11 things you need to learn that are more important than your times tables
Jane McGuire

11 things you need to learn that are more important than your times tables

11 things you need to learn

First published date February 16 2015 Amended date March 06 2015

Ask us to name the five members of One Direction and we could tell you in seconds (Harry, Niall, Liam, Zayn and Louis), ask us what eleven times twelve is and we would probably have to ask you to give us five.  As Education Secretary Nicky Morgan announced that all children aged 11 should know their times tables, we started wondering how much of what we learn at school is actually relevant to our lives as adults. Always looking for inspiration to get adult learners back to the classroom, have a read of the 11 things you need to learn that are more important than your times tables (One Direction names optional).


How to change a tyre

Could you confidently change a tyre, unaided, on the side of a road? If, like us, your car knowledge stops at naming three components under the bonnet, forgetting eight times nine and going back to school to study a car maintenance course could be the best thing you do this year.


How to hang a picture

Despite being in our twenties, here on the editorial desk we still call our dads every time it comes to hammering a nail into the wall. If you lack the DIY skills to hang a picture, perfectly straight, in the middle of the wall, perhaps it’s time to man up and go on a DIY course. What’s more, if decorating a room also sends you into a cold sweat, there are courses to help with that too.


How to send an email

By this we don’t mean writing and clicking send, but how to cc and bcc colleagues, how to get the right information across in the subject line and how to set an ‘out of office’. 


How to fix that leaking tap

The bathroom tap has been dripping for a few weeks. You have three options: A. Call the plumber that you keep on speed dial and accept that you will once again pay a fortune for a ridiculously easy job. B. Ignore it, you’ve managed to kind of tune it out now/ hear it as the ‘beat’ to your flat. C. Go on a course and learn to fix this and any future annoying leaks.


How to work a computer

Working on the editorial desk for a website, we can confidently say we wouldn’t get through the day without our computer skills. In our opinion, learning how to insert a picture on Word, create a graph on Excel and complete a PowerPoint presentation are important skills needed for the world of work.


How to budget

Much to the finance team’s dismay, budgeting is not our forte over here in editorial. Two weeks into the month we have successfully plunged back into our overdrafts, made a rash online purchase and vowed to start budgeting so this doesn’t happen again.


How to use a washing machine

Another one that most of us don’t learn until we are well into our teens, using a washing machine is a task that should be so simple, but can easily go so wrong. From dyeing every item of the wash pink (so nineties it hurts), to making everything child sized, we have been there, done that and ruined the t-shirt.


How to cook a roast dinner

The chicken is done, the vegetables are still raw and you’ve not even started the gravy. How to cook a roast (or just anything more complicated than scones) are skills that should be on the curriculum. The only good thing is that learning to cook as an adult can be much more fun, as you don’t have to have adult supervision, or carry your cooking round in your backpack all day.


How to be social media savvy

It’s hard to remember living in a world without social media, yet today children are bombarded with it from a young age. As the internet continues to become more accessible with developments in technology, we believe being safe on social media and keeping things private are important lessons to learn.  


How to book a holiday

Booking your first holiday on your own is a big deal and one of life’s underrated victories. Although some of us still need someone there holding our hand, being able to master the organisational nightmare of flights, transfers and hotels is a skill everyone needs to be gain at one point.


How to drink responsibly

A lesson a lot of us are still trying to get our heads round, drinking responsibly and the dangers of not knowing your limits are subjects many of us don’t study until we are at university.


If you can think of some more lessons that should be included in the Hotcourses school of adult learning, get in touch on Facebook or drop us a line on Twitter – we love hearing from you. 

Jane McGuire

Jane McGuire received her BA (English) from the University of Loughborough. A yoga enthusiast with a sweet tooth, in her spare time you will probably find Jane in the gym or online shopping.