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Did You Learn Any Economics in Home Economics?

Tasty Orange Juliuses and tedious needlepoint are what come to mind whenever somebody brings up the topic of middle school home economics class, and none of the lessons I recall had anything to do with keeping a household budget.

According to The New York Times, home economics was started with the idea of teaching students about pinching pennies but transformed as people worried less about money.

Once upon a time, schools taught survival skills like how to feed a growing family cheaply and run a household on a tight budget. But in an era of prosperity, easy credit and changing social norms, many of those classes were revised to focus on more up-to-date topics.


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awkwardturtle awkwardturtle 8 years
nope. Actually the only thing I remember about that class was having a fire drill in the middle of making stuffed ricotta shells. The whole class smelled terrible for the next month!
insanitypepper insanitypepper 8 years
I took shop.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
We had to take a separate class called "Integrated Senior Course" in high school that taught us things like how to figure out a budget, how to write a check, how to write a resume, etc. Only problem with that was that most of us had already been holding down summer/part time jobs for a good year or two by the time we got to take the class. I went into the class already knowing all the stuff they tried to teach us, so it was pretty pointless. I learned everything I know about being frugal from my grandma, who never wasted a thing.
nancita nancita 8 years
My "food and nutrition" class in high school was great for learning to cook, but the economics class was totally useless. I remember at the time thinking they should have been teaching us personal finance rather than macroeconomics; so much more helpful later.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
No, but I learned how to make a hell of a good batch of pancakes, and the ugliest bookbag ever.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
home ec for us was just cooking and sewing - it wasn't anything to do with economics at all. it's a shame that they don't teach that stuff. the only way that i learned any of that while i was in school was when i was in high school and took an accounting class.
gemsera gemsera 8 years
But think of it this way: If you can make your own clothes, you can save money on curtains, clothes, pillowcases, everything. If you can cook well, you can feed a family healthily and often choose cheaper items and it often costs alot less than takeout and other junk. So its how to manage ahousehold, and if your smart you can use it to save money. I took home ec and loved it.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
All we did in Home Ec was sew and cook. My senior year, in Economics, the teacher took time out of the curriculum, and we spent that time looking at what jobs we could reasonably get, what apartments we'd be looking at realistically - it was actually useful, unlike anything we did in Home Ec. (Though, I do still use the pie crust recipe I learned in Home Ec... so I guess it wasn't TOTALLY useless!)
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 8 years
Come to think of! I thought Home Economics was just a fancy way of saying 'Cooking Class'
geebers geebers 8 years
Hm I never took home ec -but wish they taught it.
chipjimi chipjimi 8 years
Besides the pillow making and the occasional cookie baking, the only economic thing I was taught was how to write a check and balance a checkbook.
vanessasworld vanessasworld 8 years
All I learned was how to make jenky cinnammon rolls, pizzas and ugly boxer shorts, none of which has been the slightest bit useful to me in my adult life.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
Home Ec was mandatory for everyone in 7th and 8th grade. We also learned about healthy foods and nutrition facts and what to look for in ingredient's lists; things like that. In 12th grade, it was required to take a Government & Economics class which focused a lot more on finances from a global stand-point but also taught us: -how to shop (what exactly "25% off" means; markup and promotional pricing was explained -how to make a budget (this time a bit more grown up) and then being given purchasing situations where we had to choose which would fit into our budget better. Along with how economics effects our country's economy, etc etc. //went to a public school in ny
supercoolnat supercoolnat 8 years
All that I remember are cooking and sewing. Learning to sew a button was definitely the most practical part of the class for me. I don't remember any money stuff, but then again maybe that's because it wasn't as fun or interesting as watching the boys try to cook and sew ;) .
lawchick lawchick 8 years
wow, I don't think they offer home ec in our private or public schools in Mississippi. I know they didn't at my private school, and I never heard of any of my friends from other schools taking it. I think the class like TidalWave took is a great idea, though! What grade are these classes usually in?
sonya-ina sonya-ina 8 years
You're right Deidre -- I transferred from a public to a Catholic school and they had no such class. Luckily I had the class while I was still in public school. However, I really didn't learn a thing, ha!
Deidre Deidre 8 years
Yeah, Catholic school doesn't really truck with this home ec nonsense...never took a class!
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 8 years
All I remember is cooking and sewing. This was a mandatory class for guys and girls in the 7th-8th grade. I did take a personal finance class in HS and learned about budgeting and writing checks.
cassedy04 cassedy04 8 years
tidal wave - we did something similar - we were paired up with a "husband" and we were responsible for finding jobs and buying a car - or figuring out how to get to work without a car (i made my husband ride a bike!) and buying a house... we learned how to write out checks and everything too.
Angela123 Angela123 8 years
we learned how to sew cow pillows. thats it. absolutely nothing even close to useful.
sonya-ina sonya-ina 8 years
Not a darn thing about economics was uttered in my home ec class. Hmph!
psychobabble psychobabble 8 years
I made boxer shorts too, mine lasted for a couple years before I wore them out!
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
wow. We definitely had a lot of money management lessons in our home ec classes. We learned how to make a budget and write out checks. We even had "Godette Bucks" (the teacher's name) that was fake money we were all given every week like a paycheck for doing homework assignments and such. You could use that money to purchase "free homework passes" (to get out of doing a homework) but you also had to pay "bills" every week; and we were graded by how well we stuck to our budget. We even had to write out fake checks to pay the fake bills. We also had a whole section of learning how to sew; guys and girls; mandatory. I know a lot of home ec classes don't do this anymore which is pretty sad and frightening. We all had to complete a project of making a pair of pj/boxer shorts. And then of course we had the food part; but that just for a few weeks along with everything else as well - definitely not the focus of the entire class.
psychobabble psychobabble 8 years
I remember learning to iron, cross stitch, and wash dishes! My partner was better at cooking than I was, so I did the dishes. Funny, that's how it works with my husband now. I wish there had been some economics, I would have found that helpful and interesting.
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