Traditional home economics courses have been stereotyped in the past but Enterprise High School’s Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) teaches students life skills.

The courses available at EHS include the primary Family and Consumer Sciences course, food and nutrition, fashion merchandising, dietetics and sports nutrition. EHS teacher Rebecca Joiner – who grew up in Birmingham and graduated from the University of Montevallo – has been teaching at EHS since 2019 – said that FACS offers students life skills for when they move into adulthood.

“We still do the stereotypical cooking and cleaning but we also do a lot more that has to do with life skills,” Joiner emphasized. “We teach how to balance a checkbook or how to balance your bank account, how to budget, how to build their credit. They did a project this year where students (designed) a tiny house and had to calculate the square footage.

“We do a lot of those sorts of things. We also talk about a lot of things like childcare and careers and how we work on ourselves and make and achieve our goals.”

Along with the life skills students can learn with FACS, they can also earn ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification in the Food and Nutrition course.

Joiner said that a lot of people think about the things FACS teaches and assume that students will just learn those things at home but that isn’t always possible.

“With a lot of these aspects we kind of think sometimes, ‘Oh, we don’t need that, that’s the parents’ job to teach them those aspects.’ That’s just not always the case,” she said. “The thing about education, especially with Career Tech and FACS, statistically we spend more hours with the students they do at home.

“They may be able to learn a few things from their parents but I think that’s the lucky ones. Not every student has that opportunity, though. Some (parents) work long hours or work multiple jobs and just don’t have the time to teach (students) these individual life skills that we try to instill in our students. I think it is very, very important that every student has the equal opportunity to learn the life skills they need when they move into adulthood.”

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