Windsor

High school holds 'adulting' classes

More than one hundred students will know how to make small house repairs, change their own tire and even hem a pair of pants.
Grade 12 students are learning how to change a tire as part of 'Adulting' classes. (Amy Dodge/CBC)

Grade 12 students at E.J. Lajeunesse in Windsor are one step closer to living on their own.

More than one hundred students are learning life skills to prepare them for adulthood, including:

  • Car maintenance: changing a tire, checking oil.
  • Home maintenance: patching a hole in drywall, checking breakers, using power tools.
  • Financial planning: budgeting, credit cards.
  • Clothing: sewing a button, hemming pants, how to iron and sort laundry.
  • Cooking for one: five meals you can make with one rotisserie chicken.
  • Mindfulness: stress management.

Jeanette Giroux is a science teacher — but she's also in charge of the sewing club. She taught students how to sew a button and hem pants.

"I just feel like sewing is a skill that we're starting to lose," said Giroux. "As much as technology progresses, you're still going to need pants."

Giroux said it's important to teach sewing skills, calling them something that's "starting to die off with our grandmothers."

One of the classes included instruction on how to use power tools. (Amy Dodge/CBC)

For Melanie Moyer, the classes were about teaching students to feed themselves.

"We try to incorporate vegetables, eggs and different types of protein so that once they're out on their own they can buy one chicken, a few ingredients, and feed themselves for a week," said Moyer. She led a class on turning a rotisserie chicken into five different meals.

Lajeunesse principal Micheline Limoges said while these kinds of courses are available to take as part of the curriculum, not everyone was going to take them. 

"Not all students are going to take shop and learn how to change a tire," said Limoges. "Not all students are going to take an accounting course to learn personal finance."

Grade 12 student Lauren Hodgins learned how to do her finances, (Amy Dodge/CBC)

Grade 12 student Lauren Hodgins learned about personal finances — including how much things like hair appointments, and going to the gym could cost. 

"I spend a lot and I don't even realize it," said Hodgins. "You don't realize how much you're spending until you sit down and think about it. I'm going to have to cut back on certain things."

Hodgins said she's "definitely not" ready to live independently financially, but she was proud of herself for paying her own phone and car bill. 

CBC Windsor caught up with the students to see firsthand how these courses helped the students.

Students learning life skills at Lajeunesse in Windsor, Ontario. 1:41

About the Author

Amy Dodge is a video journalist at CBC Windsor.

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