Thursday, January 24, 2013

Integrating Home Economics into the Homeschool!

Home Ec... Home Economics... what do you think of when you hear the name?  I think of a classroom full of ovens with girls in aprons burning their cakes. :) Hmmm... would that be circa 1960? You sure don't find those classrooms in our neck of the woods. Sadly, taking care of a home and food preparation are areas often overlooked for young people. But, think about it! We must all live and we must all eat!

Now, lest you think I am Martha Stewart, let me just say that I have often been found lacking myself in the cooking and cleaning department. You might say that I was a bit challenged in both areas when I first married; my husband just simply called me spoiled. I had a fantastic mother who prepared fabulous meals and would allow me to wake up whenever I wanted to on Saturdays. I fondly remember walking out of my room hearing the sound of a vacuum cleaner and sensing the smell of Pine-sol.

I was the child who would love to tackle a page of algebra problems but don't ask me to cut up a chicken! (Thankfully, I can now do both. *grin*) While I worked as a teacher in the classroom, I was out of my house for a great deal of the day. It was not filled with little children from morning to evening so taking care of the house was much quicker, less painful and usually occurred on Saturdays. But, oh my! How that changes when you homeschool. In my home, everyone is responsible for keeping a clean environment and contributes in their own way. Loading the dishwasher, washing clothes, and dusting are all skills that we begin to teach early. I found out a long time ago that I am not Wonder Woman and I don't have to be. There are ten, count them TEN, very capable hands that can work to keep a nice home. But, if it is not exciting for me, it can be pure drudgery for my girls.

Therefore, I have attempted to create a few games to make home economics a bit more fun.

Beat the Song

First is what I call Beat the Song. I simply choose a room and then turn on Pandora. (You could use a CD or any other method of music.) I turn it up and we have to try to get the room completely clean before the song is over, including vacuuming the floors.

Now, there is only one simple rule: All items that are picked up or moved MUST be put where they go! Otherwise, I would have a bedroom floor filled with items found in the living room. Not helping me much! This game has become a hit with my girls, even my preschooler jumps in. You can hear them giggling once it gets towards the end of the song as they dive to pick up the last scraps of paper from the floor.

What's Your Order?

Another game that we have created is What's Your Order? This game allows my girls to practice preparing food as well as service for others. They will prepare a menu of lunch items (whatever we have that day) and then I will act as the customer. One daughter will work as chef and the other as waitress. My third grader will bring me a menu and take my order. She will then tell my sixth grader in the kitchen what I would like before preparing my drink. My "chef" might make me a quesadilla, grilled cheese, or prepare a pizza. She can also whip up brownie cupcakes like nobody's business! My third grader will bring me the food when it is done and then places her own order with her sister. One perk of this process is the communication and cooperation that takes place. It also builds a servant-hood atmosphere as we all seek to help one another without looking for something in return. (Of course, they have been known to slip me a bill including tip. lol)

These are just a couple of ways that I have been seeking to integrate home economics into my homeschool. Do you have any ideas to share that would get kiddos exciting about the mundane tasks of cleaning and cooking? Comment below! I would love to hear them. :)



  1. Wonderful ideas! I may try the Beat the Song with my two. ;-)

  2. I hope you have fun with it! The girls get a giggle and I get a clean living room. It's a win-win! :)

  3. What great ideas! My children and I recently just did something similar to your idea for What's Your Order. It was so much fun!

    Thank you for linking up to the brand new Hearts for Home Blog Hop!


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