Home Economics 101

When I was little, my mom would ask me if I wanted to help her in the kitchen. I would always respond with a flat “NO”. As I got to be a teenager she would ask me if I wanted to help bake cookies, and my response was still no. At one point she asked me how I was going to learn to cook and bake and I said that when I need to I will. I think that she was a little concerned and I am sure disgusted with me. Well, I was right. I was forced to cook sometimes for myself when I was in my late teens. I did take home economics in high school and quite frankly I don’t think that it helped much. When I married I needed to learn in a big hurry because my hubby didn’t cook. The only thing that he did was grill and heat up spaghettio’s in the microwave, yuck! We didn’t have a stove/oven for the first 3 years of our marriage because we didn’t have the room. We had a hot plate, microwave, crockpot and an electric skillet to cook with. My mom did give me a cookbook for a wedding gift and I used a lot of recipes out of that book. I turned out some pretty darn good meals in that little kitchen. I was impressed with myself since I never did learn with my mom. Granted I did call her a lot for advice sometimes, and there are times that I still do but it goes without saying that you can learn to cook if you have to. Now I cook, bake, can our own food and I haven’t killed anyone yet!

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When I think back to home ec in school, I think that they should have taught us more than they did. We would only have it for one semester and they tried to cram sewing, cooking, baking. and child care in that short period of time. It was a required class so that meant everyone had to take it. There was no learning how to balance a checkbook, how to read a bank statement, pay bills, even how to sort and wash laundry. If you were a child that had parents that never showed you these things then you were out of luck. The sewing that they taught us was done on a sewing machine. I feel that everyone should at least know how to sew a button on a shirt.

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In this economy, and in my humble opinion, I think that schools should be teaching kids how to live on a budget and how to balance their checking accounts. This could be beneficial for everyone. I know that parents should be teaching the children, but in reality some parents don’t know how to do this themselves.

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Let’s face it, we all have to learn at some point in our lives how to cook and do many other things around our home. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would be doing all that I do now. I even took up needlework when we were first married. I started with little things then I moved onto making pictures.

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Not everyone will want to learn needlework, but knowing the basics of cooking would be handy to know. Does everyone want to learn how to buy in bulk? What about cooking from scratch? Then there is the darn sweeper belt that just broke when you ran it. Knowing how to take care of a home, the money that comes in and out of it, and the people that live in it can take some thinking on your part.

In this age of technology we do have an advantage to looking things up on the internet. If we don’t know how to cook something we can google it. There are numerous blogs out there that can help us with many things that we might be interested in. Gardening, how to clean something and recipes can all be found on Pinterest as well. If the internet was around when I first got married, I know that it would have helped me a lot.

Taking care of a home doesn’t have to be daunting. Just enjoy who and what you have in your home and everything else will fall into place.

 

Beth

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Home Economics 101

  1. THANK YOU! I jave had this conversation a lot lately! After my SNAP challenege I realized how important even my limit knoweldge was in be sucessful on eating on such a limited budget! I never had a homeec class. I thank God daily for the internet. I am still stuggling with my new sewing machine. Wkth you tube videos blogs and phone calls I still am not able to get it right. My mom worked so I seldom saw her cook or was helping with other chores as she was a single mom for several years… I was fortunate to do some cooking with my great grandmother. However, I never learned to sew, repair anything, do laundry, etc. I believe homeec should be brought back and basic shop classes. My fiance is not able to do any home repairs. Patching a hole, hanging a hook, etc are things we were never taught. I have seen it be even worse for those younger than me.

    • When my children first got their checking account, I sat down with them and showed them what to do. That is when I decided that there should be a class in school that should be mandatory to pass in order to graduate. Here in the state of PA we have to pass a senior project, and some computer tests in order to graduate. I think that we should dump the project and have a class on the basics of life. My mom worked part time when I was growing up and she did a lot of baking on the weekends for my family of 6. My husband does most of our projects. If the car needs an oil change, he will change it. He does all of the “man” projects around here and has shown our children how to do some of them. I try to make my daughter cook, but she doesn’t seem interested. Maybe she will be like me lol. Glad you liked this post.

  2. A young relative got married and received pots/pans at the shower. The older women who were gathered crowed that she didn’t know what to do with them.

    How sad.

    I guess its left to the rest of us to fill in the gaps and mentor. I had a fairly extensive home ec experience in school, but I’m a it older and it was required that you either took home ec or shop class. Well, no girls took shop class then!! I don’t know what these women do that can’t thread a sewing machine. Or make applesauce from scratch.

    I think we’ve bred those skills out of our generations. Our grandmothers made pie from scratch. Our mothers used frozen pie crust and canned filling. My generation does frozen pies (uh I don’t!). I suspect the next group just heads to the ready-made bakery section rather than strain to turn on an oven.

    • My mom made most everything from scratch because my dad didn’t like frozen foods or most canned foods. My mom didn’t can her own foods though. Any canning that I have done, I learned through the internet or the Ball Blue Book of Canning and by word of mouth from others. But my mom did make some of our clothes and is a wiz at knitting and crocheting. I have snuggled many times under afghans that she made. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. This is a huge problem. It is part of my fiance and I’s fear of buying a home. If anything breaks we have to call someone. That makes it at least twice as expensive if not more. I am trying to learn, what I can a frugal skill a year. Cooking – I’ve gotten pretty good at this … taken over a year but I can make soups and sauces from nearly scratch. I still need canned goods – mostly because I am not able to grow any food living in a small apartment. Now, I am learning to sew and next year is canning and making jams and jelly…. I think canning and jams are similar. These may take more than one year but that is okay. It would have been nice to have had the basic skills and over the years making each one a bit better instead of learning each skill from nothing one by one. However in life you have to what you can with the hand your dealt … and being able to learn a skill is better than not being able to. I am very grateful for your blog and others like it that give advice and tips for cooking, cleaning, growing food, and other basic home ec type topics! As far as the check book – we had a project when I was in the 8th grade. We drew from a hat a career and then had to do the research to find out the average income. One we had that we had to, get an apartment, car, and such. One a week we got ‘paid’ and had a make shift check book to keep everything in. We had to write a check to the teacher for our rent, car payment, car insurance and such. It was the whole school year like this. Every now and again we had to pull an event from the hate. Getting married, having a child, car accident, fire, all types of things and they had an impact on the back some good some bad. However, we could use a ‘credit card’ to pay these- we never were told to save for these. What good is that? It didn’t matter if I wrote a check or put it on credit. It just meant I had to pay the credit card back. The project did not incorporate savings or budgeting. It was a great in concept but not done to the best it could have been. Also from 8th grade to my first checkbook was about 5 years. I barely remembered the details. I knew the adding and subtracting part but that was it. This topic really gets me heated. I feel we are failing the younger generations – and it started with mine. How can you be frugal when you don’t have the skills to do for your self?How do you keep a home in good repair if you can’t do basic repairs your self? – I’m not talking rewiring or all new plumbing – I am talking about changing a light fixture or the locks or changing the sink faucet. With cooking and sewing and such I am not talking cook 5 course meals 3 times a day. But knowing that rice and pasta can be used as extenders in meals. How to make soup and sauces in a slower cooker or from scratch, how to fix a popped seam on a shirt or putt on a button on… How to make some place mats from inexpensive fabric or curtains? easy box shapes. Of those I am only able to do some of the cooking things… forget the rest! Its a really shame!

    • Baby steps is the key, just like you are doing. You can’t jump in and learn ten things at once and expect to do them all perfect the first time. As far as being a homeowner, I think that the little things you could do on your own. There is so much info here on the internet that I am sure that you will find your answer. The big things like electric, plumbing etc, we do call a specialist. My hubby will do some plumbing, basic stuff like putting in a new faucet, but if we had a leak somewhere in a pipe and he couldn’t do it, we would be making a phone call. Have you ever read the book The Complete Tightwad Gazette? It is fantastic in learning how to save money and how to do things on your own. I learned so much from this book. Don’t let the small things stop you from buying your first home :).

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