Prepping for Kids, by Rose in Minnesota

A Christian homeschooling wife and mother of three, I find that the subject of children isn’t often addressed by survivalists.  Perhaps it goes without saying that we will teach our children the skills they would need to survive in any given situation, but I know how easy it can be to overlook this vital task in the busyness of raising a family. At the other end of the spectrum, I do not want to raise children who are crippled by fear of the world they live in, nor do I want irresponsible sissies dependent on electronic entertainment and happy meals to make it through the day.

As a solution I have interwoven survival skills with daily life.  American history has come to life with a hands-on approach to the “old fashioned” way of doing things.  From dipping beeswax candles and learning how to build a fire with a flint and striker at a local rendezvous festival to a full year study of botany (think gardening) for science, our homeschool education has taken on a no nonsense approach to learning valuable life skills. 

How about hobbies? My son is an active cub scout learning camping, hiking, woodworking, team building and leadership skills as well as, perhaps most importantly, service to others (as Biblically mandated, not in the lemur-like mindless way the government seems to prefer).  He can be trusted at age eight with a BB gun under very limited supervision because he is responsible and educated in gun safety.  He is a great fisherman thanks to my Hubby.  My oldest daughter, an aspiring chef at age ten, can out-cook many adult women.  I suppose that would have been a less impressive feat a generation or two ago when more women used their kitchens as more than granite and stainless steel showpieces.  However, my little gem is up to her elbows in bread dough or at worst watching Food Network and reading cookbooks while the other little girls are playing video games or talking on cell phones and Facebook.  Not only are the kids practicing important life skills from a young age, they are stirring up cookies and planting herbs with our youngest daughter, age two.

For Christmas gifts this year both of the older kids will find Swiss Army knives under the tree.  My oldest will be delighted to find a vintage campfire cookbook, and my son a wrist rocket with a supply of paint balls to target practice with.  The baby wants only one thing: a kitten.  I need one to keep the mice at bay anyhow.

Whatever the future may look like, I want my kids to enjoy a time of innocence as children.  They are learning the skills they may someday need without worrying about what that day looks like. So, while we are raising chickens and rabbits, learning how to chop kindling with a hatchet, making soap from lye and the herbs we grew in science class, and organizing the food storage into our own little “store”, the world can keep their Happy Meals and X-boxes.  My kids aren’t missing a thing. The neighbors’ children who are always in our yard building “log cabins” out of the firewood and collecting eggs with my kids attest to that fact. They are having a blast!

The children of today are our hope for tomorrow.  What difference does it make how many supplies we’ve socked away or how much knowledge we have acquired if all of the skills die with us?   I urge you to teach your kids, your neighbor’s kids, your grandkids… any kid who will listen or has an interest.  We have to do something to combat the modern culture of entitlement and helplessness.  Battle the apathy and laziness one child at a time.