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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Teaching Home Economics in the Homeschool

Why Teach Home-Ec? 
So many of us in our 30's & 40's did not benefit from the domestic training that our grandmother's received. Our very liberated mothers were busy pursing their American dream. So when I got married I was not ready to cook, clean or care for and educate children. That did not make any difference on the Lord's call on my life, the Lord is clear and my call is to my home. So we are actively and purposefully raising competent homemakers.

The second reason to teach Home-Ec and specifically cooking, is to work on your child's 'functional reading'. As defined by Ruth Beechick this is the child's ability to read and follow directions. One of our kids is an excellent reader but her functional reading needs some development.

How to teach Home-Ec:

To do this I have choosen to use a curriculum to meet this goal: Home Economics for Homeschoolers. I am using this for our Elementary and Jr. High age girls. When they finish the books or transition to High school I am planning on using Christian Lights  Home Economics. Another one I am considering is Far Above Rubies which is a 4 year unit study for high school age girls.

" to be discreet, chaste, homemakers," Titus 2:5
Far Above Rubies unit study for high school girls
 Many of you will engage in much less formal home economics education. A method that reflects your teaching and living style. We simply have a lot of kids and I do not want any of them to fall through the cracks! Plus I tend to do better with structure. Our final reason for teaching home ec. is that in, in a large family we all need to be able to pitch in and help out.

Parker, age 9 ,making oven fried chicken

When to teach Home-Ec?

Right now we are on Christmas break, so we have more time, and we are working diligently to work through the first book so the olders can move on to the second book. And we can master some basic skills taught in the first book. So far we've made through about a 1/3 of the 30 lessons. Most of these lessons can be taught in a day and then we can workon them trhough out the fall including learning to applicque & basic embroidery.

What happens when teaching....

Lesson 11: Oven Fried Chicken
Parker was abole to complete most of this on her own although I had to cut the leg and thigh pieces for her. The biggest issue we have with all of the children is their 'functional reading' , as Ruth Beechick would call it. Children in general and my children in particular,  do not read the directions and they fail to understand what to do after (being forced) to read directions. With all of the kids in order for them to be successful I have found that we need to read through the directions together and then discuss them. Otherwise they are unable to do it the first time.

Another suggestion I would have is to substitute in your family recipes for some of the ones in the book. For instance we have a specific oven fried chicken recipe we love. I will substitute it the next time this lesson is taught. As well as our salad recipe. I will continue to let them make the bottomless stew as the concept of peeling & cutting vegatables is the focus and the stew though basic is good. Just remember you own the curriculum it does not own you!  Paker already knows how to make veggies and mashed potatoes. She also learned how tomake our favorite rolls buttery bread rolls. The buttery rolls were doughy because the directions were not read carefully. Despite the errors, mostly my fault for not having her read the directions aloud and discuss, this meal however gets a big A+ as the first meal she made all by herself and she fed the entire family!


  1. Hi there! I enjoy reading your blog!

    I was at my mother in law's house for New Years and we looked at her yearbook from her senior year of high schoool. She was president of Future Homemaker's of America. She said that she took four years of Home Ec during high school. My mother in law is an excellent cook and can sew and her house is always clean. She credits her 4 years of home ec. I don't even think home ec was offered in my high school.

  2. Thanks Lori! I didn't take much home economics it seems like I may have taken a semester. Regardless I was unable to to manage a house when I became a wife. I think it's very sad that we deprive our children of home economics education which would make their lives easier. God Bless you!


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