If you graduated school before 2000, chances are you might have taken a home economics or home studies class…if you were a girl at least. These classes were an opportunity to learn the basic skills of adulthood that weren’t taught in subjects like Mathematics or History. But sadly, home economics classes are fading away, and fewer schools are giving both girls and boys the chance to learn these essential life skills.
In today’s fast-paced world, where parents work long hours and high school kids often come home to an empty house, it’s crucial for them to know how to take care of themselves. But are they being taught these skills in school? The answer is often no.
There’s no denying the fact that home economics can teach kids to be more independent. A recent study found that a significant percentage of high school graduates in the US enrolled in college are having to fend for themselves for the first time. They need to know how to cook nutritious meals, do their laundry, and maintain a clean living environment. And if they’ve already been taught these skills in school, they are more likely to excel at them.
The traditional gender roles of women solely taking care of the home and family have thankfully evolved. It is recognized that women have the freedom to choose their path in life, whether it involves cooking, cleaning, or raising children. However, learning practical skills like cooking, washing, and first aid is still valuable. But why stop there?
Just imagine if home economics could also teach us how to change a tire, file taxes, or even change a lightbulb. As adults, many of us don’t know how to do these basic tasks, and unfortunately, we might never learn. Having a dedicated space in school to learn these skills as children just makes sense. Yet, subjects with little use for our future selves are still prioritized in most schools.
Of course, if all else fails, kids can still learn a lot from their own parents. But with the demands of busy schedules and limited time together, it would be beneficial for them to have the opportunity to learn these crucial life skills in school. Let’s bring back home economics and empower the next generation to be self-sufficient and prepared for the challenges of adulthood.