St. Martha’s Apron Strings – A Catholic Home Making Course

With the past year behind me, I am already gathering books and ideas for next year. There is absolutely nothing sweeter or more exciting than the potential contained in the thought of a new year! I want to begin actively teaching Sweet Pea some home making skills. I had a few ideas on paper when the discussion came up on the 4Real Learning Forum. With a little discussion, the idea began forming more and more and taking shape in my mind.

I am working on a home economics course for Sweet Pea next year. There isn’t a catholic home ec. course out there, so I’m designing my own using Alice Cantrell’s lovely book, Tea & Cake with the Saints: A Catholic Young Lady’s Introduction to Hospitality and the Home Arts. I’ll be using her idea to have our young ladies compile a home-making notebook. The notebook will be divided into various sections that will direct our learning of various topics. They are:

  • Recipes/Cooking Skills
  • Home Keeping
  • Gardening
  • Hospitality – To include a course on ettiquette
  • Gift Ideas
  • Projects
  • Personal Accounts – Money management skills, Savings goals, Budgeting instruction
  • Sewing, Knitting and Crocheting Projects and Skills
  • Basic First Aid Skills
The last two topic ideas are mine, the rest are all Alice’s. I may add more categories, but for now I like this breakdown. We’ll follow Alice’s tea time suggestions to cultivate the gentle arts of homemaking and tending the pantry. As with everything we do, this study will be literature and life based. I’ll be coming up with a more extensive booklist as I plan, but my plans so far include:

Mary Frances books by Jane Eayre Fryer
The Gentle Art of Hospitality
The Hidden Art of Homemaking
Emily Post’s Etiquette (1920 or 1940 publish date – modern versions are trash)
Everyday Graces

The discussion at 4Real provides an abundance of rich ideas to flesh out this course like essential skills in the kitchen, managing money and balancing a checkbook, organizing skills. I’d also like to build a section entitled “The One Thing Needful” encompassing favorite prayers and devotions along with ideas for Spiritual Bouquets.

In the discussion at 4Real it was suggested that our young men could use a similar course or focus of study to develop and cultivate life skills. I really like this idea too! I’d like to give some thought to a life skills notebook for young men. I like the idea of using The American Boys Handy Book as a spine for this study. More on that in another post.

Should be fun! I can’t wait to map out a few more details of this plan!

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  1. Looking forward to seeing more on this! I wonder if a 9 yo is too young? My dd has become a lot more interested in home-making lately… although I don’t think this extends to her room!

  2. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas Jen. I am still getting Abby’s plans together for next year – and I want to make this an important part. I also want my 8 year old twins to have a “boy equivalent”. I never had any kind of practical education – that’s why I cannot poach an egg, sew and shh (I don’t like putting gas in the van!!!)

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