Why Home Ec?

WinkIvy says:

I saw this post earlier today, and while the original poster was actually talking about something different than the rest of us thought, it did make me think. (It’s a dangerous pastime, I know)

Anybody ever read Dicey’s Song? When I was younger, I strongly identified with her hatred of Home Ec. My Home Ec class was completely useless, we learned to make croutons and I made a horrible pink sweatshirt that fell apart in no time.

Cue me about 5 years later attempting to run a household. I attempted to fry chicken and turned it black on the outside while it was still raw on the inside. I couldn’t figure out how to pay bills on time to save my life. I overspent on groceries and then starved at the end of the week. I threw away awesome shoes because I didn’t know how to repair them.

Yes, Home Ec was important. But my Home Ec classes didn’t teach the sort of thing I needed to know anyway, and my mom was too busy working to teach me much- not that I would have listened to her anyway.

Home Economics reduces your global footprint. When you can sew a button on a shirt instead of throwing it away, that’s Home Economics. When you can cook from scratch, you’re reducing packaging. When you can effectively budget, you’re not wasting money.

It’s important, and this site is both for all of you who grew up like me, uneducated in the ways of effectively running a household; and it’s for those of you seasoned pros who have great tips to add in the comments, and could pick up a new trick or two. It’s for women, it’s for men- young people and old people. It’s for the conservative Christian homeschooling moms and the childfree vegan godless hippies. Everyone can learn here, everyone can benefit. And all are welcome, even those who think this sort of stuff is not important, because they’ll learn. Oh, they’ll learn.

ETA: Blogarita and I were on the same wavelength, she wrote a great post about darn near the same thing. It’s great companion reading to this post, so go check it out.


  1. steve tiffany lamp on February 18, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I don't think schools do enough to teach young people how to look after
    themselves. They are being brought up to think it's ok to chuck things out at the first sign of damage.

  2. real estate properties on June 20, 2008 at 5:46 am

    nice blog..
    know what.. i love the subject home economics before, when i was in high school.

  3. Music City Bloggers » Blog Archive » MRS Degree on August 22, 2007 at 6:17 am

    […] Do It and Many Parts Are Okay As Long As They’re Left Arms and Let Me Back Up A Second and Why Home Ec Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and […]

  4. themomhalf on June 19, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    in college (late 80’s early 90’s) i minored in home economics, it no longer has anything to do with home economics (at least at Ball State University) but as follows:

    clothing and fabric care is now – fashion design, buying (as in being a buyer for a large retail chain), any retail sales involving fabric

    cooking and food is now — restaurant management, nutrition for the medical field

    home care is now — home design, decorating/interior design

    the folks at the county extension offices are getting their knowledge from other sources, ie the same places we get ours or they are older ladies who took home economics way back when it was still about caring for a home.

    one of my favorite books is: ‘Grandmother’s household hints’ (as good today as yesterday)
    by helen lyon adamson 1963 —– it is a compilation of much older home economic books

  5. Pam on June 19, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    Every state in the United States has a land grant college/university…..everyone of those trains home economics professionals…..their services are available (usually free or little charge) in every county. From cooking tips….sewing info… budgeting…childcare…nutrician…elder care….check out the one in your area. In the phone book under County Extension Office
    Pam, Indiana

  6. Taylor on June 19, 2007 at 10:20 am

    When I was a senior in High School, I was inadvertantly put into a home ec class as an elective (I was supposed to be put into a Literature and Film class, to give you a sense of what I was expecting). When I went to my adviser, a cantankerous old cur in his 70s, he actually said to me “you may not want to take it now, but one day your husband will sure be glad you did.” It is the only time in my life where I actually though I was capable of killing another human being.

    Despite my surly looks and frothing rage, I did end up having to take the class, and while I am thankful that I know what the differences between pie crusts made with lard, butter, and oil are, I still wish I had taken the literature class. It was a useless class.

  7. Angela on June 19, 2007 at 9:24 am

    I guess this is where schools leave something to be taught at home…I should have known all these things, with me being the second oldest of five, I should have know. It just is not my personality. I would get woken up at 6am to redo my cleaning chore that I did the night before because I did not do it right or to my parents standards. I still do not clean to my parents standards, but I am 180 miles aways from them now, so I could careless:) And the cooking part, my mom was a great cook and so was my older brother and younger sister, no need for me to cook:) I have learned my lesson on this one, I try to get all my kids involved in the cooking, yes even the 1yo. It usually turns out better with there help:) Lastly help with money, yikes…I have determined that there is no help for me…I miss living out of my means every day, it is sad I know, but the truth.

  8. Kara on June 19, 2007 at 9:07 am

    I think this is an awesome blog 🙂 I actually loved my home ec class, we learned to sew and cook, but it might’ve been helpful to teach us how to clean too lol.

  9. Heather on June 19, 2007 at 6:58 am

    I loved Dicey’s Song.

  10. Blogarita on June 19, 2007 at 7:52 am

    Great post Ivy. I put up something similar today, but I got a lot more wordy with it, while you got straight to the point.

  11. JimK on June 19, 2007 at 12:55 am

    I’m a 36 year old married guy who has been self-sufficient since age 15…but I learn something almost every day here.

    This blog ROCKS.