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Thread: Home ec sewing classes..do schools offer these anymore?

  1. #26
    dd
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    Super Member dd's Avatar
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    No Home Ec here either. I was quite accomplished by the time I took home ec in middle school in the 70's. My teacher told me I couldn't make the pattern I had chosen because it was too difficult. It was a long (maxi) jumper with the ruffle from the waist over the shoulder and down to the waist in the back. I told her I could do it and I would show her I could do it. I made it, put yellow wide rickrack on that ruffle and the ruffle on the bottom, the jumper was black cotton. That's all I could afford in middle school, had to buy my own things. Got an A, wore it many times with a red calico peasant top and still have them both.
    I currently teach a 12 yr old girl at church and have had others, mostly adults, who say they want to come but never show up. I'm happy with my one student. She's very good.
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  2. #27
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    I don't have kids, so no idea - but, when I was in high school, about a million years ago in the late 60's, we had Clothing 1 and II. I learned so much in those classes and remember the teacher very fondly. Made a coat - bound buttonholes, welt pockets, lining, padding stitches through the shoulders - completely tailored. I don't sew that way any more, and doubt that many home sewers do, but I loved it. Now I think twice before even setting in a sleeve.

  3. #28
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    I took home ec in the late 80's, but I don't know if it's still offered. It was a strange class...half of the year it was home ec and the other half of the year it was shop. Very interesting mix of people in that class! I learned how to sew, make jam, and run a jigsaw. LOL

  4. #29
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    I think there's still some form of home ec offered in our district, but I'm not sure. However, considering the number of people these days (particularly girls) who cannot even boil water, let alone cook a simple meal, I think it should be a required course! Let's not even discuss the sewing bit (which was a disaster for me in my own home ec course). What about the basics like cooking rice, peeling potatoes and using an oven and/or stove?

    I'm always so shocked to hear people say they don't cook. I'd bet you that more than half the folks I know don't cook a meal three times a week. Since both myself and my husband cook - and cook very well - this whole concept of not knowing how to cook is completely foreign to me. I'd get so sick of eating out all the time!

  5. #30
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    Nothing here either. My mother insisted that all of us learned to sew so she taught us at home. In the 70s when I was in school sewing was offered at the 8th grade level. In the 90s when my daughter was in school nothing. No shop for the boys either but we had sports!
    I plan to teach each of my granddaughters to sew when they are a little older. They both like to watch me now.
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  6. #31
    Super Member AngeliaNR's Avatar
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    I took Home Ec in the 70s, too. I remember hating it! I already knew how to cook and sew, and it seemed that the teacher made it so much more complicated than it needed to be! I do agree, however, that a life skills course is needed in school--many students don't have the experience needed in the real world for planning, shopping, and preparing food; for basic sewing; for household budgeting; etc. It would, of course, be best learned at home as a real-world skill, but in many cases, that just doesn't happen.
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  7. #32
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    I agree with Scratchie and Angela. I'm not sure what high school teaches these days but many recent graduates seem to have no life skills whatsoever. I hope they have good jobs because the cost of either eating out or buying all prepared foods is astronomical.

  8. #33
    Senior Member PlanoDebbie's Avatar
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    I have worked in a Texas High School for the past 12 years. In our state it wasn't really budget cuts that have eliminated Home Ec classes. In our state, it was the fact that with a state of this size we only have maybe one or two college grads each year who are certified to teach Home Ec. Our state requires all teachers to be highly qualified and certified to teach their classes. Since the odds are not in our favor to actually hire and keep a qualified teacher, we had no choice but to eliminate the classes.

  9. #34
    Junior Member libby2595's Avatar
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    i guess it depends on the school district.

    i went to school in the los angeles area. i took "home ec" in the 7th grade... sadly, all we did was read
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  10. #35
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    according to my daughter who lives in NE Maryland both boys and girls get terms for sewing at least (they usually make a pair of shorts). She didn't know about shop for my DGD so I "suggested" she might demand shop if she has any interest. In my time back in the mid sixties girls had home-ec, boys had shop no exceptions. I'm glad to see anything in the school that will teach life skills. It's pitiful how many can't make change without a cash register.
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  11. #36
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    67 and havn't had a class in cooking or sewing yet!

    My kids had a year of something long the lines of domestic technology. one 9 wk. period of wood shop with some stained glass. 9 weeks of sewing. 9 wks of gardening and such. And I think the last 9 weeks was elective. Kid took "hunter safety" as her healt course. That was few years ago (junior high)
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  12. #37
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Quilter View Post
    In our district, yes, there is still a version of 'home ec'. It's called domestic somethingorother if I'm not mistaken. There is a term of sewing; one cooking; not sure what else is involved. I don't think it's quite the same as you and I remember but it is somewhat close. In the sewing portion I know they all make the same string bag. The only creativity involved is your fabric selection. When I had home ec, we could select any garment project we wanted. Still have nightmares about the teacher taking out the bazillion pins I had in the neckline of a garment I wanted to sew differently than the pattern called for. I ended up walking out of that class and blasting the teacher in the hallway. My mother was horrified that I flunked that class that term. At least I waited until the last term of the school year and had aced all the previous terms so overall, it didn't matter.

    As an aside and result of that outburst, all of my fellow female (the only gender the class was offered to at the time - late 60's) students refused to take the home ec class the following year. We all demanded to take 'shop'. The school determined they could not deny us, but at that point made it mandatory for the male students to then be required to take home ec. Who knew I was a rebel! And a feminist!
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  13. #38
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    When I talk to folks, it seems those who took the shop and Home Ec classes learned NOTHING, if they didn't already knwo a good bit of it from home.
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  14. #39
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    I think that is wonderful sewing is essential for both

  15. #40
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    In our district, we have classes called "________ and consumer science". Both boys and girls take it, cook and sew. One grade makes a pillow from a nine-patch pattern and a stuffed animal. I don't know what else. They also have a family section for which they have to carry an egg around for at least a week. They have requirements about what they have to do for the "baby". They all seem to enjoy the various parts of the class and are proud of their products when they sew. Although it is a class offered in the school where I work, I am so busy, I really do not know details about it. I will have to find out more about it.

  16. #41
    Power Poster solstice3's Avatar
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    They cut it out in my district years ago. It is a shame as many students get no basic instructions in cooking at home beyond stick it in the microwave and sewing ...it isn't happening! I know there is a need for advanced academic classes but we need to teach them basic survival skills

  17. #42
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    as sad as it is, most schools do not offer a Home Ec class... I know they say budget cuts and money were the reason, but honestly, I have retained more from my Home Ec experience than I ever did from Trigonometry and use more of the lessons taught in home ec than I need today from my science class where we dissected frogs...

  18. #43
    Super Member Amythyst02's Avatar
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    Not offered here anymore ... that I am aware of. My granddaughter starts high school next year, but did not have any sewing related classes in Jr. High. My grandson graduated from HS a few years ago and I do not remember him taking shop or anything like that, and I am sure he would have if it were offered. I sure wish they did offer these things, they need them in their everyday lives. I am not sure they teach typing anymore either...even if it is a computer etc, typing is pretty handy to know...
    Amythyst

  19. #44
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    Our district has a Home Ec type of class in 7th grade. I helped the neighbor girl pick out the items last year before school started. In the sewing portion, they make a pair of cotton boxer shorts.
    I remember home ec in junior high in the mid 80's. My mom taught me to sew much earlier for 4-H sewing projects. I recall the home ec teacher getting a little exasperated because I kept zipping through all the assignments while my classmates were still working on the first couple of seams.

  20. #45
    Junior Member NanaCindyLou's Avatar
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    I took Home Ec in the late 60's and absolutely HATED the sewing. I didn't touch a sewing machine for another 40 years! Finally realized that I didn't have to sew clothing, bought a nice basic machine, decided to give myself a break and just have fun. I have had so much fun (and of course, some blood, sweat & tears). LOL

  21. #46
    Junior Member IraJane's Avatar
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    I was a Home Ec. teacher for 31 years, retiring 10 years ago this spring, first at a jr-sr high school and then at the middle school with 5th thru 8th graders. The high school had a really strong program with not only a couple years of foods and sewing classes that could be taken for 4 years, but consumer science, housing, marriage, parenting, etc.... classes. My 5th graders learned to use the machine and made a pocket wallhanging that hung on the inside of their lockers. 6th graders made a drawstring bag that most used for gym clothes. 7th graders did mostly food from scratch but also had a second class that was community service. The 7th and 8th graders worked in groups to make small pieced quilt tops, that we backed with fleece and tied, for kids we donated to Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis. The regular 8th grade class made a zippered gym bag. Once state wide testing got a grip on schools, they stressed those core subjects that were being tested. I worked hard to especially reinforce math at every opportunity. One of my main goals was to help children gain confidence in the area of "life". As long as I was teaching at the middle school and the high school had a trained teacher, the program at our high school continued to be strong. When that teacher left, they were unable to find a qualified teacher. Once that happened the program there was slowly dying. Once I retired and was not replaced with a qualified teacher, the middle school program died. I believe at some point future generations will again see the importance of strengthening families. My principal was in a discussion with other principals at a meeting when one questioned why we were still teaching skills since everyone eats out now. My principal's answer was in support of my program and "teaching" so they know how.

  22. #47
    Junior Member IraJane's Avatar
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    We still have several schools in Indiana that continue to teach "life" skills......under the umbrella of Family and Consumer Science.

  23. #48
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    Some do - some don't. It's called Family and Consumer Science (FACS) now. Our middle school has it , but it has changed dramatically from when I was in school. There's cooking and a little bit of hand sewing, and clothing design and home dec all done on a computer. High school FACS is an elective and if the student is college-bound, there's no room in the schedule to take it. I'm surprised that basic living skills like those taught in home Ec. aren't considered important enough to continue, while taking a foreign language ( which I've never used outside that classroom) is.
    Last edited by quiltmom04; 03-07-2014 at 05:11 AM.

  24. #49
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    Our local schools do offer Home Ec, however, like most classes today, you have to pay for the class.

  25. #50
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    None in our area so the kids can neither cook nor sew, have no idea how to keep house or balance a checkbook unless the parents intervene. some of our grandkids live on fast foods, boxed mixes, etc. Makes me sad to think about the creativity they are missing. The shop classes are gone too so they don't know how to change oil or hang a picture. Sad!

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