Training Children, Part 4

August 24, 2011


In the first several installments in this series, I addressed our definition of training, what it may entail, and how you may go about training your own children. At this time, I want to talk about some of the things we feel are integral to our children’s education and training.

What skills should we be sure our children have for a future that is uncertain?

Joe and I have watched with astonishment as the cost of college has skyrocketed and the return on that education investment has continued to decrease, if one can find a job at all. Though we still hope (and plan) for our children to go to college some day, we are also aware that a post-EMP world or country reeling under further staggering inflation may not offer the traditional higher education. What then?

Actually, for us, it won’t mean much change.

No matter what “professional” avenues are open to our children when they come of age, we will do mostly the same things now. We want our children to have a well-rounded education involving math, literature, history, science, foreign language, etc. no matter what. We will try to make sure that if the university system is still viable when they graduate that they are prepared to take advantage of it. If it’s not, I hope we will have prepared them for that too.

For now, we’ll assume that college is not an option (due to economic collapse, EMP, or other game-changing event). In the world that evolves from the new circumstances, what skills might be helpful, profitable, or maybe even a matter of life or death?

To answer that question, I think back to the turn of the 20th century. Before electricity, before “outsourcing,” before prefabricated stuff, what did a family or community need to prosper? Basic skills to start with, and then skilled craftsmen.

Basic Skills

  • Growing and preserving food
  • Hunting, trapping, and fishing
  • Sewing, knitting, and quilting
  • Cooking and baking
  • Building
  • Outdoorsmen skills (fire-building, orienteering, etc.)
  • First aid and home remedies, midwifery
  • Animal husbandry

Skilled Craftsman

  • Metal workers
  • Doctors and veterinarians
  • Woodworkers
  • Weavers and others involved in fabric production
  • Leather tanner
  • Shoe maker

Having realized this, we will do what we can to provide opportunities for our children to learn all those basic skills and we will encourage them to follow any interest they have in developing trade skills as well. There could come a day when someone who can make a good pair of boots is more needed (and more highly esteemed) than the CEO of a Fortune 500 company!

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7 Comments on “Training Children, Part 4”

  1. Arsenius the Hermit Says:

    My daughter works for DHL up North. My son is going up there in a couple of weeks to join her . It’s all computer work. If things go sour they will just have to come home to the mountains and “retrain.”


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