Over the last few months, we’ve taken a look at the case for several core subjects. (Reading, Writing, Math and Spelling.) But what about when it comes to electives? After all—they’re optional! How strong a case can they have? Today we’re going to delve into one of these electives, and take a look at the case for home ec.
1) Home Ec Equips Homemakers
This is the most foundational argument in favour of home ec. Home ec is in our curriculum because it’s something girls use!
This is true whether those girls grow up into wives or singles—whether their chief occupation is inside or outside their homes—whether housework is something they love or something they hate.
Home ec is one of the most directly practical subjects we can ever teach in our schools or homeschools. A confident grounding in the basics of cooking, cleaning, sewing, and childcare is something every woman will be thankful for at some time in her life.
2) Home Ec Strengthens Values
The way we use our time provides one of the most insightful keys to our values. Students readily pick up on the idea that a subject we spend two hours a day teaching is probably more important than one that gets half an hour once a week.
The emphasis we place on home ec is going to have a direct impact on the way our students value homemaking. No, home ec is not the only way a student can learn to care for a home. It is a way—and a way that offers certain specific advantages, such as precise scientific training and a systematic approach to learning.
But one of the most important benefits of home ec as a curriculum choice is that it sends students the message that we perceive homemaking as an important and honourable calling—a calling that is worth investment—a calling that we value.
3) Home Ec Lets Hands-On Students Excel
Not every student has a natural bent towards academic studies. Not every child is a “thinker”—which is a good thing, because the world needs “doers” in every aspect of life!
In an educational setting that is heavily focused on academics, students with hands-on talents often see themselves as lower-than-average contributors, struggling with the perception of inferiority, inadequacy, and lack of value.
Home ec is a subject that allows space for hands-on students to engage in their areas of talent, demonstrating their ability to contribute, succeed, and excel in meaningful and practical ways that translate directly into valuable life skills.
Runner Up Argument: Home Ec Saves Embarrassing Situations!
This may be an extension of point 1), but it’s an aspect of the question that deserves consideration. Nobody likes to google “how do you boil water!” Nobody prefers to read instructions before operating a kitchen mop. Nobody plans on being the laundress who hangs the contents of their bureau drawer in the closet because they can’t figure out how to fold the wash.
Okay, these examples are a bit extreme. But they illustrate a point!
Home ec teaches some very fundamental principles—and saves students from some awkward moments later in life.
My Verdict on the Case for Home Ec
At the end of the day, just because a subject is an elective doesn’t mean its case is weak!
Home ec is a study that will equip your student for their future, strengthen their values, give them opportunities to excel—and save a few embarrassing situations along the way.
The case for home ec is strong. Maybe just as strong as the case for core subjects. Definitely strong enough to earn it a place in any school curriculum.
If the case for home ec is that compelling, do we need to wait for high school to teach it? See our previous post:
- As the Heavens Are Higher: Behind the Scenes with Hymns and Poems
- Christian Poetry for High School