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The luxury of education

To follow on from yesterdays article on keeping kids entertained in a survival situation we need to look at what would happen if the situation was long term. First of all there would be no education at all bar what you were teaching your kids. No school to send them to and no advice, curriculum or experience to help you provide that education. Well, fear not, we can look at that now whilst the data is available. Store it and pick it up again if it is needed.

Bear in mind that those at the leading edge of each subject are not going to be around. We cannot expect any great advances or discoveries whilst we are struggling just to survive, so a good solid education is the most we can hope for. We have to make sure that the information, training and knowledge is available so that we can get back on our feet as quickly as possible. One way to do that is to prioritise and I’m suggesting that we educate our kids as I think they should be educated now. Knowledge, understanding and experience of the necessities, reading, writing, mathematics, medical, general science, basic survival (cooking, starting a fire, staying warm), hygiene, swimming and thinking, by thinking I mean morals, ethics and logical thinking. Teaching them how to process data and think through to a logical conclusion. Followed by more advanced Physics, Chemistry, and Biology for those with aptitude so they can build things and grow our community. If you are religious then insert your religious requirements here.

Consider that older or disabled members of your community may not be able to provide labour to farm, build or hunt but among other tasks they can educate the young, instil morals and ensure they can read, write and add up. Coupled with the training aids and others life experience and knowledge for specific subjects then they can ensure the best education for your kids in the worst possible situation they could be in. Sadly, education beyond the basics is a luxury that only a small community or larger can afford.

There are a few books available to help you set up your home schooling curriculum and help you define the courses you want. They may not be exact matches for the situation you are in but don’t throw away all the experience without checking. Read, learn and adapt for your situation. The following books have been recommended to get you started;

You can also get a wealth of information from the web, sites like UK Home Educators, Learning Treasures and Christian Home Education among others, use Google to search for local information. Although home schooling is under attack from our governments for political reasons the data is still available and free. Collect what you can and store it away while you can even if you do not use it now.

Another thought. Think ahead to the future when things start to come back together. Make sure you have enough put away to educate the brightest and best in the more advanced reaches of mathematics, the sciences and the other areas we have not touched on. Applied Mathematics, Quantum Physics, Gene Splicing, Astronomy, History, to name a few. Download everything you can on a subject. It would be too expensive to buy every book on a subject that you will never use but digital downloads are easy enough. You may not understand it, I may not understand it but your grandchildren’s, grandchildren may understand it and be able to use it without having to reinvent the wheel on every subject. Lives and billions of man days have gone into bringing us to where we are now with these subjects. Let’s not waste that any more than it has already.

Consider as well that home schooling is an excellent way to educate your kids now. Although not for everyone you ensure your kids get taught what you want, they do not get disrupted and corrupted by feral kids nor indoctrinated by teachers with strong political leanings. If I had been able to I would have home taught my children but living and providing took a higher priority. If you do decide to look at it remember that home schooling now has some rules you must follow, check what they are for your area.

8 comments to The luxury of education

  • Skvez

    Skean,

    You say “download it” and then say “your grandchildren’s grandchildren may understand it”. Just what form of digital media are you storing this data in that you think is still going to be accessible in 60 to 100 years time?
    It’s sad to say that a CD or DVD has a typical shelf life of 10 to 20 years. Hard drives might last a little longer if they’re not used heavily. Solid state USB or ‘flash’ drives might be the best media but even they are unlikely last generations. Building in redundancy (making many copies) will help with the odds but even so it’s unlikely anything you don’t re-burn regularly to *new* media will last generations (burning a ‘new’ copy onto a 20 year old DVD blank doesn’t count).
    The computers to access these digital storage media forms are designed with a ‘typical life’ of 3 years. Older PCs were designed with longer lives and I’ve some really old ones that are still going 10+ years but I don’t expect any of them to be generation machines. The monitor is going to be an issue too.

    You might just want to consider picking up an old second hand hard copy of encyclopaedias.

  • Skean Dhude

    Skvez,

    Good point. In a previous life we looked at storage media and found that CDs and DVDs written by home users didn’t even last that long. We also discovered that CDs and DVDs professionally produced, printed, lasted a long time though.

    The only real digital storage method atm is hard drives. That is why I replace mine, copy the entire lot on to a new drive and store the old ones every few years. I’ve accessed HDAs from 30 years ago that still work. 10Mb drives. Who would ever need more than that? 🙂

    I’m always on the look out for a medium that will last a lot longer. I’m hoping solid state drives are the solution.

    Regardless though, whatever you use needs to be stored in a sealed box to protect from electrical noise even ordinary CDs and DVDs last longer using that method.

    In the long run though you are correct. Hard copies of books are the best. Perhaps while everyone else is looting the food shops I’ll be in the library.

  • Skvez

    It’s sad but in an TEOTWAWKI situation I think the contents of the library are much more likely to be burnt or used as toilet paper than actually read.

  • Skean Dhude

    Thats why I need to get there first. I would envision I have a few days before the mob gets around to needing toilet paper.

    On the negative side I’d hate to get shot by plod for looting while acquiring a few Catherine Cookson books.

  • Beladonna

    The thought of passing information to children and grandchildren really is worth consideration. As is how we do that. Maybe something thats worth looking at is how our ancestors passed down information, some thats till in evidence today.

    In the old times the education of children was usually left to the grandparents, with the mothers and fathers working to keep the tribe fed and safe. I think today we largely ignore the vast quantity of knowledge held by older people, they have become the ‘unwanted’ members of society, yet have a lifetime of wisdom.

    Perhaps, rather than look at things returning to what we consider to be normal, we might look at a returning to older values and ways of life. Putting back the oral ways of passing down traditional crafts such as hunting, fishing, housebuilding, becoming in fact more self sufficient, taking more responsibility for us and our family.

    I must admit to being a real bookworm, I collect and read them avidly, but whats in my head will be of more use if the SHTF than anything written down. As for the future, it will take care of itself and if we plant the right thoughts our children will eventually take responsibility for themselves; it isnt having a list of facts in the head that will make the difference, its the abilities we pass on that will provide a future for our children.

  • Skean Dhude

    Beladonna,

    Good point. What is normal now was certinly not a hundred years ago. Modern society and the welfare state means that people don’t spend much time with the kids. The feral ones are the ones that are the issue with society and it isn’t even their fault. Unwanted, unloved and here only because it gets their parents a house and money.

    I love books myself.

    Bringing up children is one of the few things where we can make a difference. It is well worth the investment in time and money if you are prepared to invest the time and effort.

  • Beladonna

    Yes, children are the future, put the basics in place with our children and they will do the rest, if we dont invest time in passing on what we know it will get lost, and our children will be the poorer.

  • Skean Dhude

    Totally agree. In my opinion it is our biggest failing as a society.

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