Home economics is missing in high schools. I noticed my school and many others around me don’t offer home economics as a course. There are schools that still offer home economics, or family and consumer science classes as they now call it, but not nearly as many as before.
An article from the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences says only about 3.5 million students are enrolled in an FCS class. Instead, there are separate courses like nutrition and wellness and child development, but there isn’t a class that teaches students everything in one. Additionally, those courses are often optional — however, I think home economics should be required.
People should be required to learn basic life skills regardless of if they want to or not. Cooking, doing taxes, and taking care of kids are things most people will need to do as adults and are crucial skills to being a successful individual. People shouldn’t have a choice to not take the class, just as they don’t have the choice to not take math.
During my senior year of high school, I took a cooking vocational and learned so many kitchen skills and general knowledge I will carry for the rest of my life. Of course, I enjoyed the class because I like to cook and bake, but even if that’s not for you, you can’t deny it would be helpful. You can’t live off microwaveable mac and cheese and cereal the rest of your life. Well, you can –– but you definitely shouldn’t.
When it comes to taxes and childcare, both seem horrible, but I think I should have been required to take a class that taught me both. Even if you don’t plan on having kids, just having basic knowledge on how to take care of them wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Same with sewing –– it may be tedious to learn but it’s a basic skill that would be helpful for anyone to know. Coming into college with very little knowledge on how to do my own finances has left me feeling quite underprepared for this whole adult thing.
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I don’t understand how pre-calculus and chemistry were required courses when I don’t see myself ever using those skills in my future. At least with home economics, I would use at least one skill, if not every skill, to build my future. I believe the knowledge you take with you from a home economics class is much more valuable than learning relatively pointless ideas and boosting your school's test scores.
While these courses are still taught, few schools prioritize them.
“They are usually the first set of courses to be dropped due to not having certified teachers to teach the courses, courses being under-enrolled, budget cuts and states or school districts feeling that these courses or skills are not needed,” Dee Harris, founder of The Skillful Learner website said in a Fox Business article.
Overall, home economics needs to come back into schools. There are so many people uneducated on such basic skills that bringing back this class as a requirement would be a great thing. I don’t see any negatives in the long run to reinstating home economics as a required course.
Faith Badgley (she/her) is a freshman studying media advertising.