When I was in high school, I took this class called Life Skills. Essentially it was a rebranded home economics class. My fondest memory of this class was the sewing lessons, I will be honest, I didn’t exactly take this class seriously. It was obvious by my sewing project, a pair of pajama pants, pants that had gone terribly, horribly, wrong. They were the most comical pair of pants, one leg quite shorter than the other, the seams not even completely sewn, the hem all jacked up. It was awful. I deemed myself domestically incapable, but then again, I never imagined being a stay at home, homeschooling, mom to many kids.
The class was taught by a woman I know respect quite a lot, and I wish I had learned all that I could from her. I was unaware that as an adult, it would be necessary to know how to cook well, to plan meals if I wanted to stay on budget and be healthy, to be able to repair things, and to manage a house hold.
You see. There is a problem today, a new generation of adults have not learned to manage money. They have not learned to write out and budget, to write a check properly, to balance their accounts, to buy a home, and to stay out of debt if at all possible. These pitfalls have created a new kind of stress and tension, money can destroy, and it is destroying an entire group of people.
The class also taught cooking. Now, I am quite the cook if I do say so myself. I love to cook, I love to research all things healthful, and I love to feed people. It wasn’t always the case for me though. I wasn’t prepared to have five kids who….get this….need to be fed regularly.
Seriously, they have to eat, and they have to eat constantly. If I’m not feeling well, the kids still have to eat, if we are rushed for time, they still need food, no matter what, they have to be fed. As an added bonus, I try to feed them a healthy diet, and well, that takes a bit more effort….i.e. (ALOT more effort)….oh and one of my kids is celiac and one is dairy intolerant…..
The class also included handicrafts. As a Charlotte Mason lover, I now see why this should have been taken more seriously. You know, women today are estimated to need anti depressants much much more than women of the past. However, it could be said that women of the past worked much harder than women of today. I mean everything done by hand, sun up to sun down, no modern day conveniences….yet they were more happy and content.
I think I know. Being able to take a piece of cloth, and with your hands, create something useable, something beautiful, something with purpose….it’s cathartic. Taking yarn and knitting a sweater takes countless hours, hours to sit and pray, hours to quiet ones soul, and in those hours something magical happens. A garment is created, those hours of quiet working, make something beautiful to wrap one’s babies up in, or protects ones hands from the elements.
I wish I had taken that kind of teaching to heart in high school, I would have been far above in my skills than I am now. I love being able to create something for my child to wear, or something to protect my husband (who works so hard for his family) from winter weather. I love the time it takes, the gratification of my hands making something with purpose, and the quiet patience that it requires.
We live in a plugged in world, never quiet, never patient. With all of that, I feel as though we’ve lost so many life skills, skills necessary to survive should anyone ever pull the plug.
I wish I’d paid more attention in school to the class that no one took seriously, for it offered something of great value above career knowledge. We need life knowledge, and it would have been great to have a little of it the easy way, rather than the way we seem to all gain it.