Parents say home economics should be taught in schools again to teach folks basic life skills


In the rapidly evolving landscape of our contemporary society, technological advancements have seamlessly integrated into our daily routines. Kitchen gadgets like Instant Pots and air fryers, electric toothbrushes in our bathrooms, ever-present screens in our living spaces, and the burgeoning popularity of electric cars have become commonplace within a relatively short span of time. The ubiquity of smartphones and laptops, introduced just 15 years ago with Steve Jobs' unveiling of the iPhone, is particularly noteworthy.

However, an intriguing question arises: Does our reliance on technology genuinely equip us with vital life skills and knowledge on practical task execution?

Recent observations hint that the current younger generation may lack proficiency in fundamental tasks such as cooking or laundry, potentially more so than their predecessors at comparable ages. Interestingly, this disparity may have been further accentuated by the global shift towards remote living and learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

An increasing number of parents and guardians are advocating for the re-introduction of home economics courses in schools. The envisioned curriculum of such courses would extend beyond culinary skills, embedding crucial learnings about financial management, such as bill payments and tax submissions, and nutritional knowledge under the ethos that our dietary choices significantly influence our overall well-being.

Envision courses where students are taught sewing to mend a detached button or where they delve into the basics of gardening, acquainting themselves with growing fresh herbs. This isn’t an undermining of the quintessential academic subjects like math, science, reading, or history, but a call to acknowledge that the current educational paradigms might warrant supplementary practical life skills teachings.

Data from the 2021 US Census indicated that out of 94 million Americans aged 25 and above, possessing an associate degree or higher, a substantial 42% in this demographic seemingly prioritized formal education. Interestingly, the data also showed that women constituted a larger fraction of this academically inclined population compared to men.

As individuals progressively pursue higher education, a pertinent inquiry surfaces: Do they simultaneously acquire the indispensable life skills to seamlessly navigate through independent living? The ability to prepare nutritious meals, maintain a neat living space, and proficiently manage laundry, among other tasks, is considerably amplified if students are initially empowered with these skills.

Incorporating a home economics course could inherently support students in assimilating basic life skills, such as changing a flat tire or replacing a lightbulb, into their competencies. School, alongside peers, could become a conducive environment for such learnings, thereby alleviating the sole dependency on parents or guardians for these teachings at home.