We live in a society where the study of home economics has been pushed away.
In fact, “home ec” has been viewed as a stereotype for many years, and it’s often part of the Canadian curriculum the way it once was.
In fact, where home economics is still taught, it is now called Family and Consumer Science (and you can even get a degree in it!)
But, and the high-school level, home economics has all but become a thing of the past, leaving many students struggling to understand some basic financial rules.
In the U.S., only 13 states require high school kids to take a personal finance class, and in Canada, only 45% of graduates said they remembered taking some kind of personal finance course.
Why does this matter?
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If you’re currently an adult that had to take home ec in school, you’ll probably remember that you learned much more than how to sew a button or make dinner for the family.
Most home economics courses teach students how to do things like creating a budget and balancing a chequebook.
These are the most basic financial skills to carry with you through life, but they are things that have to be taught.
Today, some modern home economics classes even teach kids about things like credit card fees and taxes.
The fact is, these are real-world issues and things that are important to know how to do.
If a student graduates high school, gets a bank account for the first time, and doesn’t know how to write a check or pay off a credit card on time, it could lead to a lifetime of financial struggles.
What Can Be Done?
Young minds need to be able to step out into the real world with an awareness of their financial responsibilities.
Because of that, a national strategy should be adopted to ensure young adults get the education they need on financing and money management.
Some of the goals of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) include:
- Providing young Canadians with money management skills.
- Showing them how to set financial goals, as well as teaching financial planning and saving.
- Promote actions that protect them against financial risks.
High school is designed to prepare young people to step out into the real world.
For many students, that means heading to university.
Others will get a job right after graduating and officially start their lives.
If these students haven’t had the groundwork for financial security laid out for them, they are walking into the real world blindly when it comes to their finances.
Until home economics or some aspect of a financial planning class becomes the norm in Canadian classrooms, we’re doing a great injustice to the next generation, and potentially the Canadian economy, as a result.
A national movement is the best way to make sure our young adults are getting the education on real-world skills that they will need to be comfortable with their finances for years to come.
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