Help. My youngest two children begin middle school in 10 days, and I just received their schedules. They are both in “family and consumer science,” for which there is no description on the school Web site.
I looked at course descriptions at other schools around the country, including this one from Illinois: Students will learn basic sewing techniques, operate a sewing machine and complete a project. Students will have an understanding of the food pyramid and prepare simple nutritional foods.
Sounds like a souped-up home economics class to me.
As a former consumer reporter — I once wrote a column called “Check it Out” where I would test product claims — I think it is important to teach savvy consumer skills. I am just not sure 11-year-olds are the right audience as I think people become interested in consumer education when they become serious consumers.
I called my oldest who is about to start grad school in Washington. She recalls taking this class in middle school. The highlight, she said, was making Rice Krispies treats.
She contends that the class would be more valuable if it taught kids about writing checks and balancing checkbooks. I disagreed, questioning the value of teaching a practical skill that children aren’t ready to use in real life and won’t be for years. (It reminds me of getting training on new computer systems that I won’t be using for six months. When I finally have to sit down and do it, I have forgotten virtually everything I learned.)
I would love your views on family and consumer science and whether it’s valuable or a time waster, which I find is a problem in a lot of middle school offerings.