The dictionary describes Home Economics thusly: cooking and other aspects of household management.
Have you taught your children much about Home Ec lately?
This week's letter of the Alphabet is H, and for this working and homeschooling Mama, it brings to mind the blessing of having taught my girls about Home Ec from a young age!
Home Ec lessons started in our home when Emily was just over two years old. Before you find me at fault, realize that all she was required to do was pick up her toys... however, that is also when she started learning about the laundry. Em would "fold" the washcloths or match socks. Move ahead a couple years and Em had graduated to folding Daddy's handkerchiefs and hand towels. Then Arlene got to learn how to "fold" washcloths and match socks. I use the word fold loosely here because often, it just looked like a crumpled mess, but at least they were trying!
As time went on, the girls learned how to sort the laundry, how to fold or hang up all of it, and how to wash it ~ plus what all those care tags mean in their nicer clothes!
The girls also learned to cook. Now, I'll be honest here...one of them still doesn't like to cook, but she can do it. The other one, she enjoys it, especially baking. If you know them personally, it's not hard to guess which one is which. I will say though, the one who does not really enjoy cooking makes one of the best loaves of bread around!
Besides the obvious thoughts of teaching them how to cook and do laundry, what are other blessings we have found along this journey by teaching Home Ec? Well, how about those other household management tasks? Taking out the trash on time, planning a menu, knowing how to get the bathroom clean, learning to budget for clothing purchases, knowing when to plant and harvest vegetables and fruits, understanding how to dust and vacuum well. There are a lot of skills our daughters have acquired over the years.
Many times I've heard homeschooling Moms lament that they can't teach, make dinner, and keep the house clean all at the same time. That's true, you probably cannot, however I don't think God intended you to do it all alone! By taking the time to be your child's teacher in all things Home Ec (one task at a time,) you enable them to help you take on more of the responsibility of running the household themselves.
Over the past three years I have done very little of our household chores other than paying the bills and buying groceries. The girls have taken on the responsibility for most of the housework and cooking in order that I could spend the time I do have (besides working outside the home) each day doing something with them, whether it be going over a difficult math problem, or driving us all to the park for a hike. Now that Em has graduated, and is working a lot, Arlene has had to take on more of the cooking, Em takes her turns making dinner on the weekends.
One of the important jobs of a parent is to work themselves out of a job. You really DO want your children to grow up someday, and be able to move out on their own, or move out when they get married, and have the skills necessary to run their own household. Don't wait until their Senior year of High School to get to Home Ec. Start today, wherever you feel comfortable, and teach them one new skill at a time. Maybe someday you too will come home to fresh scones or dinner already made!
Linking up with Annette, Amanda, and a bunch of other friends for blogging through the alphabet!