Why do I have to go to school?

Much of what you need to know to live successfully as an adult does not come naturally— it has to be learned and studied and memorized. Children learn to speak nathandy urally, for example, by listening to those around them, but reading and writing must be specifically taught. The complicated process of learning the alphabet and the sounds it represents, putting letter sounds together to make words, and learning the meaning of words in order to read and write are skills that only come with special effort. Knowing how to figure out problems that involve numbers, and learning how the world is run or how nature works are important things to learn, too. Although your parents might be able to teach you these things, they would need many hours each day to do it. Most parents work outside the home and wouldn’t have the time to give proper instruction (although some kids are “home schooled” by their parents instead of going to school).

In the United States, a public school system provides years of free education for all children. Teachers, who are specially trained to know what children should learn, and how, and when, are the people who do the job. To ensure that children learn what they need to, state governments now require that all children go to school for a certain number of years (usually until age 16). Kids who skip school a lot can find themselves in court. (Children who go to private schools or whose parents have received special permission to teach them at home are exceptions.)