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Hodgepodge from The Geranium Farm

Debbie Sharp Loeb, teacher by training but full-time mom to a disabled son, craftsperson, bead artist, great cook, creative homemaker & terrific spotter of cool new products for everything under the sun, presents Hodgepodge: recipes, household hints, stories about children, friends & relatives, cool stuff, music, & much more.

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Monday, May 02, 2005

There’s More to School than the 3 R's

Some years ago when my youngest was still in Junior High our school district got a new superintendent. He called for committees to be formed of teachers and parents to examine the curriculum and see what, if any, changes needed to be made. I was a part of this. We went over all different aspects; not only subjects taught, but also content, scheduling and various other things were just part of what was covered. One thing that kept popping up was whether Home Economics and Shop classes should be kept. From what I remember it was a pretty well divided camp, with the parents of the more gifted students thinking these class were unnecessary and needed to go, and I was on the other side and believed they should stay. (Actually what I felt like saying, but didn't, was your kids probably need these classes even more. You can be "book smart" but "common sense dumb".)
Granted these classes were not taught anything like they were back in my day, you know, the olden days, but I think they are necessary to make a well rounded person. I’ve used the knowledge gained in those classes so much, alot from the Home Ec classes, from making kid’s costumes to many curtains, drapes, and all kinds of things over the years.
When the school my husband teaches in needed to expand and the voters kept vetoing a new school budget to add onto the school, the first rooms to be gutted and turned into additional classrooms were the shop and home economics rooms. What a shame. Now finally, push has come to shove and the school is being expanded. Have these classes been added back? Not as of yet.

If your child, grandchild, niece, nephew, whomever, didn’t have any classes of this type or even if they did, and if you can cook, build, or can pass on any of the needle arts, then give them the gift of your knowledge. Share a cookie recipe and bake it with them, build a bird house, knit or crochet a scarf together, teach them what was taught to you. Can’t do these things? Then learn together. Many craft stores give free lessons.

This also goes for music and art as well, as these are the first to go in many cases when there are budget cuts. Many schools have "Art on a Cart" where the teacher has to travel because there is no art room and the same thing happens to the music programs.

So … in the end, my thanks to all the "arts" teachers, for all those lessons that not only served to make you a well rounded person, but for having given me a better foundation to creatively enjoy my free time over the years, enriching my life in many ways.

Copyright © 2005 Deborah Sharp Loeb


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