Even though home economics classes used to be popular in the past, more and more schools have reduced funding for the class, or have simply discontinued it. It seems that schools are now only concerned about the theoretical parts of learning and the SAT scores and AP classes, but do they prepare the students for the real world? Do they know enough about taxes? Or cooking, or cleaning?
It may be that we’re leaving our children stranded without the skills they need to survive in the real world with the erasure of home economics classes, and it may become a bigger issue than we might think.
Part of the reason why some home economics classes have been discontinued is that they had become feminized. It was mostly young girls that signed up for these classes, whereas boys were rarely expected to learn these skills. However, knowing your taxes, or cooking and cleaning, are life skills that absolutely don’t need to be gendered in the way they are now. To add to that, these classes are thought of as more “simpleton” or easier when compared to “advanced” subjects like algebra or physics. However, we need to value the life skills students learn in home economics as equal to the skills they learn in their academic classes because that way we will be able to better equip young students for the future.
Can high schools really claim that they have prepared their students for the real-life if they don’t know the most basic skills of adulthood?
Children are not learning how to be independent and self-sufficient in school, and even though it’s expected these skills to come naturally to them, it’s unrealistic to believe that every teenager will inherently know how to perform these tasks.
Marti Harvey is a lecturer at the University of Texas, and she found that her students didn’t even know that they would need to pay property taxes for the rest of their lives if they own a property.
She wrote a column about the issue for the Dallas Morning News, and she believes that it’s a falling of our educational system that students don’t leave high school with the basic understanding. She argues that we need to bring back the old home economics class, and it can be called “Skills for Life” – and it should be mandatory in high schools.
She thinks that students should be taught basic economics, along with budgeting, comparison shopping, basic cooking skills, and even time management.
We must admit that we agree with her. However, what do you think about this? Should home economics be brought back to schools? Feel free to tell us in the comments!