2021 and We’re Letting Kids Graduate Clueless

A newer more modern version of Home Economics is needed

Terry L. Cooper
3 min readJun 1, 2021
Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

And that goes for adults as well.

We have kids graduating from high school taking on tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt that don’t know how to balance a checkbook or do their own taxes.

Some of those kids grow up to be adults that still don’t know how to do the most basic of life skills and then couple that will the inability to put a cohesive sentence together, orally or in writing, and you’ve got a walking cluster fuck on your hands.

This is the situation that too many Americans find themselves in.

They bought into the “American dream” that if they just tried hard enough, wanted it badly enough, and worked a few decades for it (whatever the “it” is) they would have it.

You were lied to.

Baqsam Behbehani published a piece recently, One Important Subject School Doesn’t Teach You, We need life skills more than ancient history.

He nailed it right out of the gate with the title and subtitle. Save ancient history for college. In junior and senior high, kids need a lot of basic life skills. And let’s, once and for all, erase the gender biases here too while we’re at it.

When I was in school, right after the dinosaurs went extinct, guys were offered auto mechanics as an elective. Girls were taught home economics. I don’t know about any of the other ladies who took the class, but mine involved how to make a dress from scratch, how to bake a cake, which fork went where when setting the table, and to always wear an apron.

Hello Fred and Wilma.

This was the mid to late 70s. I graduated in 81. So it wasn’t like WWI or anything. No flower power here! My age range crew was “post hippy” but prior to the full thrust of the women’s liberation movement.

I never learned how to put air in a tire or change a flat. None of the guys I went to school with were taught how to make a bed with hospital corners.

Neither male nor female was taught how to open a bank account, how to read a bank statement, how to make deposits…



Terry L. Cooper

Chicken Soup for the Soul out on Jan 24, 2023. Working on the book tour now.