Grab lessons to give you the confidence and enthusiasm to feel great about your teaching!

What is Family Consumer Science?

Share this post:


Did you take Home Economics as a kid?

Family Consumer Science has actually been around for decades with a different name! The term “family consumer science” is fairly new and can be defined as a multidisciplinary course that focuses on the management of resources and improving the quality of life for students.

It can cover a range of topics, including nutrition and wellness, cooking, personal finance, parenting and child development, sewing, clothing and textiles, housing and interior design, and consumer education.

The History of FCS

Family Consumer Science or Family and Consumer Science were once referred to as Home Economics. In the 1990s, the course’s name evolved. Some schools across the country still offer Home Economics but the course has evolved to encompass more and to break free from the stigma surrounding the name “home economics”. It was associated with a “girls only” class and often considered “not necessary”, which could not be farther from the truth.

Students may learn about MyPlate meal planning

So, What do you Learn in Family Consumer Science Class?

Here are some of the valuable things you may learn in an FCS class:

  • Cooking– from basic knife skills to running a student cafe, the cooking in your school’s FCS class will range. Students learn at the minimum about nutrition and meal planning.
  • Child Development– children are the foundation of society and it is important to understand their development and needs. In an FCS child development course, you would learn the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of children from birth through adolescence. Topics covered can be related to child development, including Prenatal Development: The stages of pregnancy, parenting styles, the cost of parenthood, and much more.
  • Personal Finance: Students learn how to manage money, including budgeting, saving, and investing, as well as understanding credit and debt.
  • Housing and Interior Design: The principles of interior design, including color theory, furniture placement, and space planning.
  • Clothing and Textiles: The basics of sewing and, and understanding textiles. How in-depth students will get into sewing depends on the class and the teacher.
  • Career Exploration– sometimes this topic is part of an FCS course and students will research careers and prepare for future plans including college entrance and interview skills.
  • New Courses– the beauty of FCS is that it is evolving and new courses can pop up each year. Some include Farm to Table, Adulting, and more!

Check out the National Teaching Standards for Family and Consumer Science

How Do You Become a Family Consumer Science Teacher?

Family Consumer Science teachers are in high demand in recent years. There are many more positions in middle schools and high schools than can be filled by graduates. FCS teaching has its challenges in that you may have multiple preps or courses you will teach in one day as well as a number of skills needed including cooking and sewing.

Here is what you will need depending on the state you want to teach in:

  1. Education: A bachelor’s or master’s degree in Family and Consumer Science or a related field, such as education, nutrition, or child development. Most states require a teaching certificate. Here in NYS, a master’s degree and certificate are required.
  2. Some experience in the fields in which you will teach as well as experience working with children.
  3. Interview skills!

Luckily there are resources to help once you teach FCS online and hopefully with colleagues.

Need help with lesson planning? We have this lesson plan template for FCS and CTE teachers that is editable and ready to use!

If you need FCS lesson plans for middle school and high school, our store has hundreds of options to choose from including full units that are ready to go and no-prep!

family consumer science lesson plans

We also have child development lesson plans that are fun and no-prep!

Read about teaching strategies for Family Consumer Science and Culinary Arts teachers here!

You might also like...