it’s always like this

March 22, 2010

home ec.

Filed under: gimme a break, maybe it's me — notsojenny @ 8:32 am

starting in middle school we were forced into Home Economics classes.  a certain range of classes were required, basically you had to take everything once.  from there you got to choose which types of classes you wanted to take more of.

everyone my age that came through my school system has some knowledge of:
metal shop
and cooking

and these are very valuable skills.  but i’m hearing from many people that these aren’t in most schools anymore, and the schools who did have them are pulling them.

what?!? why?

i mean, sure, there’s not much i do in my every day life that requires me to make piggy banks from plastic or creating pottery and firing it in the kiln.  but i could if i needed to.
and most of these are VERY handy skills. 

metal shop – i know how to bend, sharpen, file down, puncture and drill into metal because of this class.  while i don’t use the skills every day they’ve definitely come in handy when i’m being handy around the house or putting something together.
woodworking – one of the most useful classes in my opinion.  especially for girls.  i don’t know many girls who were brought up to be as handy around the house as my mom raised me to be but taking these lessons away from girls just reinforces the helpless female syndrome.  you need to know how to saw and drill.  you just do.  there are plenty of projects around our house that i’ve offered to M for the summer and if he doesn’t want to do them – i will.  because i know how to use the saw and i can make the shelves myself.  it’s VERY useful.
sewing – how the HECK do people survive not knowing how to sew??  i don’t get it.  you don’t need to know how to make your own wardrobe but even sewing a button back on or putting a whip stitch in a hem is so freakin valuable.  how will kids today mend their own clothes??  no, i don’t have all the pillows or stuffed animals i created in class but i could make them today if i wanted to…
cooking – i can’t cook.  it’s just a fact.  it doesn’t come naturally to me but luckily i married a man who should have a show on food network (i highly recommend this route).  but i CAN bake.  i can bake the shit out of things.  i’m that good.  and while i know it’s mostly because my mom baked, i still learned alot in cooking class.  not long ago i found the recipe for our “master mix” in some old papers and i ‘about died.  how weird of a concept was this?  the idea that you could make this and keep it in your closet and use x# of scoops from it for all recipes is kind of out there, totally unpractical.  and everything ended up tasting like master mix anyway.  but still, learning how to cook things was incredibly useful.  mostly because you made mistakes.  and you learned what happened if you mixed things in the wrong order, or let something cook 2 minutes too long, or whatever.  these are things that are totally useful as an adult.

maybe this is why hobbies have gone away too?


  1. Our schools were set up the same kind of way. And actually woodshop and ‘foods&crafts’ (home ec) were my two favorites. I completely agree, I don’t understand how people don’t know how to sew on a button or fix a hole in seam. I actually knew how to do this long before middle school though. My mom taught me things like that (and typing, too). Heck, I took in 1.25″ on each side of the pink dress I wore for our engagement pics and turned the pleats into darts. By hand. As I pinned it on myself because no one was around to help me. Useful skills – I very much agree with you.

    I think it’s really sad that a lot of these classes are being cut from schools. And I know a lot of it is happening down here because of budget cuts. Obviously, math, science, English, etc. are all very, very importanty, but I think that sometimes the school boards or whoever are making the decisions on what programs to keep and get rid of underestimate the value of these other classes.

    Comment by DanceintheRain — March 22, 2010 @ 9:45 am

  2. My go-to dinner is actually a variation of something I made for one of my cooking classes. I mean, how many years has it been, 10?, and I’m still eating this for lunch/dinner all the time (and thankfully Boo like it too!)

    Comment by stealthnerd — March 22, 2010 @ 9:51 am

  3. I loved wood and metal shop. I hated home ec. I wish I’d been more into it. I wasn’t remotely interested in the cooking – and it’s a skill I could really use now, actually – and I made a dumb skirt as my sewing project.

    Comment by Lemon Gloria — March 22, 2010 @ 10:02 am

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