Louisville student wants modern home economics and life skills course

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How many times have you had to write a check or cook a simple dinner for yourself, and you didn’t know how to do it? Many students who have just graduated from high school deal with this situation on a daily basis and end up eating fast food for dinner every night. Perhaps not the only solution, but one of the best remedies for this problem: family and consumer sciences.

Home economics classes are classes in which students learn to cook, fix things, and learn soft skills. It’s usually a subject of stereotypes for young girls learning to be housewives all their lives, but what if this class was modernized to suit younger generations?

A Modern Home Economics (Consumer Science) course as an elective (a non-compulsory course) in our public schools would greatly benefit students. In modern times, students would learn things like saving money, cooking everyday foods for themselves, using check books, etc. These are key skills to have to avoid unhealthy fast food and pay the bills due.

Parents would appreciate their children learning to manage adult life skills, as they might not have the time to properly teach the skills themselves. In an article about these courses on NPR, it was said that “Sometimes the skills taught … can be directly applied to a career, but what the courses really try to do is create a balance in the student life.

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But sometimes, I’m sure parents and students will be concerned about time away from basic standards and other career-oriented choices. Maybe that’s not really a big deal. Test scores can improve not only because students will learn math with money and measurements, English through reading instructions, and the science of why things happen in the kitchen, but the students will be interested and curious so that their mental health benefits.

For this reason, I agreed with a teacher named Susan Turgeson when she said, “For some students, class is a break from their busy study schedules and can be a place where lessons – for example about fractions or chemistry — can sink through exposure to those same concepts in the kitchen,” in the NPR article.

Unfortunately, I know that a whole new class costs money, and this particular class will be of less interest to men than to women. I have thought about these issues and may have found a solution to each. A modern approach to the classroom would mean pupils can learn more about careers in economics, maths and business, not just traditional, stereotypical cooking and baking, so boys might be more interested. On top of that, fundraising events that students are pushed to attend might pay for these classes.

I am well aware that this process is easier said than done, but the student’s mental health and well-being will likely be positively impacted, and parents’ concerns may be lessened, if not- what slightly, as students will also learn math and science skills.

In these times of COVID-19, it is important to teach students things that are essential to life, but also to teach them why they are essential in a way that they will remember and put into practice. Therefore, even though my ideas are far too big and impossible to achieve, I would like to propose pushing these life skills into the regular curriculum to prepare students for life in the real world.

Sophia Langford is in seventh grade at J. Graham Brown School

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