Discover how Home Economics is a valuable tool to manage home life. Home Economics is not just cooking and sewing, it also covers all aspects of daily life!
Home Economics? What is that?
Once upon a time in America, schools offered courses in Home Economics. The term Home Economics actually came out of a series of annual conferences held between 1899 and 1910. These meetings were designed and dedicated to find ways to apply the latest in science and technology to improve life in the American home.
From its infancy, this idea called “Home Economics” grew, developed, required Federal funding to be included in schools and, at least for a good while, evolved to meet the changing needs of society. Strictly speaking Home Economics can be defined as follows: The field of study that deals with the economics and management of the home. Home Economics includes such topics as cooking, preservation of food, health and nutrition, hygiene, sewing, child development, managing money, furnishing and decorating the home, cleaning as well as handcrafts.
Learning to cook involves a lot more than simply opening a can or putting something in the microwave, it requires learning kitchen safety, proper measurements and, proper use of utensils. Baking, frying grilling and, canning are some of the different forms of cooking.
Health and nutrition in home economics is not only about combining foods to make healthy meals. It also includes healthy lifestyle choices and personal hygiene.
Sewing is not only about fabrics, patterns and how to properly use a sewing machine. It also includes things like learning to replace a button without sticking your finger with a needle.
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Handcrafts include anything from making things with children, whether in the kitchen or not, to crafts that are sewn and/or knotted by hand, and much more!
Furnishing and decorating the home is all about merging organization and efficiency with personal style and the touches that bring it all together.
Cleaning not only includes dusting and vacuuming, but also the proper tools for different types of jobs.
Child development is about helping children learn good choices as well as incentives to make those choices habits. It is also about making memories for them.
Money management includes how to budget and keep a checkbook. It also includes shopping and affects all of the areas previously listed.
Home economics as a curriculum took a terminal turn around the time that people decided that it qualified as common sense rather than a necessity (with any sort of learning curve involved) and lost funding and support in schools. With the demise in popularity of Home Economics has come a high rate of obesity and multiple other medical issues in this country.
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Rather than having been the victim of budget cuts and the idea that is was simply “common sense”, Home Economics should have continued to change to meet the current needs of society. The demise in popularity of Home Economics in schools shows a lack of evolutionary thought and planning by the school leaders. In California , home economics is still the term used to describe courses that offer subjects like International Foods, Catering, and Food Service and Hospitality.
Home economics is far more than sewing and cooking. Although it has always incorporated those things, it has also been about enhancing the “at home” experience of life. The obvious popularity of things like the Food Network , a whole network dedicated to shows on cooking, and shows like Top Chef and competition shows all about fashion design and decorating, or the DIY network, indicates that while it may have taken other forms “Home Economics” still alive and well.
One valuable tool to train our young adults how to navigate the challenges faced in our society today is the much overlooked and undervalued “Home Economics”.