Bring Back Home Economics Class Because Our Kids Lack Basic Life Skills

Many older people remember their high school days and some particular classes, which gave them important knowledge about their life. The most useful of them are home economics classes (or also known the Family and Consumer Sciences). Those classes had an entire heck of a lot to offer and students loved them because it has taught them of the basics of modern survival.

On those classes kids learned about baking simple oddities, taking care of baby dolls, patching holes in clothing, sewing and doing laundry. They taught the tools to take care of individuals and future families.

Some of the kids may not have understood then, but many would benefit greatly from the basic tasks learned in those courses.

Skills to Last a Lifetime

Perhaps the main reason why this course declined is due to the “regressive” idea that it doesn’t have a place in the modern curriculum. Another reason may be due to the focus of the schools on things like common core and proficiency-based learning with limited funding. However, the debate of the usefulness of these classes remains and it is yet questionable, would having these classes offered for several years help teens to be more responsible and prepared to take care of themselves.

There are some other courses important, such as English, history, and mathematics, but high school is a time where students are growing in adults and taking on more responsibility. Home economics taught students about safety, cooking, and helped build healthy relationships with finances. Everything they learned in those classes would likely transfer into their home lives.  

It was mandatory to teach these skill sets in the classes, much like health education courses and physical education. These skills prove invaluable benefits for both men and women as they learned simple cooking methods, ability to work with basic hand tools, or setting household budgets.

The ‘Modern Day’ Home Economics

Now the high schools are limited in specific home economics courses, but students have an option to choose individualized related courses such as Family Studies, Health, and Safety, or Food and Nutrition. Many experts chose to dive a bit deeper on the topic and explored the transition from old school home economic classes to the restored version that kids may get to know today.

NPR’s ‘The Salt’ reports that these courses haven’t gone away entirely, but their presence in schools is decreasing. According to the evidence in 2012, there were only 3.5 million students who attended Family Consumer Science secondary programs (a 38 percent decrease over a decade).

Susan Turgeson, President of the Family and Consumer Sciences, suggests to include now subjects, such as community gardening, composting, and even hydroponics. These are new things that were not seen in a 1950’s classroom.

Making Old New Again

Taking the tools of the trade once learned in home economic classes and passing them on to the next generation is a very important process. The future generations can benefit from tailoring the structure to the modern day of essential necessary skills. This would be amazing if the students understood how to shop for groceries when they have a specific budget.

Here are some other questions that deserve the answers, such as:

  1. What would it look like if everyone understood the interest on credit cards?
  2. Are the people losing the simple art of preparing a basic meal for themselves or unexpected guests?

Having those tools during growing to adulthood is beneficial, but they are, also effective in many ways to allow functioning in society. 



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