rote memorization for most things should not be the priority of education. Careers of the future will require people who know how to do the things that are not easily done by computers.
Future success will require knowing how to learn and adapt
Success in the future will require our children to be able to chart their own course, think for themselves, and think creatively. Innovation will be a key skill. Adaptability will be vital.
It is important that we keep in mind that there is a bigger picture, beyond that of subjects and scope and sequence.
As educators, we need to focus on certain meta skills
Children need certain meta skills. These are over-arching skills that go beyond subject areas.
In the future, they will need to know how to learn new things on their own. Their skill set will need to evolve over time to stay relevant. They will need to think creatively to innovate.
It is important that our children learn certain things now:
- How to think creatively
- How to enjoy learning new things
- How to innovate and think creatively
A homeschool that inspires our children’s curiosity, empowers them to take charge of their education, and sparks a lifelong love of learning will prepare our children to thrive in an uncertain future.