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People Want Home Economics Classes Brought Back To Teach Kids Basic Life Skills

Back in the olden days, schools offered students (specifically, female students) the chance to hone their homemaking skills by taking a home economics class.

Meanwhile, the boys in their grade weren't expected to learn the same skills and were off in their own class learning how to nail pieces of wood together like men.

To be fair, this was during a time when the general expectation was that women were headed down a path of domestic bliss, filled with plenty of cooking and cleaning for the future family, so they kind of had to know their way around the kitchen and a sewing machine.

In recent years, fewer and fewer schools have offered students the chance to learn the "domestic sciences."

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In fact, the class has gone almost completely extinct.

However, some people want to see home-ec brought back into schools so students can be taught the basic life skills that advanced placement algebra and European history just can't offer them.

After all, it's great to know how to cross-multiply, but do you know what an RRSP is?

When you take the inherent sexism out of the original formula for home economics, these classes could actually be super useful for students.

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Now more commonly known as "Family and Consumer Sciences" (FCS), these programs have the potential to teach today's youth the same basic skills that many of us find ourselves floundering to learn quickly once we're suddenly out on our own.

According to an NPR report, the last decade has seen a 38% decrease in the number of students signing up for FCS classes. And they're suffering because of this.

Today's home-ec classes could actually help teenagers learn some pretty valuable life skills.

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According to that same NPR report, present-day FCS classes “might now include subjects such as community gardening, composting, and even hydroponics.”

Students could also learn basic cooking skills, how to budget for groceries, and what to actually do when tax season rolls around.

These are lessons that would help teenagers become much more self-sufficient as they venture into the world of adulthood — which is way better than the culture-shock of an experience it was for the rest of us.

One lecturer at the University of Texas believes home economics (or, as she puts it, "Skills for Life"), should be a mandatory class at every high school.

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In an op-ed piece of the Dallas Morning News, Marti Harvey said she's encountered too many students who didn't even know what property taxes were.

"It's a failing of our educational system that students don't leave high school with this basic understanding, among other things," she wrote. "That's why we need to bring back the old home economics class. Call it 'Skills for Life' and make it mandatory in high schools.

"Teach basic economics along with budgeting, comparison shopping, basic cooking skills, and time management. Give them a better start in real life than they get now."

Harvey also said these are skills that all students should know, whether they're college-bound or heading right into the workforce.

"High school is the perfect time to introduce life's basics," she wrote. "Students are beginning to feel like adults. They can see the light at the end of the high-school tunnel. They're thinking about what life will be like for them."

She added, "Home economics signals to them that we know they're growing up and we want to help them along in life's journey.