Important subjects kids should learn about in school include math, science, language arts and social studies, says K12. Other subjects such as art, music and world languages are also important. As they progress through school, students learn more about particular areas of these subjects, such as biology, literature and geometry.
Math, science, language arts and social studies are called the core subject areas because they teach students the essential skills and knowledge needed in college and adult life, says the Glossary of Education Reform. Elementary and middle schools focus on these subjects and provide fewer options than high schools. A greater variety of different subjects become available to students in high school, where additional credit requirements such as computer science, health and physical education may exist. High schools usually require all students to pass certain classes in the core subject areas, but they also offer other classes, called electives, in those same areas.
As kids progress through grade levels, they go from learning the basics about the core subjects to learning more specialized and complex areas of these subjects, explains K12. For instance, in language arts, they start with phonics and grammar and then eventually comprehension skills and analysis. In history, they start by learning how civilization has progressed from ancient to modern times and then explore major historical themes in greater depth. In high school, subjects become much more specific, such as calculus, astronomy and anthropology.