I realise there are so many things I do nowadays as a housewife that weren’t taught in our Home Economics classes in Sec 1 and 2. We spent so much time learning academic subjects. I wonder why schools do not teach more life skills.
There could be reasons, eg if they teach theory more, we’d go on and learn other things easier. I dunno. I only know because of our education system, it’s not surprising to find a lot of people without good common sense. That’s why you always hear some folks scold others,” Study so much, dunno where all the knowledge he obtained in school went to..?”
In my view, more practical knowledge would be :
1) Life saving skills. Water and fire safety, basic first aid, disaster response, or in these days, terrorism repsonse.
2.)Interpersonal Communication skills. To be sensitive to other parties when you communicate; put yourself into other’s shoes. how to achieve win-win when you put your ideas to others. etc
3.) How about household management?
How do you set up your home, the functional and aesthetics of it, the interior design. (not sure if students are interested.), home inventory management, document filing, scheduling, health education etc etc etc etc.
It’ s not till I become a homemaker then I realise what a wide array of skill sets we need to know well, in order to achieve a well-run household. Before you sigh at my harping on endless chores, hold your breathe on that sigh. Cause this is a little bit different.
3 years into this job, I realise this takes much more that I could ever imagine. Here are the skill sets I see needed.
Cleaning – how to clean different items. remove different stains for clothes, burnt pots, grafitti walls..
Kitchen inventory management. how much we need to cook, how much to buy, how long the interval from one shopping trip to the next, pantry springcleaning ..
Inventory managment – Storage (think store room). need warehousing skills. how many times have you bought things you already have at home but cannot locate? how many times have you bought things you never use. Chances are MANY.
And there’s this interesting fact, which I learnt books. How you keep your house mirror how you control your other aspects of life. Eg, bedroom – relationship, kitchen for health. I was kinda skewed towards believing by keep your house clutter free, it clears one’s mind. If you straighten out the mess in various corner of the house, that part of your life will improve as well.
Now you know why I’ve been packing/tidying/ springcleaning since forever. Tell you, the things accumulated from my past, I have so much to clear. I was a memorabia junkie. I kept everything from kindergarten textbooks to university lecture notes, letters and souvenirs from pen friends, craft materials not used in a decade, 150 different types of wrapping papers. We have other clutter like 3 staplers, many staplets, 6 lighters, 1,000,000 pens and pencils, 500 used yellowish old excercise books.
You know. You have them too. Those million and one things. I’m working to THROW every excess item away.
Interior design– how do you place furniture to maximise space in a small house or provide maximum convenience and pleasure for home occupants in their daily activities in the house.
Childcare – childcare skills, basic health knowledge, children education and disciplinary ideals.
Husband – how to support your spouse emotionally,
manipulate him to leave everything to you in his will , how to take care of him, communicate in positive ways of problems encountered by each party.
One last household management item, in relation to time managment,
Couple of years back, I poo poo my brother who ran a rather regimented schedule in his household. There’s a schedule, and there are rituals and plans to stick. I hated that he always seem to needed to check his diary when I suggest meeting up. (fed up until I din meet him anymore)
My Dear and I are the “nua”(laidback) type. We din like to plans and schedule on weekends. What will be, will be. Workplace enough of those rubbish.
But 2 kids later, with 4 persons with different needs in a household, I begin to find scheduling an effective way of maximising leisure time. I’m now learning to implement schedules into our daily lives.
Now if you are puking at all the corporate sounding words by now, I’m sorry. Many moons ago, I was also very atas, and poo poo at all these control/manage words. But now I have fully experienced how messed up a lack of control is. As the household population grows, it’s really useful to borrow ideas from corporate to run the household.
I’ll begin in a loose sort of way, by sticking to a daily routine/schedule faithfully, 5 days a week.