Book Reviews · Family · Just my Thoughts

Home Ec – Book Review

Back in the day – and this will date me, girls took home ec in junior high and high school and boys took shop.  Now, I am not so old that there were not a few boys in home ec and a few girls, like myself, in shop.  Fast forward to my own children and they have all taken a course called home and careers – ten weeks each year during middle school so almost a full school year of classes.  On top of that, most families have two bread winners so the household chores are not getting done as they use to be done.


Let me ask.  If you have a child in college, have you ever gotten that call about how to do laundry? How to get a stain out? How to fix the hole put in the wall to hang something? Or better yet, the first month or two out on his or her own, the call comes asking how to stop the toilet from running all the time.  I usually joke about having finally found a running partner but that is not the answer.


The answer is to provide these young adults with the knowledge to survive and thrive on their own.  While I do not mind the phone calls from my adult children – whether living on their own or in college, I know that there are times when I am not available.  There are also issues that are easier to deal with if you are at the location in person.  In steps Heather Solos and her new book Home-Ec 101: Skills for Everyday Living.


The first thing I think is great about this book is the way it is organized.  There are four main sections: Clean It, Wash It, Cook It and Fix It.  These cover the four areas that I get the most questions on from my adult children.  I do not think I get these questions because I am tending to their every need when they live at home.  I have not ever been that mother that does everything for her children.  I want successful adults.


Even though my own mother has sent my adult children sewing kits, I will get the questions about how to sew that button back on to a favorite shirt or pair of pants.  While  not a permanent solution, Home-Ec 101: Skills for Everyday Living has easy instructions for sewing on that button.  There are also instructions for fixing a frayed button hole which tends to happen.  Truthfully, this is an area that I never spent time with my kids practicing.  If a button needed to be sewed back on, chances were we were all heading out the door and I did the sewing so we could get going.


I strongly suggest that Home-Ec 101: Skills for Everyday Living become a standard gift for those graduating high school or college and moving out into the “real” world alone.  The information in it is practical and needed by most young adults.


5 thoughts on “Home Ec – Book Review

      1. One of my favorite things we made in Home Ec was a duffle bag. I made a camoflauge one and it lasted about ten years before it gave up the ghost. Not bad for a Jr. high kid!

  1. I also recall “home ec” though I resented it. My mother taught me to sew, I sucked at cooking til I was in my 30s (but I could make a sandwich and scrambled eggs), and frankly, I was envious of the boys who got to make things in shop.

    That said – I agree with you that there is a surprising amount (we don’t even realize) that our kids don’t learn to do – once taught in school, and often, with no time for us to teach them at home.

    Basic life skills to take care of themselves? You bet. They need them. (And I still need a few…)

    1. I took shop one year – not sure if it was the making “things” or the class full of boys that attracted me.

      I am with you, BLW, on still needing a few basic life skills myself.

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