16 People Give Their Thoughts On Whether Or Not Basic Home Repair Skills Should Be Taught In Schools

Back in the day, we all had to take a “home economics” class and also a shop class of some sort that felt like you were an inch away from losing a finger most days. I don’t remember these things being optional, at least not the first ones, and I have to say, I have actually used some of those skills as an adult.

Should it be required, though? If someone doesn’t want to make repairs, they should be able to pass the buck or simply replace that jacket with the missing button, right?

Basic handyman and repair skills should be taught in high school.

Just basic stuff like sewing, how to properly and safely install shelves and furniture, fixing basic plumbing issues, how to safely use power tools and regular tools, and most of all, how to troubleshoot problems. It’s so often that people I know have an object or item break and instead of trying to determine themselves what broke it and how they could go about fixing it up, they just see the item as worthless and will just buy a new one despite a fix being criminally simple.

We should be taught to use our own intuition and plan out repairing things. It genuinely makes me feel confident and proud whenever I can fix something up, even if it’s a simple task. We should also be taught when it’s time to call in a professional.

I know some of the things I’ve described were most likely in home ed classes way back, but nowadays at least at my high school in Canada, it’s been split into food and nutrition and healthcare. There’s also obviously much more that should be taught, I only gave a few examples.

This Redditor says no, but let’s see what everyone else had to say!

16. Like in the U.K.

We just had a local vote to expand the school to include vocational programs. The school goes into a review with you your sophomore year about whether college is the end goal or not.

If so, you take courses designed to get you into college.

If not, you can graduate as a licensed vet tech, plumber, electrician, architect, etc. It’s pretty nice and with a school such as our local one with low college attendance rates, it will work pretty well to build up local blue collar jobs that aren’t menial or retail labor.

15. It’s a budget issue.

It’s all up to the local school’s budget.

As useful as a lot of courses would be – auto repair, woodworking, home ec, financial literacy – they require teachers, they require classroom space and supplies. A lot of public schools can’t afford those things anymore. They can barely afford the priority classes like history and science.

14. They could save us all money in the end.

IMO all those classes can save kids a bundle. You’re probably a lot less likely to get screwed by an auto shop if you can determine what’s wrong with your car yourself.

You can also save a lot on food if you know how to cook yourself, how to tailor your clothes, etc.

13. It’s a brave new world.

In the Old World there was some room for forgiveness when it came to vehicle maintenance. Current vehicles are very much being designed to limit / remove repair capabilities. This involves using inferior quality components (plastic and aluminum instead of steel for high stress components) and planned irreparability (sealed with glue instead of screws) for high tension components.

Repair skill is less useful for modern cars today than yesterday and tomorrow will always be less. Financial literacy would have avoided that purchase and pitfalls to begin with.

Even clothing repairs fall under those same hazards with the intentional use of lower quality fabric (thin and low thread count.)

12. It’s out there…

Personally, as a Grade 11 high school student in Canada I’ve taken a shop class (tech, auto, woodworking, construction) every year sometimes 2 a year even though I dont need them I figured they’re good skills to have and I can help my Dad a little better at home now when we do some repairs/installs

11. There’s always trade school.

You ever been to a trade school? I went to SIAST in Saskatoon, day 1 there is a Snap-On salesman, a Mac salesman and a Matco salesman there trying to sell a bunch of dumb 18 year olds financing on brand new tools.

I’m glad I didn’t get into trades until I switched careers at 26 because if I was 18 and offered “hassle free” financing on “professional quality” tools I probably would have bought a bunch of Snap-On or Mac tools without thinking about the interest rates and would have still been paying it off.

10. Part of maintaining a license.

I think this should be required in drivers education.

Tire change.
Battery change.
Checking oil, coolant, power steering fluid, etc
Windshield wiper change (although even autozone will do this for you).

Probably a couple more but that’s a quick list of bare minimum skills everyone should be able to do when you get your license

9. A huge disservice.

My HS used to offer all these but by the time I attended they had phased out all these types and by my senior year the students had lobbied to get them back and they were barely reintroducing things like home economics.

I believe they did us a huge disservice for the 2-3 generations that did not have access to these types of courses.

8. It varies widely – based on money, I’d bet.

It depends on where you’re located, and what district your school board falls into. A lot of rural schools in Ontario will teach you basic sewing, cooking, shop skills in grade 6-8 (ages 11-14). It all varies widely from school board to school board and teachers.

In our rural high schools gr 09-12 (ages 14 -18) we still have machine shops / welding, electrical, auto, wood, home ec.

7. They’re kind of looked down upon, though.

Many highschools throughout the USA will offer vocational schools attached to the regular schools. Including basic woodshop, welding, computing, home-ec etc.

Sorry to hear they don’t do this in Canada anymore 🙁

6. We can all attend for free.

They are taught for free on YouTube. You can learn most anything that a homeowner would ever encounter.

I work as a maintenance man for some apartments buildings. I lied on my resume and have gotten by for these past few years googling shit and YouTube videos.

5. Some still have options.

Daughter is in HS now (Texas). She took auto tech last year. The school offers welding, pharmacy tech, med tech, vet tech, in addition to all the college prep stuff.

I’m honestly impressed by some public highschools in Texas. The one’s around me offer several degrees along with tech programs so highschool kids already have their associate’s degree graduating high school in hopes they go to college for only 2 years, coming out with a bachelor’s degree and way less school debt.

Homeschooling had offered this already, so I kinda wonder if this put pressure on the public schools to offer this. Of course they can’t be shown up by homeschoolers.

4. It really does work (most of the time).

I learned sewing in art class in middle school.

But anyway, if you know how to use youtube, you can do any of those things.

When my husband and I started budgeting about 6 years ago, we started using youtube to repair everything.

3. A step in the right direction.

The actual current trend in education is actually to encourage vocational programs over college. It’ll eventually transition back to college over vocation. The long term patten is like this: vocational licenses get pushed, the market gets saturated, shift to pushing college, market saturation, back to vocation, etc. This is just something that happens over long periods of time (one or two decades).

As for COVID, the programs are still very popular, but there are a lot of questions over the state requirements for licensure (mandatory classroom hours, internships, etc). As you can imagine, it’s a little difficult to run a CNA training program in this environment. Auto body, on the other hand, isn’t that bad.

2. Our communities are dwindling, though.

Here’s an opinion: stop trying to rely on the school systems to teach you everything. This goes for parents, students and communities in general.

But a slight twist to that is, you are capable of learning without any help from others. I learn from people as much as possible, but if I want to learn something, god dammit I figure that shit out on my own.

1. University isn’t the end-all, be-all.

It really depends on your region. I’m a HS teacher and we have a huge offering of vocational courses. All of our growth in courses at the HS level in the past 5 years has been career focused.

A lot of high schools have recognized the cost of a 4 year university is prohibitive or unwise for many and are really trying to help students explore other options. Our biggest challenge right now is convincing parents. They want to see their kids get into the most prestigious university but the kids are the ones footing the bills. That isn’t the case everywhere of course but we really try to counsel kids out of huge student loans unless they have very specific career plans.

I think the courses should be offered, but not required – it’s not for everyone!

What do you think? We want to know down in the comments!