Someday in the near future, many of us will find ourselves graduated from college with a degree and a job, looking to buy or rent a house or apartment, and quite possibly a car. When we’re on our own in the real world we’re going to want to be able to cook things besides Kraft Mac n’ Cheese, but how will we know what to do if all we’re learning is how to find the amplitude of a cosine graph and what happened in the War of 1812.
We won’t. We will be out in the real world, all alone, not ready to begin our life as independent young adults. Our parents can teach us only so much in the little free time that we don’t have. We need to get a head start on our lives early on in high school. Home Economics is the answer to our struggles. Not only does Home Ec. cover the topic of cooking, but it also teaches us nutrition, financial responsibility, how to lead a balanced life, and how to give back to others (Jannuzzi). We need to learn the ins and outs of how to live, how to survive, as young adults.
This generation puts so much stress on kids eating healthy and avoiding obesity, but if we aren’t learning how we can be healthy, then we might as well be included in the future obesity statistics. Audrey Manners, a former home ec. teacher, wrote in the opinion section of the New York Times, “Bringing home economics back to the classroom would be a huge step toward educating our population about the hazards of obesity while teaching them to eat responsibly” (Bringing Home Ec Back). The world today is so focused on eating healthy and being responsible. A home ec. class could present the wonderful opportunity to learn about such things. Sadly, Barlow is stunting our growth. If the administration and faculty want us to grow up to be healthy and successful, they need to start offering classes that will accommodate these needs.
The fact that administrators and students, especially teenage boys, think that home economics is just for girls, may be the reason that the class is not available. The idea that home ec. is not meant for boys is completely, utterly, 100% false. Contrary to what you may think, home ec. is no longer directed towards teaching young women how to be a mother and housewife. Redding resident, Joey Davey, says confidently that “Having home ec. does not mean that you’re destined to be a housewife. These are skills every man or woman should have.” Now we just have to get boys to hop on the bandwagon.
The knowledge students take out of a home economics class will be beneficial to both boys and girls. The 21st century is a time where gender equality is becoming more and more a reality. It is now just as important for boys to learn how to cook and sew a button back onto their shirt as it is for women. This is a time when women have the same chance as men do of getting a job, and when men aren’t the only ones working. With many females busy with jobs, men will need to help out around the house. Ruby E. Schaffer, a secondary school teacher, says that “Men baby-sit their children, shop for groceries and perform many other tasks which at one time were not a part of their role as head of a family.” Women will no longer be interested in men who won’t help around the house or make a solid effort to contribute to the family. So boys, you can forget about “living happily ever after” unless you step up your game and learn a little Home Economics.
Aside from the typical cooking aspect, Home Ec. develops students knowledge and skills to manage money. Financial responsibility is another very large topic within home economics, and sadly, I, and most of my classmates, are unsure how to pay taxes or buy a car. It’s simply a shame that I won’t be able to live off of my own knowledge when I’m older; that I’ll always be dependent on someone simply because I’m missing out on one crucial class. But Home Economics is the answer to my prayers. If Home Economics covers such vital aspects of our lives, then why isn’t it offered at Barlow? Is it because of the gender separation and stereotypes? The class would equally benefit both boys and girls. Don’t boys need to know how to handle money, too?
The future is going to be rough for everyone. For the sake of society, bring Home Economics to Barlow. Students need a balance of practical and academic classes, and Home Ec. is the most practical class a student could ask for. “No other academic discipline incorporates in its curriculum as many pertinent life skills that will help students succeed independent of their chosen career paths” (Home Economics and Its Importance). It is clear that Home Ec. is the key ingredient to the recipe for success.
“Bringing Home Ec Back to the Classroom.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 12 Sept. 2011. Web. 16 Oct. 2014.<http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/13/opinion/bringing-home-ec-back-to-the-classroom.html?_r=1&>.
Davey, Joey, Redding resident and mother. Interview by author. 15 Oct. 2014, Redding.
“Home Economics and Its Importance to Students’ Futures.” .:Home Economics:.: .:IMPORTANCE FOR THE FUTURE:. University of Michigan, n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2014. <http://sitemaker.umich.edu/356.swidler/._importance_for_the_future_.>.
Jannuzzi, Kristine. “Why Is Home Economics an Important Subject for High Schools?” The Classroom. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2014. <http://classroom.synonym.com/home-economics-important-subject-high-schools-1466.html>
Schaffer, Ruby E. Bibliography – Home Economics for Boys. Washington: U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Education, 1937. Web. 16 Oct. 2014. <https://bctf.ca/thesa/pdf/Vol03_1SchafferBoys.pdf>.