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10 Home Ec Skills Every Kid Should Learn

As educated women of the 21st-century, we’re not afraid to say it: we love to take care of our homes. We take pleasure in baking a cake from scratch, we find satisfaction in successful DIYs, we enjoy fluffing our nests. These aren’t just hobbies, they’re skills. We understand their importance even though society has diminished home education over the years.

Home Ec programs are no longer de rigueur in high schools across America, every day skills such as sewing a hem or darning a sock are mostly lost on this generation, and options for clothing, cleaning supplies, and pre-made meals are increasingly boasting their limited-use and instant disposability. So what can we do?

I believe our kids will benefit in the long run by learning a few essential skills, the basic basics if you will. After the jump, check out the 10 home ec skills I think every kid should learn.

Tell me in the comments: What home-ec skill do YOU think every kid should know before they’re teens?


  • How To Balance A Checkbook 1 of 11
    How To Balance A Checkbook
    Money in, money out, debits and credits. Teach your kids how to maintain a healthy bank account. Budgeting is the ultimate home economics skill set.
    Image Credit Pish Posh Etc.
  • How To Clean The Floor 2 of 11
    How To Clean The Floor
    I grew up watching my mother scrub the kitchen floor using an old rag on her hands and knees. That image has stayed with me, and I'm proud to say I know how to get a good glossy shine without owning an expensive (and over time, filthy) mop.
    Image Credit iVillage
  • How To (Properly) Clean A Toilet 3 of 11
    How To (Properly) Clean A Toilet
    No disposable Clorox wand allowed — just a mild cleanser, an angled brush, and a lot of elbow grease.
    Image Credit Design Sponge
  • How To Make A Bed 4 of 11
    How To Make A Bed
    Including hospital corners! Don't you think hospital corners are the mark of a responsible adult?
    Image Credit Design Within Reach
  • How To Prepare A Meal 5 of 11
    How To Prepare A Meal
    It doesn't have to be something grand, but every kid should know how to put together at least one meal from start to finish. I'd start with spaghetti with a side salad. That meal alone will get your child through four years college on a strict budget.
    Image Credit Mini Gourmets
  • How To Operate Basic Kitchen Appliances 6 of 11
    How To Operate Basic Kitchen Appliances
    An intimate and working knowledge of the microwave settings may be enough to ensure your child is fed when you're away, but knowing how to safely operate the oven, stove top, and other small appliances is a skill better learned the right way with you keeping a watchful eye.
    Image Credit Little Great Trading Company
  • How To Identify Spoiled Food 7 of 11
    How To Identify Spoiled Food
    And I would add to that: how to properly store leftovers to minimize food borne illness.
    Image Credit All Modern
  • How To Do A Load Of Laundry 8 of 11
    How To Do A Load Of Laundry
    Including separating whites from colors from delicates, knowing which settings to use, measuring soap, removing items that shouldn't be tumble dried, folding the clean clothes, and putting them away.
    Image Credit Renoir
  • How To Iron A Dress Shirt 9 of 11
    How To Iron A Dress Shirt
    Imagine the money your child will save over his or her lifetime if shirts never need to be sent out to be pressed?
    Image Credit Little Emma English Home
  • How To Sew A Straight Line 10 of 11
    How To Sew A Straight Line
    A basic understanding of sewing and mending will not only save your child hundreds of dollars in future clothing repairs and replacement, but will also open their eyes to the potential of their own creativity.
    Image Credit Make It Yourself
  • When Should You Start? 11 of 11
    When Should You Start?
    Kids as young as two and three can learn to help out with small tasks around the house, such as sorting laundry and tidying up. I'd say you can introduce cooking and sewing to your kids as soon as they're old enough for kindergarten, but save ironing and running complicated appliances alone for when they're old enough to write in cursive and do basic multiplication. And remember, the sooner you introduce the idea that these are jobs to be proud of, the better prepared they'll be the day you hand them a broom and tell them to get to it already!

Winter Crafts for Kids — Fun projects for children of all ages!

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