Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Home Economics Got No Respect

If there ever was a Rodney Dangerfield curriculum it had to be Home Economics. It got no respect. Now it is nearly forgotten but sorely needed--to be politically correct, our youth are in need of life skills.

At my recent fiftieth class reunion the president of the college said, " there are few self-sufficient students on campus."

Have you heard the term 'helicopter parents?' They are parents who are hovering over their children. Since they did not encourage their children to learn basic skills they are asking who is going to provide these services to their children. Skills such as doing laundry, clothing care, budgeting, manners, and basic organization to name just a few.

When colleges began to dismantle their Home Ec. departments the domino effect also affected high schools. As if to compensate for the loss of a general subject area parts of the curriculum were spun off under other departments. There is no longer a cohesive unit that can prepare the person with some basics in foods, clothing, child development, family living and leisure time skills.

There are some questions that you might like to address and I would certainly like some answers:

1. Is our high divorce rate among professionals due somewhat to incompetence in the home? Is it possible to have it all: home, work, and children without some knowledge of how a home has to function or how children develop? Do we only need education for professional work?

2. Have we sold our souls to the "company store" where all of our time is consumed by work and leisure time is irrelevant? Hobbies and particular skills can sometimes help people through tough times both economically and psychologically.

3. Is our total economic well-being dependent on someone else's production? Meal preparation, gifts, entertainment, clothing housing and housing repairs--can we live our entire life without doing any mundane tasks by ourselves?

4. Are people we love being neglected or are demands being placed on some of our loved ones to make it possible for us to live our current life style? In our fast paced world with so much on our calendars do we really have time for each other?

Relax! Let's find out what is missing, if anything and address the problem, if there is a problem!

Please help me gather information that will help the next generation be successful. Maybe we need to develop a new nationwide curriculum to meet the current needs while there are still a few skilled people alive to help develop a life skills program.

I have an article someplace that I've misplaced that gives statistics on No. 1; I have written a briefer story about No. 2 and will write other examples for 3 and 4.


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