What is home economics?
You have probably heard the term ‘home economics’. If you are still in school, you most likely have it in your curriculum. But have you ever wondered what the meaning of home economics is? Do you actually know the definition of home economics? Today, we will give you the home economics definition and tell you about the areas of home economics, as well as how to apply it to your life.
What is home economics
Home economics, also known as family and consumer sciences, is a field of education, which concerns itself with management and economics of the community and home. Although it was mostly meant for girls and young women, these days, all genders are involved in home economics classes.
Other names that are used for this subject are domestic economy, human sciences and home science. The subject went from being compulsory to being an elective; some countries got rid of it altogether.
Even though many countries still use the term ‘home economics’, other states decided to change the name of the subject to family and consumer sciences. This way, the name reflects the whole scope of what this subject covers. And that is exactly what we are going to talk about in the next section.
Branches of home economics
The scope of home economics covers seven main branches:
★ Cooking. Home economics lessons teach children and young people what to do in the kitchen: from setting the table to baking cookies and cakes. In home economics, kids can learn about the food’s nutrition value, the proper rules of etiquette and ways of handling kitchen equipment.
★ Child rearing. Back in the day, young girls were taught how to raise children from birth to early adolescence. Today, child development has developed into a separate field, but the basics are still taught in home economics.
★ Community awareness and education. This branch of home economics provides the basic knowledge on how to live in a community. Additionally, students can learn about morality and ethics in these lessons.
★ Design and home management. In these lessons, young people receive lessons on interior and exterior design, as well as learn how to take care of their homes (i.e. how to clean and organise).
★ Textiles and sewing. Home economics teaches kids how to embroider, sew, crochet, and do all kinds of things with different kinds of threads and fabrics. Young people can learn how to make their own clothes, elements of décor or accessories.
★ Economics and budgeting. As one of the most essential elements of home economics, these lessons are meant to teach children how to spend money wisely and how to get the best out of their financial situation. It is one of the most important things that can be used later in life.
★ Hygiene and health. These lessons are supposed to teach young kids how to take care of their own hygiene and health, as well as how to care for their sick relatives. This branch is rarely in use, but you can still find the remnants of it in some home economics programmes.
Importance of home economics
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After talking about different branches of home economics, it would make sense to talk about why all of them are important. There are five main ways in which home economics classes are important:
☆ Lessons on safety. Not all parents teach their kids how to deal with sharp or hot objects around them. That is why it is important that children learn it somewhere. In their lessons on cooking or sewing, home economics teachers are responsible for teaching their students how to deal with knives, hot stoves, needles etc. Additionally, kids can learn how to prevent and deal with dangerous situations at home.
☆ Learning proper nutrition. Even though it is not exactly explicit, home economics teach children the importance of proper nutrition. In the cooking lessons, teachers give kids some information on the nutritious qualities of the food they are cooking. In addition, many teachers implement topics of healthy eating habits in their lessons.
☆ Useful life skills. Home economics is one of the most useful lessons taught in schools. While other subjects focus on theory and things that most of us will never use, home economics give useful tips on how to deal with everyday things. Not many people need to use Pythagorean Theorem, but everyone needs to know how to cook, clean and pay bills.
☆ Living in a community. As many people go to colleges and universities after school, they need to be able to coexist with other people in small spaces of their dorms. In school home economics, they can learn how to share responsibilities with roommates.
☆ Knowing how to be a good parent. Even if you do not plan to have kids, it is still important to learn how to deal with them. One can always use this knowledge to take care of younger siblings, friends’ children, or work in the child care sector.
Careers in home economics
Home economics is not only a school lesson you like to skip. It is also a viable career opportunity. People who choose to study home economics can find a job virtually in any field. Below, you can find some ideas on who you can work as after studying home economics.
Home economics graduates are always welcome in education. They can choose to work in schools or even in universities (if they have the required qualifications). However, teaching is not limited to schools. Non-profit organisations and community programs can also be great work places for home economists.
The fashion industry is full of people who excelled at home economics. The skills learned in those lessons can be applied to designing and sewing fashionable outfits. The interior and exterior design scene is also an appropriate career opportunity.
Service industry is always in need of workers, and home economics prepares people that are just right for it. They know how to cook and clean and also how to deal with all kinds of customers.
People who studied home economics have plenty of other career options. However, the ones we mentioned above are the most appropriate and popular.
Now you can define home economics on your own and decide whether you need it or not. If you ask us, we think home economics are important for everyone, as they teach us practical skills we can use later in life. However, the choice is yours, and we hope that our information helps you figure things out.
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