What Is Family and Consumer Science?


Family and Consumer Science (FCS) is an extension of the academic curriculum that begins in middle school. Most programs include food and nutrition, sewing and personal finance.


  • Historically, FCS education can be divided into two periods. Pre-1960s, classes were called "Home Economics" and meant to prepare girls to be housewives and mothers. As family dynamics changed, both boys and girls needed these skills. FCS classes now help adolescents learn about themselves, careers and family responsibilities together.

Food and Kitchen Safety

  • Students learn basic terminology and essentials of the kitchen: safety and cleaning, reading recipes, measurement and proper use of tools and appliances.


  • Students learn about the Food Guide Pyramid and why choosing a variety of foods is necessary to get important elements in their daily diet.

Food Preparation

  • Students are taught to become part of a team in food preparation. Choosing healthy ingredients, selecting the right tools and cleaning up together are stressed.

Basic Sewing

  • Elementary sewing skills (planning, choosing material, measuring, threading, pinning) are covered, including simple button sewing and making pillowcases, with more difficult tasks introduced later.

Personal Finance

  • In personal finance, students learn to create and balance a budget.


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