Domestic Science

Ladies – did you learn Domestic Science Skills?

Way back when I went to primary school, we had to learn Domestic Science. It was called either Domestic Science or Home Economics. I found this in a Google search.

“What do you learn in domestic science?
domestic sciences: Similar to home economics. The study of the science and economics of the home, including cooking, cleaning, and taking care of children.”

I recall it was in year 6 and 7 in primary school, Oaklands in Adelaide, that we “studied” to be housewives and mothers. I don’t recall any textbook or even notes. Our course was at Brighton High School, and I remember riding my bike to the school.

At the time, we enjoyed it – learning cooking skills, and learning how to run a household was interesting.  We knew that we would all go on and use the skills and even now I am grateful for what I learned.

New to Domestic Work?

Today I was returning to my unit and walked past a young lady, much shorter than me, who was trying to hand a bedsheet on the clothesline. She was a dark-skinned lady, (perhaps from Sudan or a similar country) who is a part-time worker for a disabled lady who lives in a unit near me. The clothesline is on a slope and she was on the lower side, jumping and trying to get the sheet over the line. I offered to help and suggested she moved to “higher ground” where she could reach the line. Then I suggested that the sheet would fit more easily on the longer line, rather than the short one she was trying where the sheet would have had to be crumpled to fit. She smiled and thanked me.

It was then that I realised that she would not have had the classes to learn the skills that she needs in her job now. I saw later that the other clothing she had hung out to dry, were also not the way we were taught. She used few clothes pegs, and most of the clothing was crunched up, hence making it more difficult to dry quickly.

white satellite antenna covered by white snow on roof

Photo from Unsplash – by Uta Scholl
seven assorted-color clothes pegs hanging on rope \
Photo from Unsplash Photo by Felix Prado
Domestic Science 1

A “HILLS HOIST” style clothesline

Domestic Science 2


Good Education for all.

In retrospect, I believe it was a good idea to learn some skills for running a home – for I did for so many years and the skills I learned really helped me.  While for a period I did feel a little angry about the discrimination against women of that time, for that and a range of other things that I do discuss occasionally. Perhaps it would have been a good idea for both the girls and the boys learn domestic science for many men did have to do some of the work of the home.

How many men are left behind (wife dies or becomes disabled) and the man had to struggle with running a house hold. These days I see the way the men in the unit block where I live, manage their “domestic duties”. I know that many of them buy ready made rules, (and so do some of the women) – but we usually like to know what is in our food, and how it was prepared.

I laugh at the way the men manage their laundry.  I don’t see any sheets or towels on the clotheslines. Yes, some men have clothes driers, as do some women. I know some men don’t use sheets – they just lay on the bed.

Anyway, I am glad I learned the skills. They have stood me in good stead.

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About Di Hill

My business card says "Writer, Traveller, Camera Addict, Bamboo Fan, Workshop Presenter." This website will focus on my writing - and the workshops I present. Workshops on Blogging, Marketing for Writers, and Life Story Writing.
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