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"Consider This" Part II: Home Economics, A Requirement For High School Graduation

Posted by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 1:15 PM
  • 39 Replies

 This post is spun off/a continuation of my other post ("Consider This") about redesigning the food stamp program. In "Consider This", folks voiced the concern that many food stamp recipients don't know how to cook fresh foods, and many don't know how to properly store them. It is also a concern that Americans in general don't know how to budget.

So, as part II to "Consider This;", I'll ask you to, well..."Consider This:"

Why don't we make successful completion of a year-long home economics class a requirement for high school graduation? Of all the things we teach in schools, we aren't teaching kids how to balance a budget, shop wisely, cook and store food? I consider this far more important than algebra, yet algebra is a requirement for graduation in Ohio, and home economics is not.

Truly, common sense isn't so common anymore. And with so many parents working evenings, or working two jobs, how many American teenagers aren't being taught how to cook and manage finances?

What do you think? Home ec a requirement in high school: yay or nay?

 


"Roger that. Over."

R   A   D    I    O    H    E    I    D

by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 1:15 PM
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eema.gray
by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 1:20 PM
3 moms liked this

I more or less agree but I think it should be called something like "household management" and include budgeting, practical investing, as well as things like shopping (not just food, all kinds of shopping), food prep, and distinguishing between "want" and "need."

radioheid
by Libertarian on Oct. 9, 2012 at 1:24 PM

 Thanks for filling in the details ; )

Quoting eema.gray:

I more or less agree but I think it should be called something like "household management" and include budgeting, practical investing, as well as things like shopping (not just food, all kinds of shopping), food prep, and distinguishing between "want" and "need."

 


"Roger that. Over."

R   A   D    I    O    H    E    I    D

Claire-Huxtable
by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 1:27 PM
1 mom liked this

I think it sounds reasonable, but I truly think it should also involve learning basic skills, like sewing on a button or how to change a diaper or how to do laundry.

desertlvn
by Silver Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 1:27 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting eema.gray:

I more or less agree but I think it should be called something like "household management" and include budgeting, practical investing, as well as things like shopping (not just food, all kinds of shopping), food prep, and distinguishing between "want" and "need."

*nods head*

Adding to list of things to be taught:

child development

parenting skills

community resources

conflict resolution

Donna6503
by Platinum Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 1:29 PM
I wish every time; I go to a store, and the products I buy, ring up to say $11.37 and I hand the person a twenty dollar bill, a dime, and two pennies. I just wish I wasn't given a look of major confusion by the person.

I wish the school would teach a basic understanding of the practical matters of money, commerce, and business, before, they would get too fancy with a year of home economics and all its subjective material into that topic.
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jhslove
by Bronze Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 1:29 PM
1 mom liked this

OMG, are you my twin? I just wrote a post a few days ago about how I think home ec, along with a course in basic financial literacy and money management, should be a requirement for high school graduation. And yes, I think EVERYONE--boys as well as girls--should have to take both.

eema.gray
by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 1:31 PM

If there is a doubt as to what should be included, writers of such text books should look to the "household management" books written for young brides in the late 1800's.  I have a couple of these in PDF's on my computer and some days I seriously consider re writing them for the 21st century teen.  They talk about furnishing your home (don't buy knick knacks, your home will fill with those as you live and experience life), food, managing one's servants, how to interact with tradespeople, the things a young bride should be capable of, like managing the household accounts and repairing a button, and caring for babies and young children.  They are facinating and practical and what I find of particular interest is the assumption that a young bride of the 1800's has learned enough language to READ the book and enough numbers to understand how to keep double entry account books.  I didn't learn double entry until I took an accounting class four years out of high school and yet, I went to a school that was exceptional in our state.

Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

I think it sounds reasonable, but I truly think it should also involve learning basic skills, like sewing on a button or how to change a diaper or how to do laundry.


"I am only one, but I am still one; I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do." ~~ Edward Everett Hale 1822-1909
eema.gray
by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 1:32 PM


Quoting desertlvn:


Quoting eema.gray:

I more or less agree but I think it should be called something like "household management" and include budgeting, practical investing, as well as things like shopping (not just food, all kinds of shopping), food prep, and distinguishing between "want" and "need."

*nods head*

Adding to list of things to be taught:

child development

parenting skills

community resources

conflict resolution

OMG yes!

"I am only one, but I am still one; I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do." ~~ Edward Everett Hale 1822-1909
Arroree
by Ruby Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 2:41 PM
2 moms liked this

Personally i think we need to go a lot farther than that. We need to start having kids be taught basic survival and life skills starting in at least 3rd grade.

I recently had a convo with my step-mil and she told me how she needed to get her backyard leaves raked, mowed then rake up the grass and she really wished she had help. I looked over her shoulder at her 7 kids all aged 7-12 and i think i sputtered a bit. Then she went on to tell me how she had considered teaching the older boys how to rake *ages 10, 11, 11 and 12* but didn't think they were ready for it yet since they're all special needs and have an average mental age of about 9-11. I think i really started sputtering then as i pointed out that my special needs 5yr old could already rake the yard with only a little help. So she went on about how it would just be so much work to teach them, blah blah blah.

It was just a bunch of crap excuses. I've spent tons of time with these kids and they are all perfectly capable of raking the yard.  This is an entire household of special needs kids who will already have a tough time in life and they're being stunted by a mother who won't even consider teaching them basic life skills. Her 12yr old isn't even able to make his own sandwich for lunch because she's never given him the chance.

It's not just her and her household either. My younger sister recently asked how do you get your kids to do chores since her 7 and 8yr olds don't do anything and don't know how to do any of the chores. I had to actually teach her how to teach her children to do age appropriate chores.

And that's the kicker here, nobody seems to understand what's age appropriate anymore. Things have gotten to the point that so many people don't seem to think any kid under teen age should be able or expected to know how to do ANY chore.

Heck even my sons kindy teacher was shocked when i mentioned that he had made his own lunch. He's 5 not a baby, not a toddler, he's more than capable of tearing up some lettuce and throwing in some mushrooms and cherry tomatoes for his salad. The only parts of his lunch making i have to do is cut up the fruit for him. He LOVES making his lunches, it gives him a sense of accomplishment and a good boost to his self esteem, fills in that need to be self sufficient and independent. Personally i think all kids need this, being able to pick up their room, fix their lunch, etc, is good for them.


eema.gray
by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 2:54 PM

I remember, and keep in mind this was 1990 so many of the kids the following story relates to are adults raising young children now, a story that my aunt told me.  At the time, she was working with "at risk" kids on a military post, most of them tweens or young teens.  And she was telling me about how her project with them one day was teaching these young people how to make a peanut butter sandwich.  I remember her saying that part of the project was teaching step by step directions (which I learned in 1st grade but I guess that's not regularly included in public school lesson planning?) but also because many of these young people were coming home to empty homes in the afternoon and didn't know how to fix simple meals or snacks.  Now, I was 13 myself at the time of this conversation and had been capable of making a hot dog or fixing a box of mac n cheese (indeed, the week of this conversation, I was visiting her home on my own and had been given pretty much free rein in the kitchen) or scrambling an egg since the age of 8.  The fact I still remember twenty-odd years later bears testiment to how surprised I was to learn that not every person my age knew how to fix a simple meal for themselves.

It always amazes me when I hear that teens don't know how to do laundry, when I hear new drivers say they don't know how to check the oil or air pressure or any number of other basic maintanence chores.  

In short, I completely agree.  Life skills should be taught, probably as part of Social Studies lessons, beginning in 1st grade and culminating in a mandatory-for-graduation class in high school

Quoting Arroree:

Personally i think we need to go a lot farther than that. We need to start having kids be taught basic survival and life skills starting in at least 3rd grade.

I recently had a convo with my step-mil and she told me how she needed to get her backyard leaves raked, mowed then rake up the grass and she really wished she had help. I looked over her shoulder at her 7 kids all aged 7-12 and i think i sputtered a bit. Then she went on to tell me how she had considered teaching the older boys how to rake *ages 10, 11, 11 and 12* but didn't think they were ready for it yet since they're all special needs and have an average mental age of about 9-11. I think i really started sputtering then as i pointed out that my special needs 5yr old could already rake the yard with only a little help. So she went on about how it would just be so much work to teach them, blah blah blah.

It was just a bunch of crap excuses. I've spent tons of time with these kids and they are all perfectly capable of raking the yard.  This is an entire household of special needs kids who will already have a tough time in life and they're being stunted by a mother who won't even consider teaching them basic life skills. Her 12yr old isn't even able to make his own sandwich for lunch because she's never given him the chance.

It's not just her and her household either. My younger sister recently asked how do you get your kids to do chores since her 7 and 8yr olds don't do anything and don't know how to do any of the chores. I had to actually teach her how to teach her children to do age appropriate chores.

And that's the kicker here, nobody seems to understand what's age appropriate anymore. Things have gotten to the point that so many people don't seem to think any kid under teen age should be able or expected to know how to do ANY chore.

Heck even my sons kindy teacher was shocked when i mentioned that he had made his own lunch. He's 5 not a baby, not a toddler, he's more than capable of tearing up some lettuce and throwing in some mushrooms and cherry tomatoes for his salad. The only parts of his lunch making i have to do is cut up the fruit for him. He LOVES making his lunches, it gives him a sense of accomplishment and a good boost to his self esteem, fills in that need to be self sufficient and independent. Personally i think all kids need this, being able to pick up their room, fix their lunch, etc, is good for them.



"I am only one, but I am still one; I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do." ~~ Edward Everett Hale 1822-1909
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