Bring Back Home Economics Because Our Kids Lack Basic Life Skills

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


The world is changing… parents are re-evaluating the wisdom of sticking their kids in front of blackboards and computers all day.

Instead of calculating complicated equations that kids will never use in real life, perhaps they should be learning to cook, clean, build, repair, compost, prepare garden beds, tend chickens or even milk a cow.

I’m not saying take all kids out of school and send them back to the farm (although that’s not the worst idea), but maybe kids should be learning some more practical life skills that involve using their hands and bodies, not just torturing their minds.

For example, how many kids know how to sew or knit these days? Or how to do laundry or clean the bathroom? Or how to cook a meal from scratch? Baking is a wonderful way to learn fractions, while showing kids why they matter.

High school home economics classes seem to have disappeared along with the women’s “liberation” movement, as we became programmed to see these tasks as menial and demeaning “housewife” work.

I’m not suggesting we stick women barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen all day, ironing her husband’s shirts and making his coffee, while he rushes off to the office… I’m saying more and more of my friends are interested in becoming back-to-the landers, becoming more self-sufficient on the homestead, and less reliant on corporate jobs, government and government schools.

And if schools want to remain relevant for that growing crowd of people, they may have to become more like the Waldorf schools my daughter has been fortunate enough to attend, giving them a more well-rounded set of life skills instead of turning them into computers.

And bring back wood shop and auto shop while we’re at it!