Bring Back Home Economics!

Bring Back Home Economics!

Long gone are the days of Home Ec classrooms filled with women cooking and sewing and learning to be the future consummate housewives of America. Those were very different times back then before women could really pursue their education or a future career and before we became a nation largely dependent on two income households. I have no desire to travel back in time, and I doubt many other women in particular do, but cut to 2017, and as much as I've been humming along to Destiny's Child's "Independent Women," and as modern of a woman as I consider myself today, I still see the absolute value in my abilities to cook, clean, sew, balance a budget, and if I had children, childcare duties. These skills were never taught to me in school as they might have been years ago, but by my mother and father alike who both made sure my brother and I were capable of surviving on our own without their help.

Why is it in modern times we, and by we, I now mean men and women alike, feel that spending any time on home economics skills are wasteful and unimportant? I remember years back, my first week in college, how many guys and girls I took pity on and decided to help in the laundry room to figure out how to do a load of laundry...and these were 18 and 19 year olds! It's positively shameful, at least in my book, that as an adult, someone doesn't know how to wash their own clothes especially considering how often one would need to do it on a regular basis and how easy it actually is.

We have created a nation dependent on others to do the necessary work of life for us. We have created a nation so overwhelmingly obese because no one can turn on a stove or manage a run to the grocery store for whole foods. We've created a nation that throws away perfectly good clothing because a button has come loose. We've created a nation steeped in debt because financial literacy and money management were never taught to them. We've created a nation where they'd rather pay someone $100, than do their own basic car maintenance.

I feel like now, more so than ever, BOTH men and women need to have home economics courses made available to them. Not everyone is lucky to have a mother or father like I did who taught these necessary skills. We are a nation in trouble and courses like these, stressing the importance of things like health, home management, financial literacy, car care, childcare, etc. could help play a role in reducing many of the issues we see with debt, obesity, abuse, and the general inept behavior some exhibit towards what should be routine parts of their lives. With kids spending 7, 8, 9, 10 hours a day at school these days and parents working longer and longer hours, someone has to get to them and teach them how to live, and if a parent can't or won't do it, they need the extra help from something like a home economics course. We need to once again get kids excited at the prospects of taking care of themselves and being truly independent healthy and wealthier human beings.


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What Guys Said 14

  • 3d

    We actually have a mandatory home economics class for both boys and girls in my country from 1st grade elementary (age 7) all the way up to the end of secondary school (age 15). During the first 6 years, kids mostly learn things such as how to knit, sew, fix small wholes in your clothes and stuff like that. They also learn things like how to do pottery, how to build small things out of wood etc. In secondary school (age 13-15), the focus is put on cooking. Our school was equipped with newly built kitchens and there we learned how to prepare food but also theoretical stuff such as how to eat healthy and what to watch out for and important information about the food industry etc..

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    • 3d

      Wow, I've never actually heard of such courses being offered at such a young age. I mean if you consider, at least American history, children (girls) were taught to sew really young because they had to make their own clothes. Obviously we don't do that anymore, but being able to do simple sewing projects as well as the other skills you list, I imagine, will be invaluable to them, especially the learning how to cook and about the food industry later on.

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    • 38min

      @FallOutBoy2001:
      I'm replying to you here because I've blocked that JohnDoesn't-asshole. See, I don't even disagree with him in terms of content. He's just a fucking rude person. I simply wanted to give my 2 cents and I did so in a very friendly tone and what I got back was bitter bullshit like "shut up whatever, I don't give a fuck about you". Why is that jackass even on this website?

      Anyway, I agree with you. Of course there are far more important subjects than home economics. But I had around 35 lessons per week in middle school and I think if 2-3 of them are reserved for home economics, that still leaves more than enough lessons for other things, including foreign languages, which are unfortunately also a bit ignored in the American education system.

    • 25min

      @FallOutBoy2001:
      See, case in point. That guy is a complete imbecile.

  • 3d

    i had to take home ec in high school. it was great. we got to cook and eat stuff... learned how to sew which has come in handy.

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  • 3d

    I definitely would have taken a cooking class as an elective in HS if it was available. That would have been better than the stupid art class I had to take =.=

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  • 3d

    Well for starters while women where in home economics men where learning how to fix things around the house, I think both where important and yes I agree that we should bring it back. In fact I think we should do even more. They make you learn the capital of every state, which of course has no bearing upon anything, meanwhile you are never taught how to maintain your home, how to take out a loan, what APR means etc etc. All things that will be invaluable to you. Its actually quite absurd really.

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    • 3d

      Precisely. I don't think it should just be a regurgitation of home economics of the 50s, but a modernized version that teaches guys and girls both to do things like auto shop, cooking, childcare, someone mentioned, self defense, health courses. All these things are pertinent to our survival. It's not enough to say we 'just need' Math and Science because I can tell you, I've cooked and changed more tires a hell of a lot more in my life, then I've ever used the Pythagorean Theorem or ever used my understanding of Mitosis.

  • 1d

    Interesting Take, i don't think it should be mandatory, i'm much in favour of the Finnish education system where it isn't as strict at young ages, and only gets slightly more strict as you get older, in terms of education, it should be about education and not the final Grade, which is why i agree with you, i think all courses should be pick-able in secondary education, rudimentary maths, English etc. should be taught at primary education levels, and a core of education of Maths, English, Science and History needs to be taught but with a huge focus on the personal goals of the person, also their learning method, some people are great practical learners, and some prefer to write and read, or listen. the children should have the system catered around them and not them catered around the system, giving them options to do classes in literally anything. nice take, i think it's not just Home economics, but a wider range of courses are needed in education, in order to help kids choose what they want.

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  • 1d

    I guess it's sort of important. I didn't have those classes so I had to read the instructions... from the internet.

    My 1st dish was rated by me as edible. I boiled the water and cook instant noodles with it. I can grill a steak now and make some fried rice.

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  • 3d

    Home ec was canceled for the very example set in South Park: "Many of you women will go on to have interesting jobs and careers. But for you 'pretty-ones' you can marry a nice man and that's why we have 'home ec'".
    It's clearly sexist and pointless to teach those things. If kids want to learn to cook they can major in cooking in college or if they want to sew then they can give up on their dreams and learn to sew in college.
    Let's put the money towards more important subjects like math. Remember that the US is dead last in our education on biology. Let's fix that before teaching girls to properly care for her kids and man.

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    • 3d

      Well, it's not sexist if both sexes have to attend the class like in my country ;-). Also, maybe this is a very European viewpoint but I think it's weird that American colleges teach cooking or sewing. This would never happen over here in a million years. I feel like it downgrades colleges to some kind of petty high school level. Of course there should be special schools where you can go if you want to become a professional chef but normal universities should be a place of academia and academic study, not cooking and sewing. They're not country clubs. This is precisely what high schools are for. The job of public high schools is to provide a high-quality, universal education that makes you skilled and knowledgeable in all relevant fields of life, be it cooking, physics or philosophy. Universities should not have to waste their time on general education. The students should be educated enough that they choose a field and that's what they're going to study. That why here in (cont.)

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    • 33min

      @FallOutBoy2001 I don't understand your response. Why do you think sex with animals is okay? It's just wrong where I was raised, but you keep insisting on it.

    • 26min

      What the hell? That made zero sense?

  • 2d

    I had to take this in high school... so I know how to sew. I also know about electrical wiring and tools and machines from shop class. Did you take that too?

    Also, shouldn't your fucking parents be teaching you how to do your own laundry and cook your own food, not school? This is the same mentality that sends kids into kindergarten or even grade 1 not knowing how to read.

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    • 2d

      You assume everyone has great parents that do those things or know how to. What about all the foster kids or kids with crap parents? Don't they need to learn too? Not their fault they don't have anyone in the home to help teach them or you mentioned sewing... how many people know how to sew or do electrical wiring these days?

  • 8h

    No thanks. The more women are completely illiterate with these things, the easier it is to keep them at a safe distance. The men who can't do such things? Unfortunate, but this is the internet age. A lot of information is right at your fingertips to figure things out, something previous generations could only dream about.

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    • 2h

      I'm not sure I catch your meaning in the second sentence...

  • 2d

    Seems stupid and old school. I live in the 21st century

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    • 1d

      It's not like we stopped eating, and cleaning, and raising children in the 21st century... these things will never go away.

    • 1d

      @LoveHorses, its not if you ever have kids or people to take care of. People always push you towards academics but with the decrease in job opportunities, having a skill that can provide a steady income always proves helpful.

  • 3d

    In Taiwan they have some similar lessons. Some practical things to do in home and general life. Tailor lesson, cooking, even using condom and even shooting by gun in case of fight.

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  • 1d

    Um at my high school we still do this.

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    • 1d

      considering the Privatized system of Education in the United States, it's not surprising if some schools do and some don't.

    • 1d

      which is just it, not many schools these days have these even offered up as electives and on top of that are cutting back everything else that isn't math or science.

  • 3d

    In junior high school we did cooking sowing wood and medal shop classes

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  • 3d

    every adult should know how to do basic things like at least washing and drying their clothes

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What Girls Said 16

  • 3d

    Man, I wish I could sew my button back on my shirt. 3 fell off in 2 days, what the hell...
    But seriously, if someone can't throw a load of clothes in the wash by 18, or at least read and try to figure it out (bc every washer is not the same) or if they've never done it, that's just sad.
    Also, yea, I think healthy cooking classes would be good bc a lot of people can't cook, and it makes it hard to eat healthy if you don't know how to season properly, safety procedures, etc.

    I think a few home ec courses being offered at a school would be a good idea.
    Home ec was offered at my middle school, we learned how to bake cookies, use measuring cups, practice safe technique in the kitchen, AND... wait for it. WE GOT THE BABIES!!!
    sicalaverascounty.org/.../Dcp_06462.jpg
    Best part of home ec was having the baby for 2 days (I got mine over the weekend bc I wanted more time with it XD) and strolling it around, feeding it, changing its little diaper :3 <3 babies I also enjoyed that boys and girls took the baby home AND you got in real trouble if you fucked up the baby

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    • 3d

      That's awesome. I always wanted to do the baby project, but alas neither my middle or high school had such courses or any home ec courses.

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    • 3d

      South of all places. You'd think there, but no.

    • 3d

      Right, haha, you're right, I was thinking that. That sucks :/ I'm from the south too, guess I was just in a lucky school.

  • 11h

    Yes. Yes. Yes.

    AND FIRST AID!

    It's basic life skills, cooking, sewing, mechanics etc, practical skills that will be applied in daily life unlike Pythagarus's theorem from Maths which I've never used and never will.

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  • 2d

    Everything here you said is very true. I think HOME ECONOMICS offers us a variety of skill needed not just for taking care of the family but can also help us make an income as well.

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  • 20h

    We do need Home Ec classes. That is a subject I'm teaching our teenage daughter. It is necessary to run a household no matter what she ends up dong. It has been very useful skills to me and my brother and sister. I admit the sewing machine and I don't get along. Not my thing, but I have tried and can sew a basic seam.

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  • 2d

    " I still see the absolute value in my abilities to cook, clean, sew, balance a budget,"

    Ya but I mean unless you live in a bubble where everything gets done for you, you'll pick up those skills just by being alive.
    Simple labour jobs are becoming more and more rare. You said yourself it was something girls took in the 50s when they had no career prospect. In today's world where not only can have a career but in most cases have to, it's important they study things that keeps them competitive in today's world. I'm not at all in favor of trading valuable class time for "soft subjects" such as home economics.

    Cooking, cleaning, sewing that's not rocket science. Just turn on you-tube if your parents can't help you there.

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  • 2d

    I had some of those classes in high school it was truly fun and wonderful. This mytake was nice to read good job. I think they should bring it back too. :-)

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  • 1d

    Why are people like, 'bring back home economics?' I did that during 7-9th grade because they were mandatory wtf? (And I went to an all-girls high school that still had a lot of their traditional ways... that's why).
    Then again, I went to school in the Caribbean during 7-9th grade anyway so it's different.
    These subjects are still in American school, they are now just electives.
    Plus, you REALLY don't need school teaching you how to cook, clean and sew. I knew how to sew since I was ten years old. I knew how to clean ever since I started processing information. I'm going to start learning how to cook soon thanks to my mom. Your parents can either teach you that, or use the internet. (Youtube made me survive Home Economics during eighth grade because my teacher wasn't the best at teaching... still got an A tho).

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  • 3d

    Y'all I would so dig this kind of class. Attempting to learn this stuff all on your own as a stressed out college student isn't working for me :'(

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  • 2d

    I had home ec in middle school.
    It was actually a lot of fun. I remember we had a project to prove that we knew how to do our own laundry 😂 Like who didn't know how to do that! Lol

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  • 1d

    Right like I always heard family talking ab hiw they had that growing up the only way I got to take a cooking or sewing class is if I picked it separately, if I didn't pick it I wouldn't have had that lol

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  • 3d

    My middle school had a home ec class that taught you how to cook, sew, create a resume, and apply for jobs. They got rid of it by the time I made it to 8th grade due to budget cuts. That was probably the only class worth having.

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  • 3d

    Personally I would rather schools teach home economics, and other useful skills like first aid, applying for jobs than silly things like religion. I have no problem with religion per we but it doesn't feed a family.

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  • 1d

    I had home ec classes in my highschool. I still have the pillow I made in that class lol

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  • 2d

    I don't see why not. I took it and loved it.

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  • 8h

    The poor side of town had schools with cooking classes, autoshop and other trait classes like jrotc. There were trait high schools for nursing and pharmacists and I think engineering. My high school that was in the upper middle class part of town had down away with cooking, and we did not any of these programs. Our high school was more of a general school that had four branches art, engineering, business, and sciences. You could choose to take specific course for college credit.

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  • 14h

    Because 1. People nowadays barely eat at home, make their own clothes, etc.
    2. This should be something the parents would teach, not the school. Although of course most parents today also don't know how to do any of these.
    3. Nowadays there are courses and schools asking money to teach this stuff, not good to teach it for free at school.

    Other than that, there's internet. As free as it gets.

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