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Are We There Yet?

Housekeeping skills

These were the lessons I ignored as a teen: cooking, cleaning the house, sewing a button.

I'm still not a fan of household chores, but I wish I had paid more attention to my mom and grandma when they tried to teach me tips on how to care for the family and home. I also don't recall ever having the option of taking a home ec class at my college preparatory high school.

Spokesman-Review writer Rebecca Nappi's recent story, "Book aims to connect new generation to grandmothers' skills," reminded me of my refusal to learn these practical skills. "I don't want to be Martha Stewart," I often told my mom.

But it doesn't take a Martha Stewart to run a household. And now that I have my own home and children to care for, I have a better appreciation for my grandmother's skills. (She never graduated from high school, but she and my grandfather raised seven kids on a farm in the Philippines. All their children pursued higher education degrees -- and, they also can cook, clean and manage a household.)

So I paid careful attention to Becky's article, which included an interview of local grandmother, Jean Dinsmore. Dinsmore was one of the 10 women whose advice were included in the book, "How to Sew a Button-- and Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew."

I don't want to devote countless hours to cooking and cleaning the house in the same way that my mom and especially my grandmother did, but I want to honor the work that they did by becoming better at some of the skills they tried to teach me and also passing them on to my son and daughter.

I also no longer scoff at home economics classes. I actually think they should now be a requirement in school because these are skills we all need to survive. I don't have time to read Martha Stewart Living, but I now have a huge admiration for women like Martha.

How about you? Do you teach your kids how to cook, clean and sew a button?

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This blog is intended to provide a forum for parents to share knowledge and resources. It's a place for parents young and old to combine their experiences raising families into a collective whole to help others.