A coworker (raised partially, I kid you not, on a commune) had on his Facebook a couple weeks ago a story about a cooking class for toddlers to get them interested in food (he’s very into all this sensory learning stuff). I left a comment, “Bring back home ec!” Don’t know how it went over, actually.

I just think that if, as Jamie Oliver wants (and he’s got a point), we’re going to teach kids about food so they don’t develop a palate that thinks McDonald’s is about as complex as it comes, we can either, a) admit that this whole women-in-the-workplace thing has failed and is killing our children or b) teach kids to cook in school. The Japanese do it, and all liberals love sushi (trying to get this argument as distilled as possible for the slow-witted reactionary to whom “home ec” means “rape gurney” for whatever reason).

Anyway, this is a good column and I recommend everyone register for free! to read it, but…

The Sunday Times – India Knight: Boys — that white thing in the kitchen is a cooker
The chronic sexism of the domestic sphere is all too apparent amongst teenage boys, who are willfully uncooperative with household chores

With all this in mind, I was interested last week to read the findings of a survey conducted by the Children’s Society about the amount of housework the average teenager does. The study was commissioned to highlight the monstrous — I don’t think that’s too strong a word — differences between young carers, who often, heart-breakingly, start doing the housework at the age of five, and the average slobby teenager or young adult, who more often than not does precisely none.

The only vaguely appealing thing about the survey is that I sometimes worry that my children are uniquely rubbish at this stuff More than three-quarters of 11 to 16-year-olds have yet to load a washing machine, the survey found. About two-thirds do not iron and 75% are strangers to bathroom-cleaning. More than a third have never cooked a meal, and 92% have never done the household shopping.

…that’s really incredible.

I’m looking at Home Economics lesson plans on the internet (so who knows who uses these) and apparently one of the things they go over is accountancy and mortgages. So that’s why we’re all so useless at that in my generation! It’s because we’ve all been prepped for college!

Okay sewing is probably useless. Until Chinese labor gets expensive or China implodes on itself no one is ever going to go back to mending socks. It just doesn’t make sense.

Families, home life, relationships etc in today’s society is already covered as young as kindergarten, apparently, so we can skip that. Home safety would just turn into teaching our kids to turn in their gun-owning parents, knowing the education system today, so we can skip that too. Consumer education ditto. Sounds more like my high school Social Justice class. Honestly just teach the kids to cook. And maybe how to put chains on a car. Before they get to high school.