I was writing some posts for my other blogs when a great subject hit me straight in the face in the form of a question, "Is a lack of Home Ec in our schools making our children and us fat?"
I know, you think I have completely gone off the deep end here but, let me explain. I was thinking of my son's struggles in school and thinking of my own struggles in school growing up and was thinking of how many issues our families and children have in schools today and I firmly believe it is because we are so focused on 'educating our students' to fit a certain style, we are educating every student to prepare them for college but, we have forgotten about those students that will become car mechanics, shop owners, bakers, tailors, jewelers, and stay at home parents.
That all got me thinking and I wondered if we are losing a key to our country's success in the past, we aren't all the same, we are a country built on immigrants with talents all over the spectrum. We are so afraid our schools, our children will fail at the No Child Left Behind Act but, in doing that, I think we are creating a country that will soon be left behind! We aren't producing creative outlets for our students, we aren't creating our future artists or chefs. We aren't giving our children the tools they need to be able to be self-sufficient in a society of ever increasing waistlines and shrinking wallets.
We are a nation of parents who often don't know how to sew a hem let alone a button on a shirt, we often don't pass down traditions of quilt making or knitting. Recipes are often lost when a Grandmother dies because there is no one left in the family who bakes. We are an ever increasing society of pre-cooked, pre-packaged meals and because of that, we have the ever expanding waistlines.
We aren't teaching our children trades or skills anymore, we aren't teaching them to be self-reliant in hard times, we aren't teaching them the basic housekeeping skills of laundry or ironing. Many of our children don't know how to change a belt on a vacuum or how to change the furnace filter. If a button falls off their pants, it often stays off as many of us don't even have a sewing kit at home anymore. Our children are losing such basics as knowing how to build a bird house, paint something, bake a cake, boil water!
Yes, our schools are teaching our children how to succeed in life as long as they go to college and study hard and find a great job and make good money. But, we aren't preparing them for life without a job, or without an education, we aren't teaching them how to make their own homecooked meals, how to change the oil in their car or how to properly iron a shirt. Everything comes from a box, is done at Jiffy Lube, or done at the dry cleaners. Our children and many of us parents don't know how to read labels, we don't grow our own food in our backyard gardens anymore, and sadly, many children don't even know what a tomato or green pepper looks like! Our children don't know raspberries come from bushes, carrots grow in the ground and tomatoes grow on a vine.
How can we teach our children about the food pyramid when many of them and us don't even know what is on the pyramid or where it comes from? How can we teach our children to cut back in tough financial times when we teach them to 'outsource' everything to others? How can we make our wallets fatter and our belly's smaller? Bring back life skills into our schools, into our homes, and our daily lives. Start writing, talking about, and asking your children's schools to bring back Home Education classes such as baking, cooking, and sewing. Life skills classes such as Shop, wood-working, jewelry making and car care.
Even if these can be electives or after school programs or even summer school programs, lets make these options to our children again! My favorite summers were the ones when I took summer school at Valley View in Bloomington and took classes such as weather and clouds and food with a foreign flair cooking class. I loved learning life skills such as how to build a bird house or a wind chime...yes, I know those aren't needed in life but, it was fun and I learned how to cut through metal!
Our children need to know what 2x2 is but, they also need to know how to tread a needle and how to make pasta too.
Blessings to you all!