Catalyst Community: Home EricaNomics-Erica Sprague

The word “community” is defined as a group of people living in the same place or having a particular interest in common. Catalyst Midland continues our series titled “Catalyst Community” focusing on different communities — sometimes geographic, sometimes a common interest. 

In this week’s Catalyst, we focus on home economics, a term, concept, or class that you don’t hear about as much as we used to.   
Sprague has been a science teacher for 18 years.
Our teacher is Erica Sprague, a science teacher at the junior/senior high school in Beaverton. She’s in her 18th year in education. Erica is a teacher both inside and outside the classroom. She now also has a presence on social media to share home economics ideas. Her goal is to encourage us to practice some of the skills that may be diminishing in our fast moving society.

Did you take Home Economics in school? I challenge you to find a school that still offers it on campus! A while back, I asked my friends online about their experiences with Home Ec. My friend group includes people of all ages, from all over. I heard from quite a few who reflected on their class fondly, both men and women alike! Some took it in junior high, others in high school as a requirement. Many commented on their cooking lessons and even more said that learning how to sew saved them in a pinch later in life. Quite a few commented that they wished they could have taken it. 

As a teacher, I know firsthand how the curriculum has changed and why classes like Home Ec have fallen to the wayside. There is far more emphasis on reading, writing, and math and less and less on keeping the household running. Many people lament that kids can’t even write out a check or balance the checkbook, let alone tackle the “new math”. 
Many commented on their cooking lessons and even more said that learning how to sew saved them in a pinch later in life.
Things that used to be taught in the home, like cooking, cleaning, home budgeting and finance are becoming pushed to the back burner. More parents work outside the home and people are increasingly busy with after school activities. If we have even a little time, it’s spent helping our kids with homework or shuffling them here and there. A lot of people in my generation couldn’t cook a pot roast to save their life and YouTube has become our go-to for videos on all things home. 

Well, my love for teaching and love for home economics have merged into my Facebook page and blog, “Home Ericanomics”. I have found a niche of people who really do want to know more about the things they may have missed out on in Home Economics class. I have found a place to share and tell about the things I love to do around my house. 

Erica Lang Sprague at a young age.The world wide web has become my outlet for passing along the home “know how” to a variety of people from all over. Even though I am a busy teacher and mom to three boys, I want to keep the tradition of home economics going, even if the class isn’t offered any more. Yes, you can learn to sew, get a homemade dinner on the table and keep a clean and organized house! Let’s keep the tradition of passing these things along to our kids and families together!