Home ec class..necessary or not? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 60 Old 09-08-2011, 11:39 AM
 
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I still don't know how to do any of that stuff! You have super-kids, as far as I can tell. Maybe it's normal in your area, but I don't think my friends normally knew how to do things like that either. My younger siblings definitely don't.

 


Nope, I don't have super kids. When you have kids of your own, you'll see that kids learn through life just like adults do. If your own parents excluded you from daily life, well, that was their choice but a kid in a family who cooks together even once a week is going to pick-up enough to feed themselves when they leave home. I was no great gourmet when I left for college but took great joy in exploring in my own kitchen and had my mom in speed dial. I didn't pay attention to "real" cleaning and alternative products until I was your age and had a baby to look after. Still, I new how to clean my room and the bathrooms. I knew how to do dishes and I never took home ec. I'm sorry your mom didn't teach you about laundry and you didn't pick up how to iron your shirts but your in your 20's now... not so hard to read the instructions. People learn to build their own porches when they need too.. often when they price out professionals to do it lol. People usually learn to change tires after their first flat. It's easy to make up this knowledge.

 

You have to factor in complexity too. Learning a foriegn language as an adult can be incredibly hard compared to how a child would learn it. Exposure as a child actually wires your brain differenct and can cut years off the amount of study it takes to become fluent even if you choose not to master it until your 60 and plan that trip to Italy. Same with music. Learning how to make Mac and Cheese takes minutes. If you miss it as a child, well, it still only takes minutes to learn as an adult. Same with threading a needle. It's easy to have a friend show you if you miss it. Not so easy to get the math and art instruction needed should you decide to become an architect in your 20's but never took an art class and only did the bare minimum in math.

 

It's all perspective. Orchestra and music theory isn't useless to my family at all. We expect our kids to learn an instrument. It's broadening and enriching and plain old fun. My kids may not go into a tech or bio industry but if they don't do the math and science prep work, then they are limiting their options from the get go. Like I said, much harder to get these skills as an adult than as a child. 

 

Sounds like home ec is important to you and so by all means, sign those kids up when they get to that point... or, just include your kids in the daily running of your home... believe me, they'll pick-up as much as your average middle school home ec class has to offer.

 


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#32 of 60 Old 09-08-2011, 01:14 PM
 
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Nope, I don't have super kids. When you have kids of your own, you'll see that kids learn through life just like adults do. If your own parents excluded you from daily life, well, that was their choice but a kid in a family who cooks together even once a week is going to pick-up enough to feed themselves when they leave home. .

 


Ouch.















I never took home ec. My mom was a SAHM who did everything her way and had to be in complete control at all times. Therefore,when I left for college, I barely knew how to put a new roll of toilet paper on. Funny those things 18 year olds can learn in the first six months of moving out of mamas house. I learned to cook and clean and do laundry and change lightbulbs and sew buttons and put air in my tires. But let me tell you, I sure am glad I was required to take high school english. I wouldnt have traded that for home ec. You can always learn how to sew a button on. But really, after you are high school age, you arent too likley to be diagramming sentences in your spare time.
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#33 of 60 Old 09-08-2011, 01:35 PM
 
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Ouch.

 

 

It wasn't meant meanly... it's just the truth. You learn these things by being an active part of a household. It is a huge disservice for a parent to exclude their children from this part of life. A child isn't to be blamed because no one ever expected them to do their own laundry. Yes, I do see it as a real problem and only increases the entitlement issues younger generations are being saddled with. However, I'm a little tired of the public school system who is continually trashed and can barely afford to give a proper academic education be given yet ANOTHER task that should be taught at home.


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#34 of 60 Old 09-08-2011, 02:24 PM
 
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 However, I'm a little tired of the public school system who is continually trashed and can barely afford to give a proper academic education be given yet ANOTHER task that should be taught at home.


Home ec has been around for eons. My mother took it back in the 50s.

 

Heck, one of my kids learned to hammer nails last year at school. We don't build things, ever. And using a hammer hadn't come up for her. I'm glad for my kids to do different things at school. I think it's fine for other kids to learn things at school that mine learned at home.

 

(we cook here, but we do not build)


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#35 of 60 Old 09-08-2011, 03:06 PM
 
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Home ec has been around for eons. My mother took it back in the 50s.

 

Heck, one of my kids learned to hammer nails last year at school. We don't build things, ever. And using a hammer hadn't come up for her. I'm glad for my kids to do different things at school. I think it's fine for other kids to learn things at school that mine learned at home.

 

(we cook here, but we do not build)


I didn't say home ec was new lol... I'm in favor of having schools offer it. Already said that! I don't believe it should be graduation requirement which is what most of these posts are in favor of. I don't want to hear about the downfall of public education while simultaneously insisting that all kids learn how to sew aprons and make chicken casseroles.

 


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#36 of 60 Old 09-08-2011, 06:18 PM
 
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 Already said that! I don't believe it should be graduation requirement which is what most of these posts are in favor of. I don't want to hear about the downfall of public education while simultaneously insisting that all kids learn how to sew aprons and make chicken casseroles.

 



I haven't seen a single post saying that it ought to be a graduation requirement. I just see people saying it has value.


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#37 of 60 Old 09-08-2011, 09:20 PM
 
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I haven't seen a single post saying that it ought to be a graduation requirement. I just see people saying it has value.

 

Nope, I think we're all talking about it being a graduation requirement. At least I was. And I thought the OP was.

 

 

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Nope, I don't have super kids. When you have kids of your own, you'll see that kids learn through life just like adults do. If your own parents excluded you from daily life, well, that was their choice but a kid in a family who cooks together even once a week is going to pick-up enough to feed themselves when they leave home. I was no great gourmet when I left for college but took great joy in exploring in my own kitchen and had my mom in speed dial. I didn't pay attention to "real" cleaning and alternative products until I was your age and had a baby to look after. Still, I new how to clean my room and the bathrooms. I knew how to do dishes and I never took home ec. I'm sorry your mom didn't teach you about laundry and you didn't pick up how to iron your shirts but your in your 20's now... not so hard to read the instructions. People learn to build their own porches when they need too.. often when they price out professionals to do it lol. People usually learn to change tires after their first flat. It's easy to make up this knowledge.

 

Oh, I believe kids learn through life. I'm actually fairly sold on unschooling, so I'm coming at this discussion with strong doubts that any classes should be required. But if classes are going to be required, it should be based on which topics are most important for adult life, right?

 

And like I said, my parents "cooked" a lot of boxed food, so them involving me in daily life wouldn't teach me cooking. And it doesn't seem like my friends knew this stuff either, so I get the impression it's common for parents not to involve their kids in their life. And I'm not too happy that I had to spend 13 years sitting in school only to have to educate myself afterward! (This complaint goes beyond home ec.)

 

And like I said, I've tried sewing and I tried to make a table... and found out it's not super-easy to self-teach. Meanwhile, I don't recall learning any skills at all in English after eighth grade, except learning one correction to something I'd been taught incorrectly in earlier school years. (It was either review or exposing us to literature from the past. And being exposed to literature is one of those things that is more about "broadening and enrichment" than about life skills, and I personally don't believe in "broadening and enrichment" stuff to be required classes. Since all sorts of things can broaden and enrich you and there's no reason it has to via reading the scripts of 16th/17th century soap operas, when it could be music theory or art history or something instead.) And skills like finding the area of circle takes like 30 seconds each for someone to explain to you. So I disagree with the idea that home ec is less worthy of being a required class on the basis that its easier to self-educate. I'll agree art takes years of practice before you get anywhere, but art's not a required class, usually.

 

 

 

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I never took home ec. My mom was a SAHM who did everything her way and had to be in complete control at all times. Therefore,when I left for college, I barely knew how to put a new roll of toilet paper on. Funny those things 18 year olds can learn in the first six months of moving out of mamas house. I learned to cook and clean and do laundry and change lightbulbs and sew buttons and put air in my tires. But let me tell you, I sure am glad I was required to take high school english. I wouldnt have traded that for home ec. You can always learn how to sew a button on. But really, after you are high school age, you arent too likley to be diagramming sentences in your spare time.

 

You diagrammed sentences in high school English?! Diagramming sentences isn't really a life skill in itself, it just helps you understand grammar, so my school district never did it after like fourth grade.

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#38 of 60 Old 09-08-2011, 10:07 PM
 
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I don't object to Home Ec being a required course, but I kind of object to Home Ec, as it is. When I got to high school (we have K-7, then 8-12 system here, with no middle school), we had our required courses - English, Social Studies, Physical Education, Math, Science (think I'm missing something, but I can't think what) - plus two electives. But, the electives were limited. We had to choose either Home Ec or Industrial Education, plus one of Art, Drama, Choir or Band. But, at the time, I thought they should be doing something different. In lieu of the Home Ec vs. Industrial Ed "elective", I though (and still think) they should have offered "Life Skills"...some basic cooking techniques and food safety guidelines, simple sewing (putting on a button, fixing a seam, making one very simple item from a pattern, etc.), rewiring a plug, replacing a faucet washer, brief use of some basic power tools (drill, saw, maybe a nail gun or powered screwdriver, etc.) to create a project or two...things like that. These days, maybe throw in some typing. Sure, the kids aren't going to master all those things in a year, but at least they wouldn't be clueless. If the school has an auto shop, you could even throw in some basic car maintenance...change a tire (heck - FILL a tire!), check and top up fluid levels, maybe change a wiper blade. And, talk about grocery shopping, nutrition, etc. during the cooking segment, how much you can save doing your own simple sewing repairs in the sewing segment, etc.

 

At my school, Home Ec and Industrial Ed were both open to boys and to girls. In practice...I was one of only two girls who took Industrial Ed, and I don't think any boys took Home Ec that year. I think the classes are mostly separated out due to the lingering effects of a time when Home Ec was the one girls took, and Industrial Ed was the one boys took. That makes no sense to me at all.

 

Anyway...I have no objection to Home Ec being a required course. I didn't take it in 8th grade, but did take two terms of "Foods" later on in high school. While I've never considered myself to be particularly domestic, I've used more of what I learned in Foods than anything else I learned in high school, except typing and math.

 

ETA: Okay - the one I was missing was French.


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#39 of 60 Old 09-09-2011, 09:16 AM
 
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I haven't seen a single post saying that it ought to be a graduation requirement. I just see people saying it has value.


Oh lord, I know you enjoy nit-picking but really, you'll have to go back and read these on your own. I'm not going go through and quote everyone. It starts with the OP saying this is a required class and that it would be nice if her child could take a study hall due to the heavy course load she already has. I said I thought it should be offered but that I'd be annoyed if it were required. Several posts after disagreed and felt it should be something all kids take. If you don't see it, then read harder lol. If a class is required then it's a graduation requirement for that school. You really don't have to say the sky is orange every single time I say the sky is blue lol.

 


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I think that home economics and shop (as we used to call it) has value if the curriculum is good and is taugtht at at time when students can best absorb it.  Based on my own experience, I think they would have had more value to me if I had been required to take them in high school instead of middle school.  I think I took both in the seventh grade?  I honestly can't remember a single thing that was taught in home economics.   I was more focused in high school and probably would have had more freedom to put certain things to use at home.  Things like budgeting and nutrition and how things work would have made so much more sense to me at that time period.  Maybe I was brain stunted but I wish someone had provided me with some practical life skills before I left home. 

 

Unfortunately I had a SAHM who was a control freak and wouldn't let us assist in any way except to clean.  The home was her realm, and she didn't like dealing with extra messes in order to teach us something new.  Seriously, I didn't even know how to do laundry or cook (anything) or balance a check book when I left home.  It's like it didn't even occur to my parents to teach us this stuff.  I love them dearly but I don't want to put my own child in that situation. 

 

That being said, I think that here on MDC we are going to see a lot more people who engage their children in practical life skills at home than we see in the general public.  Home economics may have a lessor value to us here, because it makes sense to us that much of these skills can be learned in the home.  I'm not so confident about the general public. 


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I too enjoyed home ec. I learned a few basic recipes that I was able to bring home and prepare for my family. I don't think that a class like this is really harmful to anyone and now as a SAHM, I wish that I had taken the advanced level classes offered at my high school :)


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I just don't see making home ec a requirement when there are so many other avenues to explore that can't be explored at home. If they have families that won't/can't explore these subjects at home then sign them up for home ec. Let the rest of our kids take on real challenge and follow their interests.

i am one of the gungho people who ask to make home ec mandatory. its great if some kids know all that already but the way the majority is going i think it would serve the others well to take home ec. i mean dd doesnt need to be tested for math. she is beyond great at it. but that's what one has to do. she wont need home ec either. but she could be one of the kids inspiring the other kids to do it instead of protest. or maybe the teacher can do a advanced home ec class for the students. OR even better still involve chemistry of cooking - what actually happens rather than just straight cooking. honestly i think 4th grade is a perfect time to start home ec. i remember that's when i started in school. however one of the boys in dd's first grade class started home ec by learning how to make coffee (he was having a hard time in the school, and the teacher was teaching him extra things to help him cope). knowing those first graders they would all love to learn how to run the coffee machine. in fact in that little boys home the parents never really had to make coffee again. their son would wake up earlier just to make it. that's how huge it was for him.

 

but yeah it has to be a decent curriculum. and absolutely i want her to be in teh auto class in high school. driving class to me is not all that necessary. its more about how to take care of the car. 

 

keep in mind though i am also one of the parents who say band or learning an instrument should be mandatory too. 

 

we are only feeding one side of the brain in school. no life skills. i see the result in college. and its not pleasant. 


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#43 of 60 Old 09-09-2011, 04:37 PM
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I believe it's a valuable class and should be offered as an elective but I'd be irritated if it were a required class eating up an elective spot.


At first, I totally agreed with this. Then I reflected a minute. In seventh grade, kids in my school were required to take home-economics, wood shop, and agriculture classes. The three classes each took up one trimester of the school year. I hated sewing and knew how to cook and shop, so that was sort of a waste. But I really liked the agriculture and wood shop classes, and probably would never have signed up for them if they'd been electives.

 

I think I would only be upset if a required home economics class was for the entire year. That's an awfully lot of time to waste on something you might already know, and an equally long time to suffer if you hate it.

 

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#44 of 60 Old 09-09-2011, 07:49 PM
 
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Eh, you either think its worth it or it's not. I grew up in a small town and it was normal to be able to do all that stuff, I was also homeschooled until high school so I learned a lot that way. In the bigger schools they have it but it's not necessary to take either.

Oh and my husband, I had to teach him how to change a tire, oil , filter and use a chainsaw when we had a bad storm come through. I've taught him how to sew, as we were in the military and sometimes we weren't in the position to get it sewn for us. I taught my neighbors wife how to use the oven... these people are out there. I don't think it's a huge deal to have it in schools for variety but I also see how it could be a nuisance if it's required and there are things you would rather take. In school we had to take a language, but all that was offered was spanish and french... really? I can see spanish, but french?


All of these ideas about necessity are very much in the eye of the beholder and depending on where you live.  Being Canadian, of course French would be the reasonable language.  What if you were in Europe or even New Orleans?  Gaelic can be chosen in our school district as a second language alternative to French because of the cultural demographic.  Similarly, some people will place high value on having computer classes, some not, some will with home economics, some not.  The same logic as to whether to have home economics when it could be learned elsewhere could easily be said for computers, heck, I'm sure a lot of kids could teach a computer class.  If you really stretch this logic, you could say that high school level English is just as well served by reading a lot at home and the writing component can be covered in other classes (like social science disciplines), anyway.

 

The problem with looking at things from this angle (and yes, I know I'm exaggerating it a bit) is that it's a reductionist way of looking at education.  It says,"What can we do without?", when our kids are at a point in their life when it's easiest to expand their horizons.  Why aren't we saying,"What more can we give our children?  How can their educational experience at school broaden their horizons?"  Let me give you the example of music.  Our province has had continually tried to cut, then later successfully cut, music education.  I can remember being in high school, defending the need for supporting the arts in front of a school board panel, and hearing the message that it "wasn't part of the reality of today".  The next year, same message from the University.  But whose reality were they speaking to?  Most of the music students were already working in their field at least part time.  How many BA students ever work in their field?  Some of the kids in your schools may have a different reality than they are told about life, too.  Their joy in shop class could lead to working in cabinet making or construction (my brother is a contractor at only 32 years old and making money that many people with University degrees would be very envious of), they could become an excellent cook, a seamstress or a fashion designer.  Sure, maybe they won't cover these skills in depth, but the intro could spark an interest.

 

And lastly, what about all those kids who have a hard time succeeding in typical academics but excel at working with their hands?  Classes like home ec give them a chance to feel successful.  I work as a teacher's aid and every day I see examples of kids having academic difficulty but with some talents in other areas.   My youngest son can't wait for home ec.  Our librarian used to be a home ec teacher and she takes him in the back with her to learn to sew.  At 7 he can knit and help build the chicken coop, but his expressive language (due to a learning disability) is behind some preschoolers.  You bet I look forward to him having a chance to take hand on classes.

 

Excuse the long post.  My point is why not give kids more options, not less?

 


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#45 of 60 Old 09-09-2011, 08:07 PM
 
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Oh lord, I know you enjoy nit-picking but really, you'll have to go back and read these on your own.

 


saying I enjoy nit-picking is insulting. Personally insulting.  shake.gif 

 

The OPer's DD is in middle school. In spite of living all over the place, I've yet to see a school with graduation requirements for middle school. You just pass 8th grade. That's not the same as having graduation requirements.

 

(I know that someone will now post the graduation requirements for their child's middle school)

 

 

 

 


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#46 of 60 Old 09-10-2011, 04:31 AM
 
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Linda says how she sees it.  And it's true, it's middle school.  Not high school.  So it's not a graduation requirement.  Throw everything in there and just let them decide.  Kids will pick what they're interested in.  We don't need to tell them what to be interested in.  In my High School Physics was an elective.  Love me some Physics.  Given the choice over Physics and Home ec.  Physics wins.  FOR ME. 

 

 

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#47 of 60 Old 09-10-2011, 07:44 AM
 
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Everyone is acting like this requirement replaces a core curriculum class or makes it impossible to take ANY electives. That is just not realistically the case in most schools. If taking this class means that your child misses core basics or doesn't have the option of even one elective course to follow their own interest then I agree there is a problem. But if it just cuts down the number of electives a kid can take in Middle School I agree with the requirment.

 

25 years ago when I was in Middle school we had to take either Shop or Home Ec.We had seven class periods and several periods were filled by required Math, Social Studies, Science, English, . Yes this requirement took one elective spot at some point in the 3 years I was at the school. We were also required to take a typing class at some point (I know showing my age). That still left several opportunities for elective classes and my core classes. I remember taking Art Classes, and speech, Spanish, advance science classes, choir and many other electives in Junior High dispute the requirement that I learn a few practical life skills. I actually wish that my school had required both Shop and Home Ec. not either or.

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#48 of 60 Old 09-10-2011, 07:53 AM
 
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Excuse the long post.  My point is why not give kids more options, not less?

yup yup!!!

 

my whole problem is with the very 'core' curriculum itself. core for whom - the child or future employers?

 

i feel education is not for the benefit of the child. its more for training them to make better workers at jobs.

 

i know at least 3 adults for whom the woodworking class (which they took because the other elective didnt look like fun) changed their lives forever. they had no idea they were capable. one of their parents still has their projects from high school and i am still blown away by someone doing that quality of work in just one year. that person now loves her life restoring victorians and working on art projects the world over. she would never have discovered that part of her without wood working. 
 


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#49 of 60 Old 09-10-2011, 08:46 AM
 
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Linda says how she sees it.  And it's true, it's middle school.  Not high school.  So it's not a graduation requirement.  Throw everything in there and just let them decide.  Kids will pick what they're interested in.  We don't need to tell them what to be interested in.  In my High School Physics was an elective.  Love me some Physics.  Given the choice over Physics and Home ec.  Physics wins.  FOR ME. 

 

 

 

That's what I've been saying... offer it, don't make it a requirement. In our middle schools, if you don't take the required classes, you don't promote to high school. Hmm, that smacks of a graduation requirement lol.
 

 


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#50 of 60 Old 09-10-2011, 08:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post

Everyone is acting like this requirement replaces a core curriculum class or makes it impossible to take ANY electives. That is just not realistically the case in most schools. If taking this class means that your child misses core basics or doesn't have the option of even one elective course to follow their own interest then I agree there is a problem. But if it just cuts down the number of electives a kid can take in Middle School I agree with the requirment.

 

25 years ago when I was in Middle school we had to take either Shop or Home Ec.We had seven class periods and several periods were filled by required Math, Social Studies, Science, English, . Yes this requirement took one elective spot at some point in the 3 years I was at the school. We were also required to take a typing class at some point (I know showing my age). That still left several opportunities for elective classes and my core classes. I remember taking Art Classes, and speech, Spanish, advance science classes, choir and many other electives in Junior High dispute the requirement that I learn a few practical life skills. I actually wish that my school had required both Shop and Home Ec. not either or.

 

The standard in our area is 6 classes. 5 are required academic and P.E. courses. That only leaves one slot for an elective. Making home ec a requirement would mean no electives for the majority of our middle school population that year (and we are one of the largest counties in the U.S.) My kids are in/were in one of the very few schools in our county that have 7 periods (and that is because they are specialty arts and science schools) so they could still have something of choice... but that's a handful of schools out of a hundred. 

 


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#51 of 60 Old 09-10-2011, 09:00 AM
 
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When I was in Jr. High we were all required to take one quarter term of "technology" (woodworking with hand and power tools, I think we made some sort of light bulb/circuit thing, and we made bridges out of Popsicle sticks and had a competition as to whose could bear the most weight) and one quarter term of HomeEc--I remember doing sewing and cooking (made apple sauce from scratchorngtongue.gif); I think this was per year for 3 years. Being in the chorus or band was also a (separate) requirement.


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#52 of 60 Old 09-10-2011, 11:04 AM
 
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What grades does middle school cover? I wasn't really thinking about that, but we didn't have electives at all until high school, which was 8th grade...and then they were the ones I mentioned, where we chose one "life skills" type class and one art class.


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#53 of 60 Old 09-10-2011, 01:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

What grades does middle school cover? I wasn't really thinking about that, but we didn't have electives at all until high school, which was 8th grade...and then they were the ones I mentioned, where we chose one "life skills" type class and one art class.



In most places, it's grades 6-8, but it varies a bit.

 

At the public middle school my kids attended, which was a really good school in many ways, kids didn't truly have "electives" (a word that implies choice) except for band and chorus, which they could trade their study hall for. Classes like Spanish, computer lab, etc (I forget what all the had) all the kids took but for just part of the year. All the kids took all the classes like that the school offered (unless they were special education students, in which case that might be used for something more academic).

 

Ninth grade is when high school starts. It's when most schools have true electives kick in. The public high school my kids were slated for offered these courses as electives. 

 

 


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#54 of 60 Old 09-10-2011, 02:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

What grades does middle school cover? I wasn't really thinking about that, but we didn't have electives at all until high school, which was 8th grade...and then they were the ones I mentioned, where we chose one "life skills" type class and one art class.


It's grades 7-8 in my district. (9th graders use the same school as middle schoolers, but they're still considered high school freshman.)

 

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Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post

Everyone is acting like this requirement replaces a core curriculum class or makes it impossible to take ANY electives. 


No, I'm acting like it SHOULD replace a "core" curriculum class.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


The OPer's DD is in middle school. In spite of living all over the place, I've yet to see a school with graduation requirements for middle school. You just pass 8th grade. That's not the same as having graduation requirements.

 


In the schools you've seen what happens if the student doesn't take required classes? It's not really a required class if they can just... not take it.

 

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#55 of 60 Old 09-10-2011, 02:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Cyllya View Post

In the schools you've seen what happens if the student doesn't take required classes? It's not really a required class if they can just... not take it.

 


Kids are signed up for the required courses by the school -- there isn't a choice about whether or not to take them. They are just in them.  If they refuse to show up or don't bother to do the work, it's treated the same way as elementary school. It's an immediate problem. Today. The school will call the parent, or have a conference, or threaten to have a child repeat the grade. But it's no more a "graduation requirement" that 3rd grade PE was.

 

If the school felt so strongly about their awesome home ec class that kids who moved into the distract past the grade where it is typically taken were required to take it with the younger kids *or never get their diploma,* then I would concede that it's a graduation requirement.

 

But I doubt that  -- I suspect it's more like 3rd grade PE -- it's just what everyone that age does that year.

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#56 of 60 Old 09-11-2011, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OP here.  It wasn't my intent to get my child out of the class, if that is what some thought.  I was just curious since I had never taken a class like that myself.

 

Junior high is seventh and eighth.  You can take electives such as foreign language and band/chorus/orchestra.  There are other trimester type electives, but if you are taking foreign language and band, there is almost no time to fit them in.  While not electives, kids are separated out into different math classes at this time as well.

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#57 of 60 Old 09-11-2011, 07:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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As a side note, the foreign language is structured in such a way that two years of junior high language equals one year of high school language.

 

So after two years of taking Spanish in junior high, DD will be taking Spanish ll in ninth grade.

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#58 of 60 Old 09-11-2011, 08:43 AM
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Depending how it's taught, Home ec is awesome preparation for science labs, and it's great for reading skills.  As another poster noted, middle schools don't really have electives - they put kids in classes and fill their schedules.  Spending a class period on basic life skills a couple times a week isn't going to hurt anyone.  

 

My 7th grade home ec class was where I learned to use a sewing machine.  We did an awesome unit on stain removal.  There was cooking, which meant snacking, which was fun.

 

In 8th grade, the teacher made us press seam allowances, which I hated at the time, but appreciate now.  

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#59 of 60 Old 09-11-2011, 11:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post





In most places, it's grades 6-8, but it varies a bit.

 

At the public middle school my kids attended, which was a really good school in many ways, kids didn't truly have "electives" (a word that implies choice) except for band and chorus, which they could trade their study hall for. Classes like Spanish, computer lab, etc (I forget what all the had) all the kids took but for just part of the year. All the kids took all the classes like that the school offered (unless they were special education students, in which case that might be used for something more academic).

 

Ninth grade is when high school starts. It's when most schools have true electives kick in. The public high school my kids were slated for offered these courses as electives. 

 

 


This is kind of what my 8th grade was like. We had "electives", but the options were very limited (if they'd been true electives, I probably wouldn't have taken any of them, to be honest) as I mentioned above. We started to have real electives in 9th grade. If I recall correctly, by 12th grade, the only required class for graduation was English 12, but we had to have so many credits at a 12th grade level and so many at 11th. The course composition was completely up to the student, though. Of course, many people were also considering university entrance requirements and such, so it wasn't quite a free for all. Oh, any my class all had to take Consumer Education 11, because we were the first class to require it to graduate, and the requirement didn't come down until we were already registered for our grade 11 classes. Quite a few kids lost a spare, because they had to pencil in CE.


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#60 of 60 Old 09-11-2011, 04:15 PM
 
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i know at least 3 adults for whom the woodworking class (which they took because the other elective didnt look like fun) changed their lives forever. they had no idea they were capable. one of their parents still has their projects from high school and i am still blown away by someone doing that quality of work in just one year. that person now loves her life restoring victorians and working on art projects the world over. she would never have discovered that part of her without wood working. 
 


I think middle school is the perfect time to explore all sorts of options.  We had electives in middle school - band, choir, home economics and wood shop - and we had to choose 3 out of the 4 electives, each was a trimester.  I actually learned quite a bit in home ec, because my mom didn't sew.  Fast forward 15 years and I was decorating my apartment on a budget when I remembered that I could probably sew a lot of what I wanted and needed.  I bought a sewing machine, took a few classes, and that turned into a hobby of quilting and fabric art.  I'm wishing that I had taken wood shop because I think that those skills would have come in handy more than a few times, but you would have never convinced me of that in middle school. 

 

I think it's great if kids are exposed to areas that are considered "life skills" at home, but so many aren't.  My dc's won't have wood shop or home ec as "true" electives until high school, and I can almost guarantee that they won't take those types of classes then.

 

 


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