Ryley Arnold ‘20, Layout Director
When you are home alone, do you sometimes struggle to come up with a meal for yourself? Do you ever give up trying to make a healthy meal and end up pouring a bowl of cereal? When a button rips off your flannel, do you have to ask your mother to fix it? Or when your car gets a flat tire, do you automatically call your dad because you have no idea how to fix it? Home Economics is a class that is supposed to teach you how to prepare for the real world. Lessons on how to perform basic life skills that an individual should know.
The purpose of a Home Economics class, back in the day, was to teach students how to do everyday tasks such as cooking meals and sewing. The course was often regarded as a ‘blow off’ class, giving kids an easy A because they could follow a recipe. Now that it is 2019, should the system not be updated? Students should learn how to cook and sew, but also how to change a tire, or be financially stable. Not only do we need to teach high school students how to survive once they are living independently, we also need to teach the middle schoolers, who may at times be left home alone if their parents are working late. Senior Lexie Oleson says, “[Home Economics should] teach safety at home. Like [how to] not start a house fire because you put metal in the microwave, which sounds like common sense, until you get kids in the environment,” Home Ec is supposed to prepare students for life, so why is this class not offered here at South Lyon High School?
Years ago, the school did have a Home Ec course and according to the Government teacher Mr. Toni Simovski, “The rooms are in B Wing and it’s room 151, with a kitchen, and 149.” He continued, “The Home Economics room was created in the early 2000’s. There was a Home Ec teacher here from 2001-2009. I think they ended Home Ec when she left in 2009. It was cancelled because the class was seen as a non-college prep class as the rigor by the state of Michigan was increased.” This also made SLHS lose classes such as Sociology and Street Law in social studies.
Some may say that we do not need Home Ec. But if students who do not have time to spend 40+ minutes trying to sew together a rip in their sweater, which we all know it is not easy when trying to get the string into the needle hole, do not have time to learn these basic skills, the have to fend for themselves in situations that might be easily avoidable, like being stranded on the highway because your car tire is flat.
If Home Economic classes were available to schools, subjects they should teach should be updated from past Home Ec classes. But the question is: what do we teach the students, and when do we teach students these skills? Would it make more sense to teach middle schoolers or high schoolers? Should the classes offer lessons on how to perform CPR? Oleson said, “Home Economics should be implemented in a middle school setting. Many kids are growing up to be overweight because they don’t know how to cook or take care of their diets.” She continued, “These skills are sometimes not taught at home and should be taught at school to live a healthy life in the future.”
Home Economics is the class that prepares kids for the road ahead of them. Simovski said, “The class was super valuable for students that were not on [the] college path and even beneficial for students going to college as it taught them valuable life skills such as cooking, taking care of children, sewing, etc.” whether it is college or simply surviving outside of your parents’ home, you are going to need to know basic life skills. Being able to change a car tire, or sew up a tear in your favorite shirt, instead of throwing it away, are things someone should know. Knowing how to boil up some pasta, or being able to grill a chicken breast are some of the stable meals that anyone should be able to make. Though some of us may want to, you cannot just live off of Ramen and dinosaur chicken nuggets till the end of time.
Photo courtesy of Healthy Consumer
You make some very good points here. I also believe that basic real-world skills, whether you label them as “home ec” or just “adulting” should be part of a well-rounded education.