Beyond the Classroom Learning Lessons for Life in High School

An old Chinese proverb states, “Give a man a fish, and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and feed him for a lifetime.” Today America is in national debt up to $8,753,873,507,413.21! Over 14.3 million people (mostly single women with children) live on welfare or in poverty. Prostitution, though illegal, is prevalent in major cities such as New York City and Atlanta. The distribution of drugs among minors has skyrocketed since the last decade. Unemployment has risen to an all-time high of 7.7 million people! Where is America, land of freedom and opportunity?

Many would call these people the lower class of America. However, these are former classmates. In truth, few students realize the effect school has on the future until it is too late, and willingly do poorly in academics. Once out in the real world, these same people now have no education, no skills, and (seemingly) no hope. This terrible cycle can be stopped if Home Economics were made mandatory for all high school students.

The Home Economics course can cover nearly every aspect of adulthood. In the course students learn how to cook, clean, sew, budget, be responsible parents, and be successful adults. So many students leave high school with book sense but no common sense. Yes, you can find the derivative of n’ squared, but you cannot feed yourself. It all starts in the home. Numerous problems can result from the inability to support oneself; for example, obesity can result from fast food, which does not always involve restaurants but includes microwavable foods.

One might argue that these skills should be taught at home or should just be a choice, not a mandatory class. However, many (too many) have made the wrong choice. Health classes are mandatory because many were ignorant of health issues like abstinence or sexually transmitted diseases, and that ignorance cost them their lives and still is costing lives. How equally important is knowing how to maintain in the household especially when it concerns not only yourself but also your children?

Evidence literally screams out from the streets. Will ‘Uncle Sam’ take the initiative and instil these precious values into the lives of  children in the future? It is time for students to be encouraged to use their hands as well as their minds, or both will perish. It all starts in the home; that is, Home Economics.