ESTABLISHING A HOME
Certain very definite attempts are being made in these days to meet the evident lack of homemaking knowledge in the rising generation. And since definiteness of plan lends power to accomplishment, we cannot do better than to analyze as carefully as possible the various lines of knowledge required by the prospective homemaker in entering upon her life work.
What are the problems of homemaking? And how far can we provide the girl with the necessary equipment to make her an efficient worker in her chosen vocation?
Country life and city life are apparently so far removed from each other as to present totally different problems to the homemaker and to the vocational educator of girls. And yet underlying the successful management of both urban and rural homes are the same principles of domestic economy and of social efficiency. The principles are there, however widely their application may differ. While we may wisely train country girls for country living, and city girls to face the problems of urban life, we must not lose sight of the fact that country girls often become homemakers in the city and that city girls are often found establishing homes in the country. Nor should we overlook the truth that some study of home conditions in other than familiar surroundings will broaden the girl’s knowledge and fit her in later life to make conditions subservient to that knowledge.
Both rural and urban homemakers must be taught to appreciate their advantages and to make the most of them. They must also learn to face their disadvantages and to work intelligently toward overcoming them.
The country homemaker has no immediate need of studying the problems of congestion in population which menace the millions of city-dwellers. The country home has plenty of room and an abundance of pure air. Yet it is often true that country homes are poorly ventilated and that much avoidable sickness results from this fact. The country home is often set in the midst of great natural beauty, yet misses its opportunity to satisfy the eye in an artistic sense. Its very isolation is sometimes a cause of the lack of attention to its appearance to the passerby.
The farmer’s wife has an advantage in the matter of fresh vegetables, eggs, and poultry, but the city housekeeper has the near-by market and finds the question of sanitation, the preservation of food, and the disposal of waste far easier of solution.
The city housewife is often troubled in regard to the source of her milk supply; the country-dweller has plenty of fresh milk, but frequently finds it difficult to be sure of pure water.
The country homemaker often lacks the conveniences which make housekeeping easier; the city woman is often misled, by the ease of obtaining the ready-made article, into buying inferior products in order to avoid the labor of producing.