Parents And Educators Want Home Economics Classes Brought Back Because Our Kids Lack Basic Life Skills
Joseph BowenPublished in February 2020 / Updated in January 2021
How wonderful would it be if our teenage kids knew how to shop for groceries and stay within the budget? Wouldn’t parents be relieved if their children understood how interest accrues on credit cards?
And shouldn’t everybody have one great go-to meal they could prepare if guests pop in?
Many students often say they don’t learn “real world” skills in schools, and this can be true.
Today, most of them understand complex mathematics, but they can’t do simple household chores like laundry, cook dinner, or any other basic life skills that get everyone through daily life.
In the old days, schools offered students, especially females, the chance to hone their homemaking skills by taking a home economics class.
On the other hand, boys were taught how to do outdoor duties like “real gentlemen.”
But in recent years, fewer and fewer schools have offered students the chance to learn the “domestic sciences.”
In fact, these classes have gone almost completely extinct.
Some parents and educators now want home economic classes to be brought back into schools so students can learn the basic life skills that advanced placement algebra and history just can’t offer them.
After all, it’s great to know how to cross-multiply, but do you know what an RRSP is?
Most graduates today can tell you all about Pythagora’s Theorum and compose a Hamlet essay. However, they can’t tell you how to unclog a toilet.
A record number from this group hold high school diplomas, college degrees, and pass AP tests. Yet, when it comes to life skills, most of them admit they’re not so skilled.
Today’s home-ec classes, known as “Family and Consumer Sciences,” could actually help teenagers learn some pretty valuable life skills.
But according to an NPR report, there has seen a 38 percent decrease in the number of students registering for FCS classes. And most of them are suffering because of this.
One lecturer at the University of Texas believes home economics should be mandatory in all high schools.
In an op-ed piece of the Dallas Morning News, Marti Harvey said she’d encountered too many students who didn’t even know what property taxes were.
“It’s a failing of our educational system that students don’t leave high school with this basic understanding, among other things. That’s why we need to bring back the old home economics class. Call it ‘Skills for Life’ and make it mandatory in high schools.”
“Teach basic economics along with budgeting, comparison shopping, basic cooking skills, and time management. Give them a better start in real life than they get now.”
Harvey added that these are necessary for students to know whether they’re college-bound or heading right into the workforce.
“High school is the perfect time to introduce life’s basics. Students are beginning to feel like adults. They can see the light at the end of the high-school tunnel. They’re thinking about what life will be like for them.”
“Home economics signals to them that we know they’re growing up, and we want to help them along in life’s journey.”