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

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

Old 03-07-2014, 09:06 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Bellevue, WA
Posts: 73

I have no idea if it is taught around here - I don't have kids, and I didn't grow up around here so have no connections to the schools. I suspect that it is still offered at the small rural Idaho school I attended in the '70s though (I graduated in 1980).

HE was not a requirement when I was in school though, even back then, and I never took it. The school was so small that many of the non-academic classes were offered during the same period so you had to pick your classes based on what was most important to you. I was in things like band and drama, which I believe were at the same time as HE. I also just didn't feel the need to take it, because I learned that stuff at home. I was first taught to sew by a friend's mom when I was about 6. Her mom sat down with me, her and her little sister (one year younger) and taught us with a little project - we used some of her scraps of really glitzy fabric to make little clutches. Such a funny project for kids our age, but it was super easy, and it made us feel really grown up, so it was actually perfect! And my grandmothers both sewed, and my mom did a little, so I always had access to a machine. I joined 4-H when I was old enough, and learned more sewing there (Junior High age or so). So by the time I was in HS, and could take HE, I had been sewing for a while. I sewed a lot of my clothes in HS and college. Back then, it was often because I could have a really cool outfit that I wouldn't have been able to afford otherwise (things are different now, when it comes to cost!).

My brother, who was 3 years ahead of me in school, took a boys HE class called Bachelor Living. They sewed a t-shirt and a beanbag frog. I think he enjoyed it, but has never done any of that since. However, my mom is trying to get rid of stuff, and suggested to me recently that she might give him one of the sewing machines. I wouldn't be surprised if he took her up on the offer. (I am going to lobby for her giving me the old treadle machine and he can have the other one.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:44 PM
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Location: Texas
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Stevensgirl, thats where the bug hit me. I'm not sure about the home ec classes anymore but here in south Texas the big thing is the Livestock rodeo, where the kids enter livestock or canned goods to quilts ect. When my grand daughter almost 13yrs gets to high school I am encouraging her to enter quilts, she is learning it from me while I am teaching myself & I'm proud to say she is better than I am, just using my scraps!
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Old 03-08-2014, 03:33 AM
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"Also here's something I never learned until it was too late. Get a life insurance plan that's not tied to your work. When you are diagnosed with a life threatening illness one of the first things to go is often your job. If all your insurance is thru work, it's gone. rodney"

Rodney, so true!! I scream at this so called "healthcare" issue in that it has always been available to buy on your own. As a society, we have been brainwashed into thinking that the employer is the only one who has access to it and that EVERYTHING should be paid for.oh, you pay for it one way or another. In the past 25 years, I have often purchased catastrophic insurance coverage on my own (between jobs, commission only sales job, etc.) and just Paid out of pocket for my office visits, mammo, PAP, etc. It was CHEAPER that way vs. high monthly premiums to "cover" them. I wanted coverage for the expensive "what if" event. Sheesh! Now we have a fat mess on our hands!

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Old 03-08-2014, 03:56 AM
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Location: Indiana
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Wonderful! I believe Purdue in West Lafayette, In. has more students again than in the past. There has to be teachers trained for schools to reinstate the programs.
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Old 03-08-2014, 05:14 AM
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Location: NW Illinois
Posts: 561

Our schools dropped all classes in those areas and put something called HESH in their place. This is a course for 7th grades. They get 9 weeks of shop, they use the saw to cut out a large key shape and then attach cup hooks to use a key holder. They learn to work with acrylic to make a back scratcher. The third poject is a wooden plaque with name and house number on it. The other 9 weeks they use 3 weeks to make a zippered pillow case and to learn to "cook". My children were very disappointed because the cooking involved making cinnamon toast and making mini-pizza on flattened biscuit dough. The school is now considering dropping this due to liability insurance costs.
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Old 03-08-2014, 06:22 AM
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Location: Michigan
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Reading all your posts .... so sad that some of you didn't like your HE classes. I didn't take HE in high school because being college-prep, there wasn't time for it. But I did get my college degree in HE and taught it for many years. I hope I wasn't one of those hated HE teachers. I do keep in touch with some of my old students after all these years, so I know that some of them liked the classes. I did have many come back after being in college... to thank me for teaching what they needed to survive.

The school district that I taught in started dropping HE classes with the excuse that they were too expensive to maintain all the equipment and 4-H was offered in our area so kids could learn everything by joining 4-H. I didn't buy it. They dropped it because of insurance.... what if someone got a needle in their finger or burned themselves on the stove. That never happened in all the classes I taught but one by one, the classes became fewer and fewer. And, to be honest, HE was discouraged for anyone except the problem students or the disabled..... sad.

So, I when I went back to get my master's degree, I chose physics and taught college bound physics my last 7 years. The problem for me was that parents thought that a HE teacher couldn't possibly have enough brains to teach physics. Well, wake up. I had brains and skills...... and again, I had students that went to college with physics for a major. I keep in touch with some of those students, as well.

I think I heard that only 1 college in Michigan offers a major in HE (now it's called FACS). Correct me if I'm wrong. And I had no trouble getting a HE teaching job in NC a few years back because there aren't many qualified teachers out there. Again, they hire people that say they know how to sew or.... anybody can cook, can't they?

So, I still 'teach' HE to friends, and my great-granddaughters. I think it's a shame that people have such a low opinion of the skills that are taught in HE. And, as my tailoring master once told me, if young people don't learn these skills, they will be lost.
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:05 AM
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I took Home Economics in high school for two years in the late 60's, half the year was sewing and half was cooking. I learned a lot and have been sewing and cooking since then. Love it.
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:07 AM
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My son took Home Ec. in high school in the '80's where he learned to cook. He is a Chef today.
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Old 03-08-2014, 03:24 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
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My daughters middle school (south Texas) has home ec and she's in the advanced class, which is apparently not easy to get into. The high school doesn't have home ec, but they have FCCLA (used to be Future Homemakers of America) and she debates that. Otherwise they have various "endorsements" they can do. Everything from Fashion design, Medical technologies, and she's signed up for STEM. It's not compulsory (son refuses to do any of them, he'll have a "regular" diploma) but it helps prep them for future careers/colleges and so forth.

Anyway, she entered the county fair here a few weeks ago and out of five things she submitted, all but one won a blue ribbon for first or second. She liked it, but she isn't sure she would do it again. The Advanced Home Ec class is required to enter the county fair (the five items) on top of their other projects.She felt a bit of pressure and thinks she just wants to hang out with me and make stuff she likes/wants to make, when she wants to make it. I'm ok with that

That said, both of my kids have had some sort of Home Ec type class (they ran through all the electives during the 6th grade in my sons old school so they could decide what they liked and pick one or two when they got to 7th grade) but they've learned the bulk of what they know from me. I was bound and determined to not end up with those fresh young adults who leave the house and are at a loss to even make themselves a meal that didn't come from a box or flying out a drive through window.
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:14 AM
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Location: Michigan
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I loved Home Ec so much that I went to college for a Home Economics education degree! That was in the 70s. My mother sewed so I was sewing doll clothes when I was quite young. By the time I took my first home ec class in 8th grade while everyone else was making an apron (which I did, too) I made a a jumper, matching plaids and putting a zipper in. Home Ec in grade and high school helped feed my love of sewing, now quilting and also cooking. It's a lost art these days.
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