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Learning How To Adult Early

Why Home Economics and Shop Class Should Be a Required Class

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

“Okay class, today we will learn how to cook and later, build projects out of wood.” This is something many students want to hear at the beginning of class. Spending hours learning rigorous material is important for a student’s educational success but having the opportunity to learn life skills is equally important. Oftentimes when students learn hard material such as the Pythagorean Theorem they find themselves being worn out and needing a break.  Home economics (home ec) and shop class are great ways to offer students breaks, while also learning new skills. Home ec includes lessons on how to cook, sew, take care of children and many more aspects of adulthood. Likewise, shop class is when students are taught how to make items out of wood. The downside of offering these classes is they tend to be pricey, but they teach students valuable life long skills that can create the path for success.

Home ec has been around since the 1800s and shop class has been around since the 1900s. As popular as the classes may seem, they both have seen a decline in the past couple of decades. Home ec used to be offered at almost every high school but now it is only offered at 6,000 schools in America. In the 1950s, almost every student took shop class, however, throughout recent years the number has rapidly declined. Part of the reason few schools have home ec or shop class is because of the cost.  Not only do schools have to hire more teachers for these special classes, they also have to buy the materials for each class. For example, if there was a class of 20 who were learning how to cook chicken, the school would need to purchase 20 pieces of chicken, multiple stoves, 20 pans and 20 knives. This cost would end up being thousands of dollars just to cook a piece of chicken. Though this way of hands-on teaching is expensive, it allows the students to get a glimpse of adulthood. Allowing students to group up during projects creates an easy solution to decrease the overall cost of these classes. This will allow the classes to be affordable while teaching the students how to learn many different skills to carry them far in life.

As students grow closer to adulthood, many undergo large amounts of stress and anxiety about having to navigate life alone. But where are you going to learn this? This is where home ec and shop class come in handy. These classes will teach students how to live on their own and advocate for themselves and learn how to do things such as: laundry, cleaning, cooking, maybe even fixing a broken table and later in life, raising children. Students will learn all of these skills throughout the duration of the class and carry them throughout the rest of their lives. These life skills will help the students be independent and grow as an individual.

Home ec and shop class also open students eyes to possible areas of employment for the future. Whether a student finds their passion in sewing a dress and wanting to go into fashion or building a birdhouse and wanting to go into construction, home ec and shop class allow students to experience different careers. With these classes teaching a wide range of skills, students get a feel for what they like and don’t like to do. With this, a student might find a deep love for a certain skill and want to pursue that for the rest of their life. Without this opportunity, many students might not be able to uncover their true passion.

Even though home ec and shop class have been decreasing in popularity for years, the classes will stay beneficial to teens who are transitioning into adulthood. These two classes allow students to succeed because of the vast amount of skills they learn, which can be applied to career opportunities. Even though these classes cost a large sum of money, the skills the students learn are priceless. Home ec and shop class should be mandatory for students so they can learn lifelong skills that will help them become independent adults and open their eyes to many career opportunities.


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Andy Poll

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