Not long ago, a home economics course was required. Students learned basic domestic skills like cooking and sewing. I believe that a similar class should be mandatory today. The class, which would be more of a “life skills” course, would include cooking, sewing, cleaning, car maintenance, domestic and self-organizational skills, and manners/etiquette.
High schools strive to prepare students for college academics but neglect to prepare them for the times when they are not in class. There is nothing wrong with giving the option of post-secondary classes at local colleges, or offering courses with college-level curriculum in high schools. However, schools must consider whether students are also learning the basic life skills they will need to prioritize and organize themselves. Do they know how to change the oil in their car? High schools and students must take a step back and view the “big picture.” In the long run, a student's ACT and SAT score is not everything.
Will that affect them 20 years down the road? Probably not.
Being able to organize oneself and knowing the correct etiquette when going into a job interview are examples of critical life skills today. Knowing how to take notes and memorize facts won't help much in this situation.
When seniors graduate, they must quickly adapt to a very different world, whether they are going to college or entering the workforce. A student who already has various life skills will experience a much easier transition from home to college or the workplace.
Before Home Economics classes existed, the family fulfilled the role of teaching young people necessary life skills. Mothers and grandmothers taught girls to sew, cook, and clean. Boys learned farming, building, and machinery repair from fathers and grandfathers. Today family dynamics are changing. Grandparents may have passed away. Mom and Dad may be divorced or have full-time jobs. Who, then, is left to teach youth “the basics”?
For today's technologically enhanced generations, knowledge is always at our