A B.A. in Home Economics

1950s-kitchen

What if we brought back home economics courses (culinary design anyone?)? What if there were a degree in home economics. I thought of this some time ago and wanted to share it here today. As a young adult I knew many women who did not attend or finish college because there was never a string enough desire to choose, major in, sweat and bleed for a given career. The work of academics was uninteresting and the labors more costly than their worth. These women took a few classes and then dropped a view classes. Perhaps many times. While they waited, wondering what God would call them to, they continued to pursue the path society laid out as the path of bettering themselves. Their desire to grow in virtue pushed them to consider the question. In their hearts they knew they were called to marriage and called to motherhood. Yet the waiting made necessary by our transient, community-less society made the waiting longer and more difficult.

What do you think? The university I attended required 132 credits (4 credits per typical course). 28 of those credits were specifically major requirements. The list I’ve compiled totals to 135 credits. It it meant to address the who person of the individual who takes them. It is designed to be totally useful for the student who desires to spend his or her career primarily in the home. Music and language courses which fulfill many college requirements are selected to be foundation, so the individual is better situated to help his or her offspring in their choice of music or language studies. Of course, Latin will be no help if the offspring chooses to study Japanese, but by and large, most student seem to choose Latin-based languages. Philosophy courses are selected to help the individual develop a solid belief about the human person and personal growth. As a Catholic program, theological courses are part of every major, and here at selected to direct the individual towards knowledge of the Truth and how to teach it to others. The course of study is lab-heavy, because students in this major are more interested in application than academics. The desire is to have an in-depth approach to an application driven vocation.

Please note: I am not saying any of this is required for being a good stay-at-home-parent. But I think such a course would be enriching and help those who see the advantage of higher education but are not motivated to complete due to a lack of desire for a particular career path.

So here we go:

  1. Philosophy: 12 credits
    1. Philosophy – anthropology and virtue focused
    2. Logic, include research methods/evaluation
    3. Rhetoric, include leadership/organization skills
    4. World Religions (a survey of various cultural worldviews) = diversity component
  2. English: 8 credits
    1. English (literature)
    2. English grammar and composition
  3. Foreign language: 12 credits
    1. Latin 1
    2. Latin 2
    3. Latin 3
  4. Mathematics: 8 credits
    1. Applied mathematics: algebra and geometry (no imaginary numbers here)
    2. Financial planning
  5. Religion: 12 credits
    1. Theology
    2. Catechetical studies
    3. Gender studies = historical overview, Catholic perspective – 2 semesters
  6. Psychology: 16 credits
    1. Early childhood education
    2. Child development
    3. Cognitive-behavioral psychology (psychotherapy)
    4. Marital and family therapy (relationship enhancement therapy) with lab
  7. Music: 8 credits
    1. Music Theory 1
    2. Piano 1
  8. Application courses: 59 credits
    1. Nutrition
    2. Health – with CPR certification
    3. Etiquette
    4. History of design, include basic art introduction
    5. Interior decorating with lab – 5 credits
    6. Woodworking lab – 5 credits
    7. Basic home repair lab – 5 credits
    8. Auto shop lab – 5 credits
    9. Sewing lab – 5 credits
    10. Culinary arts 1 – 5 credits each
    11. Culinary arts 2 – 5 credits each
    12. Agriculture for the family farm (square foot gardening, eco-friendly practices)
    13. Horticulture for the family farm

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

2 comments

  1. Mallory says:

    Interesting concept indeed. Definitely well thought out and broad enough to provide a useful basis for ‘life-skills’. What about history, geography, science, sociology, political science? Would they be integrated or lacking? Also, I could see components like adding a teaching certification, a course on evangelization or community leadership, and courses in technology (excel, word, basic programming) being extremely useful to somebody pursuing an applied liberal arts diet. I’m all for higher education obviously, but I think at a certain point education can get so expensive that it’s not worth pursuing in an institutional setting. If a person is taking out loans to finance learning how to stay home through their working years, isn’t that a bit ironic? Also, a broad, practical-based curriculum wouldn’t generate certifications or the depth of knowledge required to continue on in any given field. So in light of that, wouldn’t it make more sense for someone to advance in these skills in a less-expensive way pursuing what they deem uniquely fit for their life? There are many people who desire a bachelor level education for the sake of a degree and then choose to go no further in their field of study, but at least they have gotten deep enough into one particular major to be baseline-useful in that field if they ever needed to continue on in it or work a career. I would say that most colleges are too expensive to make such a broad degree worthwhile to the most students. That being said, if it weren’t a matter of affordability, an issue of getting a useful degree that is a good investment increasing your earning potential, or necessary to come out of school with some certifications recognized by our society, I think your idea would be an incredibly useful one. Perhaps it even would make a good return on itself with money saved over the years within one’s family (living economically, investing well, offering education to one’s children, higher quality of life, etc.). There’s just such a bulk of accessible knowledge on a lot of these subjects that most people when faced with a problem, interest, or project are able to muddle through on their own. Interesting idea though… I just don’t know how it would justify its expense?

    • I think the question of “is this necesssary?” an important and complex one. I wrote another blog on education and stay-at-home-mothers, with the goal of praising the concept of studying on one’s one, because a degree is certainly not essential to being well-education. If we require the degree in order to become an “expert” we limit human potential and feed into the meritocracy’s self-proclaimed lording-over-us position. That being said, I knew many women who wanted to attend college, did not see that they were close to the marital stage, btu could not decide on a major. It was with them in mind. There are endless subjects that could and maybe should be included, I limited it to these in order to make it fit within the structure of a typical university’s credit requirements.I think you’re right, though, about being able to apply it to a teacher credential or something along those lines.

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