Home Economics Classes Extinct? Bring Back Home Ec!
I don’t know about you but I’m devastated that home economics is not a mandatory class in our school systems today. Home Economics classes are all but extinct. I hope that with the right amount of involvement, we can help bring back Home Ec.
I’m not attempting to be sexist in any way… I think boys should also be in these mandated classes. While I’m at it, let’s do it RIGHT. No post-1950’s, commercialized, convenience pushing curriculum. Bring back the old school 1950’s cooking from scratch on the lesson plan. I want these kids to learn to bake their own bread, roll their own noodles, cure their meat, and churn some butter. Additionally, I also want them to learn how to sew on lost buttons, patch a hole in their shirt, and make their own aprons. I want budgeting and personal finance brought back into their learning.
I want them to learn to be self-sufficient!
Okay, I am biased. My mom had dual teaching degrees: one in elementary education, the other in home economics. While I did take Home Ec. in school, I was taught at a young age how to care for a home on a very small income. Yes, we were poor.
While my mom had these degrees, she did not work outside of the home until after both I and my year younger sister were in school. She was a substitute when my sister was in half day kindergarten but finally landed a full-time gig doing what she loved (Home Ec.) in 1985, a mere 8 months before she passed away. So we lost her when I was only 9, to an illness that was terminal back then; curable now. She knew her time was limited and prepared me for homemaking in the future.
I was in 4-H as soon as I was old enough. I took cooking, baking, and place setting seminars and presented at our county fair. We raised lambs- yep, bottle fed those gals. A massive plot of our yard was tilled and planted for our garden every year. We cooked what we could afford to cook, what we could grow, and what Grandpa (maternal) gave us of the steer when they went to the slaughterhouse. We couldn’t afford convenience foods, let alone allow them into the house! Mom would have just said that it was for those, “who don’t know how to cook”.
I agree with her. On all of it.
Unfortunately, we do not live in an economic structure that allows for only one breadwinner in the home. Honestly, when we get up in the morning, we head off to work in the same factory. While away from home, we work just as hard, at home a lot of the household tasks fall to me. Not because he expects it, because honestly if that was the case, I wouldn’t do it; taking care of a home was part of my upbringing. Life lessons in cooking, cleaning, sewing, and gardening were normal in our house. The household motto was independence.
Learning how to run a home, not just cooking or sewing, but learning to budget, to do small home repairs, to clean properly, should all be taught to our children. I can honestly say that I know some people who have teenage kids who still do not know how to sweep a floor!!
How many families give their children allowances but require no chores or “work” in order to earn their allowance? How many women come home from work so frazzled that instead of having the patience to teach their children how to do some of the household chores, they do them themselves. It’s just quicker that way.
This Breeds Resentment
Mom will resent Dad. Grown children may resent the fact that they never learned how to do any of these things. Still living at home, adult children are still dependent upon their parents.
Nothing good results from one person in a household having to shoulder all of the responsibility.
We need to make a stand and have all of our kids know how to actually take care of themselves. Sure, they can get to level 80 in their video game, and they can do all kinds of things on their smartphones, but what REAL LIFE skills are we instilling in them? Are we teaching them to be productive members of society?
How can we create a more self-reliant generation?
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By putting more emphasis on the important of caring for a home instead of pushing our children forward as career-minded individuals, we are helping them survive. Regardless of what career they are leaning toward, there will always be “lean times” in their lives. Times when getting by will take more life skills than they can be taught with Algebra and College Preparation English classes.
Skills that are taught in Home Economics classrooms will help them to stay healthy. They will better know how to budget. Eating healthier on a fixed income will be second nature. They will be able to mend their clothing as needed instead of having to struggle to purchase new. Having the skills to fix small household incidents (like a small plumbing leak or a loose stair tread) will save them tons of hassle when they cannot afford to hire someone to do it for them.
Home Economics are Life Skills
There are so many mundane things that you may do daily that you don’t even realize that your children are not learning. These skills could be learned during school hours if we as a collective society reminded our school administrators that parents need a little help in teaching future generations how to survive. We are pushing them to thrive and denying that they ever may just need to survive.
Find out if your children’s school offers home economics curriculum as an elective. Talk to your children about the importance of these classes. If you homeschool, try adding a home economics class to your curriculum. While they may not see the value of these skills now, someday they will be glad they know.
They will thank you for it.