Home Economics Philosophy
In a uniquely Laboratory Schools fashion, students in middle school experience the joys of personal growth as they attend to practical life skills in the Home Economics program. This program helps students develop the life skills necessary to achieve personal satisfaction through practical tasks that encourage self-respect, responsibility, and attention to the details of living well.
During Home Economics, students work in small groups, enabling them to draw upon each other's strengths and assist each other in completing the tasks. The small groups also challenge them to complete tasks by sharing and accepting responsibility.
As students journey toward self-sufficiency they learn practical skills. Students are directed toward developing the competency to make educated and intelligent choices, and to apply principles and generalizations to new situations.
Seventh Grade Home Economics
The seventh grade program introduces students to information that will help them make good food choices. Students learn rules of food safety and cleanliness, the proper use of cooking utensils, and table setting. They also learn to follow a recipe and to complete and follow a work plan. Students work in groups, which allows each student to have several chances to cook and clean. Students learn to read food labels and this prepares them not only to make their own jelly but also to create a food label for it.
The seventh grade program includes sewing basics and a culminating stuffed animal sewing project. The students learn to identify and use basic sewing tools. By learning basic sewing stitches, button application, and how to read and follow written sewing instructions, they complete a sewing project that represents their skill level.
Eighth Grade Home Economics
The Eighth grade program teaches students to use the sewing machine. Combining skills learned in previous classes with learning the parts of the machine, and how to thread and to sew straight lines, students make a chef's apron. The students then use the apron when the class moves on to the food unit.
During the second part of the course, students explore a variety of food groups. After each food group is explored, students prepare a dish that represents that particular food group. They plan and prepare a meal that accompanies the dish. Baking skills are an important aspect of this unit. Laboratory work includes group planning and preparation of meals around each food selected and the shared responsibilities of cooking and cleaning.
This unit is designed to promote multicultural awareness by providing information about food and customs from around the world. Students explore a wide variety of food from around the world. They become familiar with the geographic area, types of food grown in the area, factors that affect the food traditions of the area or region, methods of cookery, and typical dishes.
As a final project, students select a type of cuisine that has not been explored in class, and working in small groups, gather information about food types of the area, food traditions, and methods of cookery. In addition to writing a short paper using this information, students prepare a dish that represents the chosen cuisine and share it with the class.