I took both. I think they are great.
1. They provide functional living skills. Honestly, many kids cant sew on a button, hem a line, change a spare tire, top off the oil in the car, or cook a simple meal. They also lack nutrition information to make wise choices. It also is a fantastic way to practice living skills under the eye of a teacher (vs parent).
2. Those classes often lead kiddos to explore careers like chef, seamstress, fashion design, car mechanic, etc. Many kids today dont get as much exposure to those careers- the classes provide a good fundamental outlook on them.
3. They provide a 'non-academic' class that some students may appreciate. Some student struggle with academics and those classes really give them something to do 'with their hands'. It is a great way for ALL students to see that each one of us has different talents/interests/skills.
If they are not required- they are an elective. If they are required- there still should be room in the students schedule to take 1-2 electives. Some of it may depend on the year (188.8.131.52). I was able to be in Band and take French in addition to my required classes the entire Middle School.
If you feel your DC has these skills already, you could try to bypass them. But as I posted- I think a lot of these skills is something that all students need rudimentary exposure to AND they are great subjects to learn alongside your peers.
Many areas are attempting to have high school students take a personal finance class since so many college students struggle with balancing bills, etc.
Edited by KCMichigan - 9/6/11 at 11:08am