Teaching Children about Home Economics | SoundVision.com

Teaching Children about Home Economics

The cliché use of the term “home economics” is unfortunately attributed to tasks meant to be undertaken by women specifically, such as cooking, sewing, and providing child and family care responsibilities. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessings be upon him, serves as an inspiration in this regard, too. Other than participating and sharing a role in household duties, he preferred to sew his own clothes if they got torn, and was equally involved in the upbringing of his children and looking after the well-being of his family.

In reality, home economics is much more than just these few skills and parents should do their best to ensure that both girls and boys have training in all things that have to do with the home. Bringing about awareness and also having children take responsibility for chores on a regular basis brings a noticeable positive impact in our day-to-day lives. It can also have wide ranging implications for their ability to live independently and take care of their own families into the future, inshaAllah, God-willing.

Teaching about Home Economics

For parents, it is a dream come true to see our children thriving and mastering skills independently, across various disciplines. And, this is where teaching home economics from an early age can prove to be really helpful. 

The actual study of home economics can be classified into seven broad categories:

  • Meal Planning and Cooking
  • Home Maintenance and Design
  • Child Development and Care
  • Education and Community Awareness
  • Sewing and Textiles
  • Budget and Finance
  • Health and Hygiene

There are endless learning opportunities that can be effectively utilized and put into practice in each one of these areas and there are many ways to break this information down and get your children involved in the learning process. It is important to remember to choose and adapt tasks in an age-appropriate manner. You can even consider adding a score chart to tasks can help them stay motivated and add some healthy competition if you have more than one child. 

Here are some details to keep you moving forward on the right track.

1. Meal Planning and Cooking

Learning how to cook is a fundamental skill for survival. Additionally, it is also important for us to know and teach our children how to prepare balanced meals based on nutrition principles.

Suggested areas of discovery:

Basic Nutrition

  • Finding information related to nutritional guidelines and making a record of it (MyPlate.gov is a nice resource) 
  • Print or record any information you will need to plan healthy meals for yourself
  • Balancing your diet - what do I need each day?
  • Come up with a reasonable plan for one day’s food (which we may or may not actually eat).  It should be specific, like “one apple, ½ cup fat-free yogurt, 4 oz broiled white fish without skin,” etc.
  • Track your food intake for one week - what can you learn from it?
  • Setting goals for the week or month

Meal Planning 

  • Reading a recipe and common abbreviations
  • Age group needs (create a day’s meal plans for the entire family including serving sizes) 
  • Consideration of seasonal foods
  • Local foods vs. international cuisines
  • How do economic considerations affect these decisions?
  • Table setting and organizing meals for the family
  • Avoiding waste

Cooking Skills

  • Knife skills
  • Food safety
  • Handling and preparation of meats, vegetables, and fruits

2. Home Maintenance and Design

This area aims to develop the essential skills for maintaining order and cleanliness in the house, and additionally also includes designing concepts such as home decor and gardening skills.

Suggested areas of discovery:

Home Decor

  • Preparation for painting (tape, remove outlet covers, drop cloth, repair holes, dust baseboards, etc.)
  • Actual painting
  • Restoring order!

Routine and Deep Cleaning

  • Bedrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchen
  • Windows, window screens, blinds, woodwork, comptuer screens, and various surfaces
  • Natural cleaning products
  • Toxicity and other worries
  • Spring cleaning 
  • Laundry (sorting, detergents and fabric care, folding, ironing)

Home Repair

  • Plumbing
  • Drilling
  • Electrical

Lawn and Plant Care 

  • Gardening tools
  • Gardening (planning, maintenance, harvesting)
  • House plants 
  • Weather conditions
  • Composting

3. Child Development and Care

The objective is to create awareness about child development and appropriate ways of responding to children, through their developmental stages.

Suggested areas of discovery:

Bringing Home a Baby

  • Safe play
  • Daily care (includes feeding, soothing, clothing, sleeping, diapering, cleaning, laundering)
  • Child-proofing for safety
  • Emergencies including first aid and CPR review

4. Education and Community Awareness

This includes exploring other areas of learning, such as moral values, ethics, and developing a civic sense in general.

Suggested areas of discovery:

Car Maintenance

  • Fueling
  • Checking tires
  • Check top/off fluids
  • Maintenance
  • Washing
  • Jump-start a car
  • Change a tire
  • Selling and/or buying a car (budgeting, selection criteria, auto insurance, car loans)

Public Transportation

  • How to hail or arrange a taxi, Uber driver, or other similar services
  • Calculating fares and avoiding fraud
  • Ride the light rail (read schedules)
  • How to catch a bus (read schedules)
  • Purchase an airline ticket and find their gate
  • Ferries


  • Opening a bank account
  • Identifying  interest fees, free checkbook, ATM use, and other hidden charges
  • Comparing accounts based on Sharia-compliant policies
  • Maintaining an account (writing checks, balancing a checkbook, making deposits/transfers) 

Home Purchase and Leasing

  • Budgeting 
  • Selection criteria
  • Leasing an apartment (terms, deposits, utilities)


  • Changing mailing address
  • Getting a P.O. box
  • Registering to vote 
  • Registering for the selective service 
  • Use of a Notary Publics

5. Sewing and Textiles

Knowledge of sewing and textiles is beneficial in that it allows children to make simple alterations, mend rips, and make clothes last longer. It also inculcates an understanding of patterns, textures and different types of materials that can be useful for different purposes.

Suggested areas of discovery:


  • Sewing on a button
  • Sewing a rip
  • Repairing a hem
  • Sewing-free fixes
  • Mending socks

Sewing a Garment

  • Cutting and preparation (taking measurements, selecting a pattern and fabric, gathering notions)
  • Practicum projects: apron, child’s toy 
  • Sewing and fitting
  • Hand embroidery, embellishment 

Sewing Machine Basics

  • Threading machine and bobbin
  • Needle selection
  • Basic stitches and uses for various stitching
  • Cleaning and maintenance

6. Budget and Finance

It is crucial for children to understand where money comes from, what means of earning are permissible as per Islamic teachings, and how to use it wisely.

Suggested areas of discovery:


  • Choosing the best value related to quality and price
  • Paying for purchases (with cash, checks, credit)
  • Returns (buy an air filter; return for wrong size)

Wants vs. Needs

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Entertainment

7. Health and Hygiene

This area focuses on self-care and hygiene practices, as well as being able to look after and care properly for one’s self and others in sickness.

Suggested areas of discovery:

Maintaining Cleanliness

  • Clipping nails
  • Hair care
  • Shaving and hair removal
  • Dealing with body odor

Developing Immunity

  • Balanced diet
  • Exercise
  • Physical and emotional well-being

Taking Care in Sickness

  • Basic medication and dosage instructions (over-the-counter medications, vitamins)
  • Checking body temperature
  • Basic first aid
  • Fractures, sprains and bandages
  • Knowing about vaccines and medication (and potential side effects)
  • Doctor’s appointments and consultation 

With the right mindset and a proactive approach, we can nurture sustainable life skills and help develop sensibility and creativity in our children. Beware of the traps of gender sterotypes. Remember our children are learning about their responsibilities in and around the home from both what you say and do. 

Here are some useful links for further reading and inspiration on the topic: 

15 Life Skills Essential for Teens and Tweens  http://www.reallifeathome.com/15-life-skills-essential-for-my-children/

Teaching Kids Life Skills


Write your Own Home Economics Curriculum


Note: This article was inspired by Bright Love’s Home Economics Curriculum (2 year plan) for Teens


Umm Ahmed is an early childhood educator and mother of three boys. Always on the quest to learn, she is passionate about seeking knowledge and passing it on to others. A writer in the making, she draws inspiration through deep conversations, laws of nature, and her own children. She and her family are currently living in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Add new comment