Home Economics Definition – Activities & Brief History

Get a clear home economics definition and learn of its history and several activities that benefit many persons on our communities.

The Home Economics Definition

In most cases, when people hear the term they tend to think that it is all about food and cooking. However, the truth of the matter is that, the above term is more than food. Now, the big question is – what is home economics?

Home economics is one of the oldest profession and field of study in many institutions of learning. It deals with economics as well as management of home and community. From the list of activities below, it is clear that home economics put together aspects of science, food, cooking, nutrition, parenting skills as well as finance. In this regard, students who undertake the above course, learn about how to manage resources. This they do while keeping in mind the interrelationship between health, diet, home, and family. It helps with economic development in any country. Following is a listing of home ec activities and a brief history of the topic:

Home ec activities

The formal studies of home economics include the following key areas:

  • Consumer education
  • Interior design
  • Institutional management
  • Home furnishing
  • Handicrafts
  • Sewing and clothing, commonly referred to as textiles
  • Home cleaning
  • Food and nutrition
  • Food preservation
  • Hygiene and child development
  • Family relationship

Brief history of home economics

In the earlier days, people referred to home economics as Family and Consumer Sciences. This is because the programs associated with home economics were primarily meant to prepare young women ready for routine duties in their homes as soon as they get married. It is believed that the above subject was first taught in the early 1800 in the United States, Great Britain, and Canada, followed by Asia, Latin America, and Africa. International bodies and organizations (mainly those associated with UN-United Nations) took the lead in starting home economics programs in various countries around the world. Nowadays, the above subject is taught in secondary schools, vocational schools, colleges, universities, and even in adult educational centers, where learners comprise of both women and men.

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