What is Home Economics

Usually when people think about Home Economics, they are immediately brought back to middle school or high school classes that focused on cooking and sewing. Eventually it was called Family and Consumer Sciences in some places and was phased out in most schools these days.

What I used to always think of when I thought of Home Economics

That doesn’t mean Home Economics isn’t important. On the contrary, it’s just as important, if not more important now than it ever has been. Too many people live pay check to pay check as consumers instead and are sick of it. So let’s define Home Economics to meet 21st Century needs and start to build productive home economies!

Everyone knows what home is, it’s where the bills have your name on them. If you ask most people to define economics though, you’ll likely get a blank stare. For this page and my work in Home Economics, I define economics as the science of production, consumption and distribution of goods and services. That means for my 21st Century Home Economy, Green’s Acre, I’m going to be looking at all of the different goods and services that I produce, consume and distribute using the scientific method. Now of course I’m not an actual scientist and this is my home, not a lab, so I’m going to be using a more laid back version of the scientific method.

A pair of ground mount solar arrays producing electricity for the homeowner

My scientific method is simple, but will be consistent:

  1. Observe- Either on a macro or a micro level, observe the home economy to view how it’s operating from a more objective standpoint versus a subjective, living day to day, standpoint. Observe the home’s economy with the same attention to detail I’d observe a business’s economy.
  2. Question- Ask questions regarding the current method, efficiency or costs involved with how a portion of the economy is operating.
  3. Hypothesis- Based on the question, make an educated guess as to what outcome could be expected by changing something in the economy.
  4. Test/Implement- Test or implement the changes outlined in the hypothesis.
  5. Results- Using the results of my test/implementation, determine how accurate my hypothesis was and calculate/record the changes.
  6. Repeat- Begin the process over again either in another part of the economy or in the same part to further increase economic production or efficiency.
What people think the scientific method looks like.

Using this simple and straightforward scientific method, I hope you’ll join in the process of sciencing home economics in a 21st century way. Based on what you observe your home economy producing, consuming and distributing, ask questions and form a hypothesis as to what changes you can make to have your home’s economy better align with your goals in life. I’ll share my observations and hypothesis in next week’s blog! Leave your comment below as to what things you believe are most important in 21st Century Home Economics.

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