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Keeping FACS Alive: nutrition, childcare, sewing life skills in Illinois

promoting-facs-guideThis summer Learning ZoneXpress has been asking teachers how they are keeping FACS Alive in their classrooms and schools. We were thrilled with the response and are happy to share the stories. We would love to hear from you! Help us spread the awareness of FCS in the classroom today and share your story with us. Long live “Home Ec”!

FCS is called Life Skills in my district. I teach 7th grade units, which contain child development, sewing, and foods and nutrition. I also teach 8th graders about careers and foods and nutrition.

Child Development is very important as many of my students are taking care of their siblings or babysitting for other family members/neighbors. It is important that students understand how to care for young children as well as have an idea of how demanding it may be to care for a child as teen pregnancy is still "glamorized" as shows on TV portray young moms. My students learn how infants, toddlers, and preschoolers learn as well as how to care for these age ranges safely and appropriately.

I teach my students how to hand sew a basic stitch as well as how to sew on a sewing machine. Although many adults do not have this skill, it is very helpful to have. Personally, I have helped SEVERAL friends hem up pants, sew on buttons, and help with Halloween costumes. I use these examples as encouragement and how sewing is still a relevant, as well as cost saving and recycling skill to have. We have sewn a pillow and t-shirt recycled drawstring bag. The students must utilize audio, visual, and kinetic skills in following step by step directions, incorporating measuring skills, helping each teach and learn from each other, and using time management skills.

I also teach my students about food and nutrition. Eating healthy is something our country has struggled with, but has made significant strides in reversing. Health conditions are something we need to be concerned about preventing at a young age, and unfortunately not all parents are the best role model or maybe they think they can't afford to eat healthy or don't know how to cook those kinds of meals. With so many students in sports and with both parents working, there may be a need for something "fast" as a fix for a meal as well. Many students are forced to make a choice or prepare food for themselves and possibly for younger siblings (child development comes into play on what is appropriate for young children to eat). We uncover all these and how food benefits your body and how we can hurt our bodies and made them work harder with things that are not so good for us.

Thank you,

Stephanie Diesing
Elk Grove Village, IL

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