This guest post is by Encourager and entry in our non-fiction writing contest .
We have paid attention to putting by food, water, tools,weapons, medical supplies and clothing. We have prepared the best we can,learned new skills, practiced them, and took classes on first aid and EMT training, taken firearm lessons and practiced, practiced, practiced. We are saving seed for future gardens, buying chickens, ducks, rabbits, cows to feed us and even horses for transportation or farm work.
There is one area that needs to be addressed – the education of our children. I am not writing this article to convert those reading it to become homeschoolers. I am writing it to get you to think about a child’s education when it is the end of the world as we know it. Unless you are content to having a generation or two that cannot read, write or do simple math, you will need to step up and figure out how you are going to educate your children when there are no schools to send them to. Right now there is so much information on the internet on homeschooling which can help you plan for the future – even if currently you have no need or desire to home educate.
There are various methods of teaching at home. Many advocate testing your children to find out what type of learner they are and designing teaching around that. There are Visual Learners (those who learn best by seeing), auditory (those who learn best by hearing), and kinesthetic (those who learn best by doing). A good book to help you determine what type each child is a good idea. (check the internet).
Various methods of teaching at home:
“Eclectic means ‘selecting and using what seems best from various sources, systems or schools of thought.’ Eclectic homeschoolers might say they un-school most things, but use curriculum for math. You will also find eclectic homeschoolers that use a variety of different curriculum that they adjust to fit the needs of their families. Most eclectic homeschoolers can’t take a product and just use it. Just as a mechanic likes to tweak the engine in his car to get just a bit better performance, so eclectic homeschoolers tweak the curriculum they use. Then you find the eclectic homeschoolers that use no curriculum at all relying on good books and hands on resources to help their children learn.” (http://eho.org/homeschool_prep/article.asp?articleid=1&resourceid=69by Beverly S. Krueger.
This is pretty much the method I used to home school my son. We used various curriculum that I tweaked to fit my son’s needs and interests.
The Un-schooling Method
“Un-schooling is not how we do something,but why. Un-schooling is the belief that all people, no matter how old or young, have a built-in desire to learn (unless that desire has been crushed by outside forces). It is a belief that if you allow a person of any age to pursue their own interests throughout life they will end up gaining the knowledge they will need in order to pursue the life they want. Un-schooling has nothing to do with tools that one may use to learn something, it is pure technique.
Assuming the person wants to learn this way, it allows for structure or no structure,textbooks or no textbooks, workbooks or no workbooks. It includes the taking of classes. It allows for correspondence courses and private lessons. It allows for field trips, mentorships, jobs and volunteerism. It also allows for months of just playing with LEGOS or street hockey or endless computer games or taking apart the old car, if that is what the child needs then. It allows the person,no matter what age, to pursue their own goals and their own interests without guilt. It allows for educational freedom. (http://ulfaq.home.comcast.net/~ulfaq/ULfaq.html)
Unit Study Method
“With the unit study method, we choose one topic and combine different subjects to revolve around and tie into that topic. First of all, the unit study approach is different from the traditional textbook approach (which is to read a portion of text, usually full of facts and not very interesting and then answer some questions at the end).” (http://www.unitstudies.com/UnitStudies.aspx)
One of the best examples I can think of for Unit Study is cooking. I used this approach with my son in the kitchen. Cooking involves many areas of homeschooling: reading, math, planning ahead, grocery list/shopping, measuring,hands-on doing, cleaning up and eating the final product!
Classical Study Method
“The ‘classical’ method began in the Middle Ages and was the approach used by some of the greatest minds in history. The goal of the classical approach is to teach people how to learn for themselves. The five tools of learning, known as the Trivium, are reason, record, research, relate,and rhetoric. Younger children begin with the preparing stage, where they learn basic reading, writing, and arithmetic. The grammar stage is next, which emphasizes compositions and collections, and then the dialectic stage, where serious reading, study, and research take place.” (http://www.homeschool.com/approaches/Classical.asp)
I used some of this approach by using a list of books for my son to read. I also used Classical reading comprehension books. I used a bit of all the methods to teach my son. At first I had lists and lists and a time-table and schedule…whichwere tossed in the garbage on day three. It took a while to develop “Our Method”of homeschooling. If it was a beautiful spring day, we set aside the “plans”for the day and went on an impromptu field trip which might have been a museum,the zoo, or just to the closest wetland with a net, boots and jars for specimens (which were examined under a microscope at home). Upon returning home, my son would do a writing assignment describing what we did and what he learned. Many times something we encountered sparked his interest and we would study that area for a few days.
When he was a teenager, his older brother blew the engine on his car. My husband quickly developed a mechanical study and taught our son how to rebuild an engine. Our son learned to drywall and tape,make household repairs, sew, do laundry, and myriads of other useful things that expanded his education. He also took years of violin (his request), guitar(he chose classical guitar) and piano (my insistence since it was sitting in the dining room…)
What will you need?
Think of what you now buy your children before school starts: notepaper, construction paper, scrap paper, pencils,pens, crayons, colored pencils, finger paints, watercolors, aprons to protect clothing during art projects, stuff like beads, cotton balls, foam pieces to make crafts with, theme books, erasers, scissors, pencil sharpeners, glue sticks, glue bottles…whew, you get the picture. For preschoolers you will need coloring books or coloring pages to use when learning numbers and the alphabet. Do an internet search for ‘alphabetcoloring pages’. One good site I found is http://www.first-school.ws/theme/alphabetp1.htm.
You will also need what is referred to as “kindergarten paper” that has lines on it to teach printing the alphabet.(Download many different ‘papers’ from http://www.keepandshare.com/htm/printable/paper/handwriting_paper/free_printable_handwriting_paper.php)
You will need books, lots of books.Begin with the Bible. Read to your children every day. You will need simple books for beginning readers. You will need classics for older readers. This site has a good reading list – http://www.classical-homeschooling.org/celoop/1000.html.You will need books to teach math, from basic adding and subtracting to multiplication and division, (you can download math pages from the internet, just put what type of math such as multiplication in the search box) to more advanced books that teach algebra, trigonometry and calculus.
You may have to go back to teaching using a slide rule as electronic helpers may not be available. In my opinion, buying a series of math books that includes a teacher’sinstruction book, answer book, test book and of course, the student book is agood way to go. We used Saxon Math (http://saxonpublishers.hmhco.com/en/sxnm_home.htm)up to Algebra. For some reason, neither my husband (an engineer) nor my son could understand Saxon Math Algebra. So we switched to Math U See (www.mathusee.com)which uses videos and instruction books. It also had the teacher’s manual, answer book and a textbook.
Don’tforget books to teach science, biology, geology, geography, astronomy, languages,art, music, reading comprehension “7 Keys to Comprehension: How to Help Your Kids Read It and Get It” is good and can be found on Amazon.
Then there is history. BE VERY CAREFUL WHERE YOU GET YOUR HISTORY BOOKS (especially when it comes to American History)! Many current history books, and even those that go back 15-20 years, have had the history “altered’to be politically correct or to teach children false information for whatever reason. An Encyclopedia set from 30 years ago would be very valuable. We used a timeline from creation through present day. It was very similar to what is available on this site – http://homeschoolinthewoods.com/HTTA/timeline.htm#CtoC. We also covered the downfall of past civilizations and what led up to their demise.
You may also want to include books on first aid and emergency treatments (anatomy anyone?), animal husbandry, woodworking, ‘how itworks’ (great series of books on that subject) or what interests you and your family. Of course, some subjects need no book, such as gardening or cooking.Children learn working by our side and learn skills from us.
There are home school fairs every spring and fall where you can buy used curriculum and supplies.Check with a larger Baptist church for a home school group near you (for some reason, many Baptists home school). The contact person will be able to direct you to where to buy used books near you.
You will need a place to store your supplies (all together as much as possible!). It could be a room dedicated to schooling, with desks, bins, drawers, tables for crafts, etc. Or it could be a big bin or two to hold your books and supplies and your children work at the kitchen table. Book shelves are a necessity, in my opinion.
And you DO need a plan. There are homes chool planners out there that are fantastic and some that will make you pull your hair out. You could use a calendar that has lots of writing room. I used a daily planner for a few years that worked well for us. Some use a diary for each child, writing down what has been learned and accomplished. The more children, the more you need to plan! Some classes can be combined such as music and art or even history. You expect more from the older children, such as extra reading, book reports, or even having them write a paper.
If you think those of us who are past child-bearing age are off the hook, think again. Do you have grandchildren now or the possibility of grandchildren in the future? If your adult children are not prepping yet and you KNOW they will be on your doorstep when SHTF, what will you do to educate the grandkids? Is there a chance you may take in a child or children who have lost their parents? I believe that when hoards of people flee the cities, children,the elderly and the sick will be the first to die (those dependent on medications to keep them alive, those in nursing homes, those who are confined to wheelchairs or walkers).
I believe it will reach a point where children who cannot keep up will just be left behind. I have read stories of refugees in war-torn countries begging others to take their children to keep them safe.During the Holocaust, many Jewish children were given away by their parents to keep them from the concentration camps.
They found safety with local families and even in monasteries. After the war, many children were never re-united with their parents as they had perished in the concentration camps. Some were adopted by the families that gave them shelter; some went to the new Israel Nation as orphans; some were placed in orphanages in whatever country they were. Will we ever be in that position? Would we turn away an orphaned child? These are hard questions, but they need to be thought about and we need to know the answer in our hearts.
I know that I have barely skimmed the surface regarding homeschooling. I am sure there are folks out there that are better experts than me. Oh, and I am sure I will hear from those who are opposed to home-schooling! Ask yourselves this – when civilization as we know it stops,should we stop educating our children? We may be very busy at first just surviving; but there will come a time when we will need to do this.
Be prepared. Be ready.
This contest will end on August 7 2012 – prizes include:
First Place : 1 Year Subscription to AlertsUSA, 1 Radiation Safety Package consisting of the following; (1) NukAlert Radiation Monitor and Alarm (5) Radsticker Peel and Stick Dosimeters (1) Box Thyro Safe Potassium Iodide. All courtesy of AlertsUSA. A $150 gift certificate for Federal Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner Ammo. And a British Berkefeld water fillter system courtesy of LPC Survival. A total prize value of over $700.
Second Place : A six pack Entrée Assortment courtesy of Augason Farms, a Nukalert courtesy of Shepherd Survival Supply and a WonderMill Grain Mill courtesy of Kitchen Kneads. A total prize value of over $550.
Third Place : A copy of each of my books “31 Days to Survival” and “Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat” courtesy of The Survivalist Blog dot Net and “Kelly McCann’s Inside the Crucible Set” courtesy of Paladin Press. A total prize value of over $200.
Contest ends on August 7 2012.