I don’t remember much about what I learned in high school. But I do remember how to sew on a button and make an omelet.
And that is precisely why more schools need to recognize the importance of home economics classes.
Hundreds of schools, facing the pressures of teaching to standardized tests and limited financial resources, have reduced or eliminated their home economics classes.
Home economics isn’t a fluff class for those who don’t want to do work. And it’s not just for girls. It is real work that anyone can learn to do. Home economics teaches life skills that help create functional adults. To be able to cook a healthy meal, balance a checkbook, and repair a ripped seam are incredibly useful skills to have in this world.
Home ec classes really teach how to do things. Learning how to do things builds confidence that inspires you to try more new things. The classes offer you a chance to experiment, learn from your mistakes, and build on your successes. You learn to work as a team and take responsibility for your individual role.
You learn problem-solving skills that you can use to save money and live independently throughout your entire life. There aren’t that many other high school classes that can boast that.
When there are no home economics classes
Unfortunately, more and more schools have cut home economics programs, and that means it is up to us, as parents to pick up where they left off. If your child’s school does not have a home economics course (or family & consumer science classes, as they’re sometimes called), then start fighting for their inclusion in the curriculum. If you do have some classes left, but they’re threatened by dwindling budgets, make sure your kids take them and that you fight to keep them.
If your school has already eliminated the home economics courses, and there’s no way they’re coming back, then it is up to you to teach your kids those skills at home.
Teach your kids how to plan, shop for, and cook nutritious meals. Teach them how to fix a ripped pair of pants, iron, and sew on a button. Discuss family finances and show your children how to balance a checkbook and set a budget.
If you don’t know how to do these things, find someone who does and learn with your kids. It’s not too late to show our kids that they can do things without Google. That they can create things – useful things – with their minds and hands.