Home Ec 101

I was just listening to NPR and they were talking about Home Economics and how it isn't taught in school anymore. Callers were saying how even though they felt their H.E. classes seemed a waste at the time, they now find themselves utilizing the basic skills they were taught such as how not to burn soup, how to make dough, how to sew. I agree. We all thought it was a stupid class but learning how to measure ingredients, how to clean . . . those were building blocks to survival as an adult. These days both parents work. Everyone eats of out of a can or a box and no one is being taught basic skills--we think we've already reached the age of the Jetsons where everything happens like magic.

A caller mentioned gardening being taught in the schools. That would be awesome. If kids can have access to a greenhouse in the winter, and tend a garden in the sunny months then that would be fantastic! If my school had allowed us to garden at recess I totally would have. I hated sports and all the dichotomy of how to be popular. Plants would have given me a much healthier view of school. I would have actually wanted to go every day!

So, what do you think? Did you have Home Ec and did you like it? Did it enhance your life? All I can say is I learned how to make biscuits, how to clean, how to sew a kitty cat door stop. I'm set for life!

Comments

  1. Well, I can say my Home Ec class was a waste. I had one of those 6 week things in seventh grade. They called it Interest Block, so we could try out many thing (art, music, home ec, etc.).

    We made biscuits, cinnamon rolls, and sewed pillow cases and buttons. We worked in pairs for the food, but I got my friend who already knew how to do that stuff to do mine when it came to sewing. I did tie-dye a pillowcase, though.

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  2. All of my children had some sort of HE class in middle school. I think, though, that my my son had shop - much more manly at that time. I remember the girls making aprons and some kind of pack. However, it was all for naught, as one daughter still comes over to our house to have me or her father sew on a button that has come off. Usually in today's times, if it breaks, people just buy new. In my mother's time, women darned socks; can you imagine anyone doing that today?

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  3. I took a couple years of it for two reasons: My mom made me, and I wanted to learn to sew without her standing over me every second explaining it all. And I really liked it. I DID learn to sew on my own and went ahead a few years later and made my own wedding dress.

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  4. Our public school teacher taught the boys shop and the girls were expected to bring some kind of handy work once a week. My gran taught me to embroider so I brought that to do. Nothing in high school....the acedemics took it but not the business classes. Kind of says something in itself, doesn't it? There was also a group of kids who took "life" classes like basic sewing, waiting on table, cooking, making change, barbering, etc. Our daughter had the option of home ec in grade 8 or shop. She took shop. I still have the house sign she made, the pasta measurer and the oven rack pull.

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  5. In the UK, only girls took Home Economics, which I now think was disgraceful. ONE boy in my year decided to learn cooking instead of science, and he was laughed at. All boys should learn how to cook, I think.

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  6. I think my Home Ec class taught me more than I'd want to admit. I learned how to make cookies, dinners, anything we wanted. The teacher asked each of us what we enjoyed eating and taught us how to make it.

    They also taught us how to make meals while in college, or how to properly clean and why it was important. I learned more in that classroom than I did in math. :)

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  7. Tom brings up a good point that boys often do not have to take home ec. I agree that they should. In our school boys did, and we all split the year (7th grade) between H.E. and shop class. I really liked shop, although our teacher was a total perv and I spent most of that semester reading Gone With the Wind at a back table.

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  8. My (boys only) old school was officially founded in 970 AD (but is probably much older). Can you imagine them teaching us to cook and clean? No, Latin, Latin, and more Latin.

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  9. You could have been given a copy of my '700 years of English Cooking', Cro,

    What's 'shop' Amy?

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  10. Shop class meant garage type stuff, like fixing lamps, building things.

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  11. In middle school I was in band which eliminated all other electives for me. There was a Home Ec option, I believe they learned a few very basic recipes, mostly using box mixes and sewed a pillow. I don't think I missed too much. That said, I launched Home-Ec101 in 2007 because I felt I was a reasonably educated adult, but that I was lacking in many life skills. I think you can imagine, I've been beating the whole there needs to be more focus on life skills (cooking, nutrition, consumer education, etc) drum for a while. I'm glad this conversation is getting some attention.

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  12. I had Home Ec in the 6th grade with Mrs. Ackerman. She was an old fashioned prim and proper lady who still leaves an impact on me today. And I can still bake an awesomely delicious Snickerdoodle cookie!

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  13. Heather- Thanks for sharing your insight. I fell like kids these days put life skills second to gaming skills/ and social media skills. I'm glad to hear you're campaigning for the whole thing!

    Stephen- Yay for Ms. Ackerman! And snickerdoodles!

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