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Is mentioning Home Schooling putting people off Permiculture ?  RSS feed

 
David Livingston
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Does the fact that many Permies Home School put people off Permiculture ?

I see many people usually Americans mention with pride that they Homeschool. So many that I am concerned that in the eyes of newcomers to the scene that it may be considered as synonymous.

I dont believe there is or should be seen as any connection between the two philosophies .

I would like permiculture to spread ion Europe but for this site to help this we need to realise that the european view is that it is very odd to say the least to home school . In Germany it is illegal , in many parts of France it would be considered anti social because a school is seen as one of the centers of the village and villages fight the government to keep them open . I have even read of villages in france offering free accommodation to people with children just so there are enough children to keep the village school open .

Many people in europe perceive home schooling for those who are extreme politically or religiously, they worry about the safety of the children involved , they see it as a failure of the society involved and see it for those who want to be outside mainstream society. Thus I believe its promotion on Permies may put people off Permiculture .I know this hypothesis is hard to prove as the people who may have been put off are not here to confirm this

I want Permiculture to become mainstream and dont think it should be confused with other issues that are not relevent .

I myself dont think Homeschooling is a good thing but that people should have the right to homeschool if they wish .

David
 
Michael Cox
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David, this is an interesting question but I think it goes wider than just discussions about home schooling.

You are right that home school is definitely not the norm here in the UK, and in certain circumstances can be regarded with suspicion. It has been my experience through these forums and elsewhere that people who discuss permaculture seem to have many other agendas alongside and tangled up with the actual practice of permaculture itself.

The prepper/survivalist mentality is one example - driving towards total independence in food security/resources. There is nothing I can see inherent to permaculture itself that says that total independence is needed and in fact healthy trade between permaculture establishments is sensible. It is a pesimistic position based on a fear that law and order will totally collapse - I would like to think to permaculture is in fact generally an optimistic view point, based on improving what is happening in the world around us. How will such a mindset resonate with Joe Bloggs conventional farmer who is thinking about starting to transition?

Similarly when people start linking permaculture to things like biodynamics:

I come from a Rudolf Steiner background, so bd seems pretty normal to me. But bd's 'woo-woo' nature really alienates those who consider permaculture a design science, and bd...not, basically. discussion of biodynamics in permaculture


Biodynamic farmers strive to create a diversified, balanced farm ecosystem that generates health and fertility as much as possible from within the farm itself. Preparations made from fermented manure, minerals and herbs are used to help restore and harmonize the vital life forces of the farm and to enhance the nutrition, quality and flavor of the food being raised. Biodynamic practitioners also recognize and strive to work in cooperation with the subtle influences of the wider cosmos on soil, plant and animal health. Biodynamics


To me terms like "restore and harmonize vital life forces" sound like quackery - and when people start tying what can sound like quackery into permaculture there is a risk that permaculture itself can be percieved as quackery too. If people don't feel comfortable with the idea of planting by planetary alignments they may end up feeling uncomfortable with the bigger picture of permaculture and end up throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Homeschooling then comes with a whole range of associated cultural baggage and shouldn't be necessarily tied in with permaculture - the school bus still drives past the farm gate in the morning and doesn't stop when you start digging swales and ponds. Aspects of American education systems are percieved to be pretty dreadful by those of us in Europe anyway, and then small cultural groups are given freedom to withdraw their children from broader society to perpetuate the beliefs and mindsets of their parents. I'm not saying it is always a bad thing, however it can be regarded with suspicion when, for example, those with extreme religious positions decide to homeschool. To my mind this can lead to extremely narrow viewpoints and intolerance, regardless of the quality of the actual education received.

I guess my point is that conflating permaculture with other movements - what ever they may be - risks putting off people who consider themselves more mainstream. This is not to say that other view points are not appropiate in certain circumstances, but I'd like to see the "permaculture" message remain clear and clean and not carry unnecessary baggage.

Good job this is in the Cider Press!
 
R Scott
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Related thread: http://www.permies.com/forums/posts/list/40/30210?OWASP_CSRFTOKEN=ZIQH-FF7P-4HFQ-O4TX-QHV8-OT6I-1E7V-9KSH#235933

This is, in general, an intolerance and bigotry problem. Those that are intolerant or bigoted will be put off by anyone with a differing worldview.

 
Adam Klaus
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Well I can only speak to where I live, but here in Colorado homeschooling is highly respected and admired, by almost all segments of society.

I homeschool my three children, I practice permaculture, and I even am a Biodynamic farmer (gasp!).

There is strength in diversity, if we can be tolerant of others' differences. This is one of the cultural things that, IMHO, Europe can learn a lot from America.


A diverse permaculture movement may have certain aspects that do not resonate with all potential permaculturalists. That is okay. I dont dig everything that gets ascociated with permaculture, but that isnt a problem. Just like I dont dig everything from my political party, religious leaders, parents, or philosophers. I think for myself, and encourage everyone else to do the same. We are all different as individuals, and we are stronger as a group for our diversity.
 
Michael Cox
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R Scott wrote:Related thread: http://www.permies.com/forums/posts/list/40/30210?OWASP_CSRFTOKEN=ZIQH-FF7P-4HFQ-O4TX-QHV8-OT6I-1E7V-9KSH#235933
This is, in general, an intolerance and bigotry problem. Those that are intolerant or bigoted will be put off by anyone with a differing worldview.


Thanks for that link - I missed that thread first time around.

The opening video from that trhead - posted originally by Paul Wheaton - I think captures my point, perhaps better than I put it myself. The key bit starts at 3mins 30sec.



I particularly like "We are about science and ethics and not metaphysics - the unproven sciences will discredit and dilute our system. And there is enough to do without going there."

Personally I have no problem with people acting as they choose; home school, use biodynamics and fortify your land against the coming apocalypse as you see fit. But these elements are not permaculture. They are not helpful for the vast majority of people and if we send a message (deliberately or not) that they are part of what permaculture is all about then I fear we may as a community hamper the dissemination of important ideas and principals.

I make no bones about taking a rational and scientific approach - If I do something on my land I observe the results, try to make a sensible deduction about the mechanism for any improvements made then I have the option to do further tests based on some evidence or at least observation. This approach is really easy to sell as an idea, it fits in with most people's accepted world views. Now "biodynamics" may well have stumbled on to some genuine beneficial stuff. I don't know much about it but the idea of innoculating soils with microbes sounds plausible as a mechanism for making some kind of change to the ground - but selling the concept to farmers on the basis of "harmonising life forces" is going to be really difficult.
 
R Scott
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Keep in mind most sciences get it WRONG for a long time before they converge on a correct answer. Correlation does not mean causation.

There are times you can isolate permaculture (or anything in particular) from the rest of a person's actions--but there are times when they are tightly coupled to their overall worldview and those motives cloud the results.

For background, I came to permaculture from homeschooling. It was a natural progression of stewardship and responsibility for my family and their future. And a rejection of modern "scientific" failures (age segregated schooling and petrochemical agriculture).

Those with weak minds and those wanting to control those with weak minds, look to divide and play the divisions against each other. Permaculture is, at first look, a weird thing that attracts the doomsday prepper and the hippie--two groups that seem diametrically opposed. But when you look closer, it attracts those from each group that have a common goal--liberty and self reliance. Revolutionaries.


 
Adam Klaus
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Michael Cox wrote:

Personally I have no problem with people acting as they choose; home school, use biodynamics and fortify your land against the coming apocalypse as you see fit. But these elements are not permaculture. They are not helpful for the vast majority of people and if we send a message (deliberately or not) that they are part of what permaculture is all about then I fear we may as a community hamper the dissemination of important ideas and principals.


I dont understand the issue. There are some things we all dont relate to, but no individual gets to define the boundaries of the scope of the movement.

To me, in a rational way, homeschooling is absolutely a natural outgrowth of educating our children in a permacultural way. If someone's cultural biases are opposed to homeschooling, that does not change the fact that homeschooling very much accords with the principles of permaculture.

IMHO, homeschooling is a natural (but by no means essential) part of doing education in a permacultural way. That's how it works for my family.
 
Landon Sunrich
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I personally would like to see a sort of hybrid system adopted where public schools become far more open and less structured. Show up when you want/leave when you want sort of thing. Then they really do become community centers. I've elaborated on this a bit elsewhere.

I guess if you have kids schooling might come up in discussion - but I've never though of the two (permaculture/homeschooling) as being connected or at odds with each other either way.

I know that I met some really interesting awesome different yet very well educated friends once their parents decided to stop homeschooling and let their kids get some interaction and intermingling. Given my experience I'd never write off someone because they home schooled their kinds. I would be really interested in their politics, beliefs, et cetera. I think an open system would be best where parents can both teach their children to their strengths and also have community facilities where their kids can learn from professionals ( or just people with different more personally applicable teaching styles) using equipment out of the scope of purchase for most individuals.

 
Michael Cox
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Landon Sunrich wrote:
"but I've never though of the two (permaculture/homeschooling) as being connected or at odds with each other either way."


This - they are not incompatible but they also don't need to come packaged together.
 
wayne stephen
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Home schooling and permaculture do not have to be linked . Would you agree that a series of localized , decentralized , uniquely regional school systems would be the minimum standard ?
 
Michael Cox
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No, not particularly - I'm a teacher of many years, I've seen excellent schools and I've seen dreadful schools. Recently in the UK there has been legislation passed allowing independent groups (religious communities etc...) to set up their own independent schools, essentially outside of the oversight of regulatory bodies. Sounds great in principal but many have had very bad press due to poor teaching standards and closed minded world views. I'd like to believe that decentralised education could work well, and I'm sure in some cases it does, but here it is being poorly executed and is failing children.

That is not to day that I think the existing system of schools is much better, but the oversight at least means that the very worst cases are picked up on.

But my bigger point is that by linking this debate to permaculture, or in fact the many other debates that we as individuals may be having about broader issues, we may end up distracting from the core principals that bring us together on a permaculture board. Are the discussions worth having - quite probably. Should they be tied in as being part and parcel of permaculture as sometimes seems to happen - probably not. On the whole people here are pretty good about staying focused but I personally get quite wary when permaculture gets packaged up with other issues.
 
Cris Bessette
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I think the root issue is how permaculture is perceived by "outsiders".

When I think of permaculture and it's practitioners, most tend to be types that think outside the box- home schoolers, hermits, back-to-the-landers, hippies, long hairs , etc.

There seem to be few straight laced "normal" people in permaculture.


In reference to the OP"s question-
|I think many people in the general population can be put off ANY philosophy that is associated with people that are not like them.



 
Dale Hodgins
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Our first two posters are British and have thus grown up in a society where a good public education is considered normal. I agree with those two on almost every point. I believe that home schooling has some benefits, particularly if a child is miles ahead of his cohorts in intellectual development or if the child is lagging far behind or is socially awkward or being abused by other students.

I have known many families who home school. Most had some religious or ideological basis for it. My mother took two of my siblings out of school for a time in order to drill religious mumbo jumbo into their little heads. She then sent them off to church school. They rebelled and a year later they were back in school with their friends.

I agree with Adam that the British could learn a thing or two from America. Unfortunately, much of it would be in the form of cautionary tales. Many Americans can't count on the local school providing anything that looks like a well rounded education. This is why some of the more rational home schoolers choose it.

There are many crackpot groups who home school their children as a means of exercising absolute control over their young lives. Here in BC we have a polygamous religious sect that has broken ties with the Mormon church. Their children are seldom allowed to interact with anyone outside of the community. Several racist groups keep their offspring totally secluded from outside world. This sort of thing is far more common south of the boarder. Some groups treat children as property or as apprentices who must obey and learn without questioning the dogma they are presented with. They are told how their lives should be. Some are ex communicated for daring to question the authority of parents and leaders. Often there is an extreme xenophobic component to their training. By teaching children to fear and distrust everything that is foreign to them, the kids are more easily managed. That's the reality of many home schooled children.

My mother tried to keep me away from knowledge and outside influence when I was little. We had a set of Britannica Encyclopedias. I read them all. And that was that. I used this single resource to research and refute every bit of nonsense that I was spoon fed.
 
wayne stephen
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My older two children were public school kids . My youngest is in her senior year home schooled . Four of my family members are teachers in the school system . My spouse and daughter have religious basis for home schooling . I have a secular , anti-theist world view and have my own rationale for her being home schooled . In spite of the mind numbing , creativity staunching public school indoctrination suffered by my older two they are motivated self learners who are proceeding along in life just fine . In spite of the deficits in her parents skills as educators our youngest is a highly motivated self learner who is way ahead of the pack and giddliy thrilled about the prospect of her future life. I believe if you can get through those first twelve years with a basic education and retain a love for learning you will be ok . Its all what you make of it.
With my oldest daughter , I would say the public school system gave her needed stability while her parents - my first wife and me - went through the turbulence of divorce and remarriage . Has worked as a model and now lives in a community that uses barter and alternative currency . Funny thing , both her and my youngest have the same career goal at this point in their life . They are twelve years apart in age . Both are looking at lay midwifery as a career plan .
My son spent most of his public school day daydreaming - barely absorbing any rote data to long term memory . Luckily he did retain an adeptness at the english language that I now feel he learned from pop media more than grammar texts. His homework pages were turned in with song lyrics and guitar tabs doodled on the margins. He paid attention only in the music classes {trumpet} he excelled at and self taught himself guitar , bass , keyboards , harmonica , drums , and voice. An accomplished professional musician , he revealed his socio-geographical illiteracy when his band was setting out on a 40 day tour of Europe and Russia . We were discussing Russia and he says " Dude , That's that gnarly place isn't it ? " Yeh Boy , That's that gnarly place . Have fun ." Unlike him , my college education has yet to take me to Europe , Japan , every state in the Union , most of the Canadian provinces , Mexico , Brazil , and in a few days Australia . I should have doodled more .
My youngest has a peer group of young ladies who wear long skirts , long hair , ride horses like wild women , and carry daggers on their belts . Watch out , Boys ! They are all home school kids . If you met them you would wish to be their age again . Very inspirational young people . She can bake bread from scratch 20 loaves at a time - grinding the grain too - and create a PowerPoint presentation . She has ferverent political and moral opinions and they are quite polarized to my own at times and she has my support . We have wide common ground . For her school curriculum we picked through the available choices and adapted our own model . RosettaStone for Spanish . A Mennonite English course deeply entrenched in the practical mechanics of the English language . "Math You Can See " which got her through two years of Algebra and year one of geometry . Senior year the math program is "Stewardship" - How to budget , finance a loan , plan for retirement . She tinkers with the piano . She is training an arabian mare using the Parelli Natural Horsemanship method .
Being a homeschool parent is a good way to get a refresher course in the stuff you should have learned while you stared out the window .
With all the mediocraty and occasional demented newsflashes eminating from the public schools , what is there to be afraid of trying a do-it yourself education . With homeschool , what is there to be embarassed about ?
 
Dale Hodgins
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I see religious indoctrination as the most common and publicly accepted form of child abuse in North America. This bias clouds my view of homeschooling. Religious parents seeking absolute control of the young person's thoughts are my main worry. I question the intelligence and competence of those who make faith based decisions for their offspring.

I can't imagine a better situation than being home schooled by Edison or Bell, or other people of great achievement. Most parents are not in that league. A publicly schooled child of less than adequate parents, has some chance of finding good role models amongst his teachers. There are home school groups who work to ensure that the children have a wide degree of exposure to many ideas and people who are different than their own family. There are also groups that are mostly concerned with limiting the child's exposure to ideas and people outside of the accepted dogma.

I had both positive and negative experiences in the public system. I was brighter than most of my peers and had to sit through hours of mind numbing repeating of things that I got the first time. I got a lot of other thinking done during these times and I got in a little trouble for not paying attention to the proceedings.

Some of the most interesting and the dullest adults in my life were teachers. Mrs. Devit and Mr. O'Donahue helped hundreds of children to learn how to be critical thinkers and how to get along socially. Both encouraged me to learn far more than was offered by the curriculum. The blatant favoritism shown by Mr. O'Donahue was the first time in my life that I was rewarded for being smart. He didn't see questioning everything as bad behavior. Mrs. Peterbough stands as one of the stupidest people I've ever been forced to keep company with. It was grade four and being in her class was a real learning experience. I learned that there were adults who I could totally dominate and manipulate. I was sent to see Floyd, the principal on several occasions when I refused to cooperate with this tyrant. Whenever I turned the conversation to Mrs. Peterboug's lack of intelligence, Floyd's secretary had to leave the room. She couldn't stop snickering, and this irritated Floyd.

I'm glad I wasn't home schooled. I can't imagine that it could have gone well. This is not based so much on a negative judgment of home schooling as it is of my mother. She has always been quite bright in some ways, but her religious interpretation of the entire universe makes her a horrible teacher. Her father was a fire and brimstone preacher. I didn't respect him at any point during my childhood and as an adult, I have come to realize that he is the reason that my mother's intellect is so repressed. I used to watch him stammering and panting at the pulpit, admonishing women for wearing the styles of the day and condemning boys with long hair to hell fire. He died, fat as a pig at 59.

There are probably millions of families who are perfectly capable of churning out well rounded, useful citizens. There are probably just as many who would seriously screw it up.
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Geography I think it should be stated that for some families, getting to a regular school can be quite difficult. People live in some very remote places. I wouldn't expect lighthouse keepers, trappers in Nunavut or those on small islands to spend all day going to and from school. These people are small in number compared to the mainstream, but still number in the hundreds of thousands. In this way, North America is different from western Europe, where almost every kid lives close to a school. At one time I was looking for some really remote land. Lack of schools was an important factor in abandoning that idea in favor of something 10 miles from a city.

The kids didn't grow up weird, but they also didn't grow up with a huge degree of self reliant bush skills. My 25 year old is in her first year of teaching. My 19 year old is a 3rd year teaching student who will finish when she is 21 1/2. They both liked school since kindergarten. Both like to be in charge and they like kids. The little one was head of the student council while in grade four. A major challenge for teachers is dealing with kids who have a bad home situation. It's very important that those children have people outside of their families who can watch over them and report abuses if need be. Teachers are naturally positioned to keep an eye on these things. When she was in grade two, my oldest daughter found out that a boy in her class was being beaten at home. She told me, and we told her teacher. The teacher got social workers involved and forced some changes in that family.
 
David Livingston
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Or is this all how we see our rights?
I feel I have the right to free healthcare And good éducation for my children And on the other side of the pond ? .......

David
 
R Scott
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David Livingston wrote:Or is this all how we see our rights?
I feel I have the right to free healthcare And good éducation for my children And on the other side of the pond ? .......

David


Some of this is a rights/privilege/responsibility thing.

I absolutely want the best food, healthcare, and education for my family. So much so I don't trust it to just anyone.

PS--I change my own oil in my car, too, for the same reasons.

 
John Polk
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The original question of this thread was about 'does home schooling turn many people away from permaculture?'
The thread is not about the pros and cons of home schooling, but about how outsiders view permaculture.

There are many pieces to the permaculture puzzle that may deter many people from involvement:
* Home schooling
* Biodynamics
* Humanure
* Survival/prepping
* Etc. etc. etc.

I think that to encourage possible 'new recruits', it is important to stress that these are all options, not requirements.
Utilize those parts that are useful to your situation, and ignore those that are not a good fit.

Not everybody will want to take buckets of shit out every morning to dump them on their rose bushes.
Permaculture is one of those puzzles where you can put it together without all of the possible pieces.

 
Erica Wisner
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Both the Americans and Australians have a big wad of displaced European-derived culture, wrestling with a vast and different continent.
Add a young, mixed society that emphasizes individual independence / ambition, and you have a lot of wacky innovations going on.
We are culturally disconnected and ignorant of time-tested alternatives. We don't know our continents very well. The people who do (did) are not entirely on speaking terms after recent history. We also have wide regional differences; and in America at least, move from city to city so often we often lose any regional identity.

(New Zealand is a lovely contrast; would love to know how they raise their kids with such a strong sense of solidarity.)

The Europeans I've visited (England, Scotland, Germany, parts of Italy) have a deep sense of their history, visitor centers where you can see building methods or learn about agricultural practices over 1000 years old.

This is not a heritage I would lightly toss away in the name of any 40-year-old 'design science,' or for that matter for any 'science' at all. Science is so often wrong before it is right. A continuous, working, cultural heritage is to some extent its own proof. Science can try to explain, but not disprove, that experience.

So if I were in Europe, I'd look at permaculture as an interesting set of principles and ideas, but give my areas' traditional methods at least equal weight.
I would love to tap into 300-plus-year-old estate records for relevant insights, and prove or disprove some of the recent Permaculture dogmas. I would also like to know about the ecological failures, and remedies.
Who would import a New Mexico 'Earthship" and start proclaiming it as ecologically superior to a 1000-year-old farm/estate house of Sussex, England, for example? Especially when you look at suitability and functionality in that climate. I think the cob revival folks have a lot to learn from Viking-era Norse sod-houses. From all reports, the pre-industrial ones were more comfortable than the 19th-century ones; that's progress for you.

Europe can't claim a perfect sustainability factor, however, because it sent all these New World colonists off to scratch a living in alien soil, instead of finding a place for us back 'home.' Italy looked a bit worn-out to me, and Scotland too - did they once have forests?
I don't know if Europeans 'accepting' Permaculture is the necessary solution. I think a healthy critique of the methods on their own merits is very much called for.
Perhaps when Permaculture has learned enough from Old World villagers to make sense to them, it will have achieved maturity.
Perhaps it will take three or five generations of villagers practicing permaculture until it becomes "how we do things around here," and we just have to trust that the same slow traditionalism that guards against innovation will guard the successful innovations once they are accepted.

I think that both American and Australian populations have some dysfunction passed down through the generations, like cycles of abuse.
In the USA, our schools vary widely; can be as 'nutcase' as the homeschooling parents, or just dismal enough to make self-study preferable, or actually functional and satisfactory. The suburban ones I went to were excellent college-prep environments, but scanty on trades; my husband had horrific public school experiences in both urban and rural extremes, and left school as soon as honorably possible.

So... I would not be surprised if the Europeans find a lot of American permaculture zealotry to be in questionable taste.

But having met a lot of American home-schooled kids who were a lot more articulate and informed than the public school kids, I think it might be a misplaced prejudice in this case. ALL our schooling is 'results may vary,' and homeschooling parents come from both ends of the spectrum and the middle too. With the Internet, and excellent homeschooling curriculums, it's not hard to achieve results that are highly creditable.

Homeschooling is legal here; and it's regulated.
There are systems in place to test homeschooled kids, to make sure they are getting at least the (lowest common denominator) education that their public schooled peers receive. In fact I think the testing standards are more stringent, in most areas.

Yes, you could fake it. But it would be a lot more work than sending your kids to school, and working two jobs or eating bonbons or whatever.

We also have 'charter academies' where groups of parents and educators can form a small specialized school with public funds. Independence or 'choice' in education is valued socially; it's part of that individualist culture. Home-schooled kids are no odder than Alaskans, in my experience. Maybe they're a holy terror in the South, or something; but the ones I've met in the Pacific Northwest are mostly just oddly bright, or have weirdly mature speech patterns and fail to lapse into fits of the sullens when addressed by an adult in public.
(Granted, I have substantial bias from meeting a lot of these homeschoolers at the science museum where I used to work; but even some of the religious ones came to the chemistry lab, since we didn't 'preach' evolution. Had some lively discussions in the Paleontology (fossil) lab on the days I worked there, too.)

Would giving every American a superior European public education save the world from Western industrial devastation? Or just from the indignity of appearing foolish meanwhile?

I know enough of European history to understand why the spectre of religious bigotry would be terrifying.
I know enough about American schools to understand that they don't prevent it.

I don't yet know whether permaculture will live up to its intentions. If it defines itself as 'sustainable culture that actually works,' and prunes accordingly, then it can hardly help doing so. But in my opinion what works will be different from region to region, not just physically but culturally. Trying by 'design science' to improve on generations of trial-and-error local evolution may also be a fool's ambition. It will take sound local insight to adopt only the useful improvements, and cautious testing to deploy those ideas at limited scale to verify whether improvements they be. Permaculture principles have both a harder and easier task in older cultures: harder to sell any snake oil, but easier to research and verify post-petroleum options in a society with pre-petroleum records for review.

I think the notion of village schools is likely to be quite sound in areas that have sound villages; I love that the village sponsors families with children. Seems a survival move, for villages losing populations.
Here, people without children often vote against school levies to avoid the taxes. The district I grew up in was growing by about 1000 high-schoolers per year when I was in high school; a shortage of school-age children is a rarity, mostly in towns that have lost their economic backbone, and couldn't afford to sponsor new families if they wanted to.
In areas with massive urban and suburban concrete warehouses for students, homeschooling may be closer to a 'village school' than the public schools can ever hope to be. Not necessarily better, nor worse.

This is one of those posts that I am writing after midnight, and it's more political than the Permies forums usually prefers.
If you later see that it was edited, it will be my better judgment.

-Erica

 
Renate Howard
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Some home school for more control or say in what happens to their kids - i.e. I told the school my daughter had a dairy sensitivity but found out (when I got a BILL from the cafeteria) that they had been giving her chocolate milk every day! No wonder she was having so many problems!

In Kentucky if a teacher KNOWS one student has head lice, she's not allowed to tell the parents to check their kids - even if they're seen sharing hair brushes or hats with the kid with lice. In fact, the schools are no longer allowed to check the kids for lice either.

My daughter's friends who go to public school are always talking about being beat-up by the bullies - the teachers don't intervene. These are elementary school kids. It gets worse.

On top of all that, I think many choose to home school because their eyes are just opened. They stop going with the status-quo and accepting things as they are and start thinking about how things could be, wondering if there's a better way - in food and in raising your kids. Questioning the standard way food is grown and packaged and eaten doesn't stop there - the same people, the same questioning spirit spreads out to other areas of life as well.
 
R Scott
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Renate Haeckler wrote:On top of all that, I think many choose to home school because their eyes are just opened. They stop going with the status-quo and accepting things as they are and start thinking about how things could be, wondering if there's a better way - in food and in raising your kids. Questioning the standard way food is grown and packaged and eaten doesn't stop there - the same people, the same questioning spirit spreads out to other areas of life as well.


Well said!
 
Renate Howard
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On a home schooling level, team sports are one way in which multi-function solidarity can be modelled and taught. Outdoor group pursuits are another that come to mind, as is team debate for those less inclined towards getting muddy


Funny, I see public school in America as destroying solidarity. With the kids being always graded and assigned rather publicly either "good" "average" or "bad" grades, they tend to personalize them, so rather than a kid being ok but poor at math, they become "less than" the kids who happen to be good at math. This creates a cut-throat competition that is exhibited by putting each other down, having "out groups" that are universally despised by students and teachers, and other ills. Some, like celebrated New York City public school teacher John Taylor Gatto link this directly to the high incidence of imprisonment among the adults who did poorly in school, and I can see it as the source of the lack of cooperativeness and too much distrust of one another among many Americans. When you get involved with home schooled kids as a group, like in a home school co-op, it can really blow you away how different they are from public school kids. They're not afraid to like things the main group doesn't know about, they're less afraid to have different opinions, more likely to think for themselves, more honest (because of the lack of fear of being judged) and are WAY more cooperative and altruistic.
 
Matu Collins
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Some people will be drawn by mention of homeschool, some will be put off. A good neighborhood school could fit into a permaculture plan and so could homeschooling.

I homeschooled my oldest until the second half of sixth grade when she got into a small public charter school. I'll homeschool my little guys for at least the early elementary years. They have lots of energy and initiative that will be well used here on the farm and might cause them to be medicated if they had to sit at desks all day!

Homeschooling for many years exposed me to a wide range of families with a wide range of ideas and ideologies. Some homeschooled kids are weird and some are brilliant and friendly.

I consider myself to be an ambassador for both permaculture and homeschooling. If people want to know more I try to show the best clearest picture. Fervent believers in anything can scare folks away. Me, if I thought permaculture involved homeschooling I'd only be more into it. I never got the impression that the two were connected, except that people who reject one status quo are more likely to reject another.
 
Craig Dobbson
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Schooling is a lot like chicken soup.

There's the generic canned stuff

There's green washed canned stuff

There's special local brands of canned stuff.

AND then... there's HOME MADE

Now home made is almost always better than anything you could buy in a store, unless you're a shitty cook.

But what about Home Made & Home Grown? Even better... right?

If you have available to you, the best possible ingredients and the skills to cook it up, you can always to better than the canned crap.

There's a lesson in there someplace but I'm low on coffee so... put it together for yourselves and have the paper on my desk 8am friday.
 
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