Gardening in our schools – life skills

schoolgardensI hate gardening but when I was a kid we did grow a neighborhood garden. I don’t know who taught us because no one in my family, or my friend’s, raised gardens. But, we dug up a patch of dirt in a neighbor’s side yard (with their permission) and grew the typical veggies which got distributed around the neighborhood. My point is, somewhere I learned the basics and if I had to I could in part feed my family. That is a skill that every person should have regardless of how big a concrete jungle they live in. In our rush to teach higher mathematics, science, etc. maybe we’ve hurt ourselves by placing basic life skills on the back burner. As food prices continue to soar and the economic realities continue to get grimmer it wouldn’t hurt to begin once again teaching people how to fend for themselves a little more. There is certainly a place in our public schools for teaching children home economics, basic electricity and mechanical skills, and how to supplement their family’s nutritional needs.

I am an example of what I’m talking about. I’m a product of “higher” education and spent my career writing on a blackboard with a piece of chalk. But, I learned enough in high school wood and metal shop that I was able to help build my home, keep it maintained, repair a broken light socket and countless other necessary chores. Wonder how much money that bit of “lower” education saved me in the course of my life?

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