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Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Household Science in Rural Schools

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This Manual is issued for the purpose of encouraging the introduction and furthering the progress of Household Science in the rural schools of this Province. There are 903 urban and 5,697 rural schools, and 45.87% of the school population is in attendance at the latter schools. The value of Household Science as an educational and practical subject has been recognized, to some extent, in the urban schools of the Province but, up to the present, little attempt has been made to give the subject a place among the activities of the rural schools.

There is a wide-spread impression that it is not possible in Household Science to give any instruction that is of value without the provision of separate rooms, elaborate equipment, and specially trained teachers. Where these conditions exist, of course, the best work can be accomplished; but, even where they cannot be realized, much may be done toward giving definite, useful instruction in the cardinal principles of home-making, which should be learned by every girl. There is certainly not a single rural school where some practical work in sewing and some valuable lessons in the care of the home may not be given. As for cookery, it is doubtful if there is a single school so small and so helpless that it is unable to use the hot noon-day lunch as a method of approach to this branch of the subject.

Students of the physical welfare of children are rapidly coming to the conclusion that a warm mid-day meal greatly increases the efficiency of the pupil and determines to a large extent the results of the afternoon's study. There are other benefits to be derived from a school lunch well prepared under proper conditions. In many communities it has been the means of bringing about a healthy and satisfactory co-operation between the school and the home, of developing a higher social life in the neighbourhood, and of introducing into the school a Household Science course, which has proved as great a benefit to the farmer's wife as to his children.

This Manual deals entirely with conditions that exist in our rural schools and outlines only such plans and schemes as can be carried out, even in adverse circumstances, by alert trustees, sympathetic inspectors, and resourceful teachers.

Permission has been obtained from the Bureau of Education, Washington, U.S.A., to make use of a recently issued bulletin—"Three Courses in Home-making for Rural Schools", and of various bulletins issued by State Agricultural Colleges. The freest use has been made of this material, and the permission to do so is hereby gratefully acknowledged.

Only such theory as can be readily assimilated has been given; and the teacher is advised for further information and help to consult the Manuals issued by the Department of Education on Household Management and Sewing. Those who wish to become thoroughly competent and to earn the highest Departmental grants should attend the Summer Schools provided by the Department of Education. Under certain conditions the expenses of teachers attending these courses are paid by the Department....