Bring Back Home Economics Because Our Kids Lack Basic Life Skills

August 27, 2020 at 5:29 pm




Cooking, cleaning and gardening are just as important as reading, writing and arithmetic




Recently, I saw an article about bringing home economics back to schools. While the idea sounds good, parents need to accept that the old ways of schooling aren’t coming back anytime soon or at all.

We also need to realize that putting all the pressure on schools to produce productive, meaningful people in society is foolhardy.

While most kids are stuck home social distancing, now is as good as time as any to help prepare them for the “real” world.

Teaching children the value of a dollar, budgeting, cleaning and knowing how to cook doesn’t have to wait until high school either.

They can start as early as babies really. Just let them crawl around in a natural, outdoor setting, like your garden.

Not only will this help develop their microbiome, it’ll get them used to knowing where their food comes from and, eventually, hopefully, how to grow some of it.

When the babies turn into toddlers, the garden they were once crawling around in, is now ready to harvest. Have them dig through and pull out all those potatoes you yourself just learned how to grow.

Once they’re ready for school, continue developing the skills you’ve already introduced to them.

They can help with cooking by placing things from the garden in pots and pans and getting a good feel for the kitchen. They can also help fold and put away laundry.

In the year’s that follow they should learn how to use a  kitchen knife and now some basic cooking skills. And, most importantly, how to clean and put away dishes.

If you start early enough, by age 10 or so, they’ll already know how to be contributor in the house and community.

As they continue to age, teach them more valuable skills that are used in the real world, like learning what interest rates are and how the central banks take advantage of us. Time management and budgeting are useful tools too.

While some experts think that just taking a Home Economics class in high school will bring them up to speed when they’re ready to graduate, I beg to differ.

Being a helpful and productive member of the family and society as a whole has to start early on. It’s likely to be forgotten if only taught once a day for less than an hour. This is a lifestyle that has to be practiced and repeated.

If not, this whole process will have to be taught and learned again in the context of a romantic relationship, which will bring strain and strife to the household.

It’s still okay to teach them in adolescence, though, even if you didn’t start when they were younger. It’ll be more challenging, and you’ll be met with more resistance. But, if you stay firm and calm, and gently express your boundaries, they’ll eventually  be a good helper.

After a while, the resistance will be less and less. In due time, they’ll just start doing things that need to be done, so they can get on with doing other fun, more exciting things, like going on dates.

Once they’re ready to go on dates, they’ll also know how to make their way around the house in a very proficient manner, which will probably impress their date.

And that’s a good thing because we all know what dates eventually lead to… more children.