Sunday, January 23, 2011

Radical Homemakers: Changing Educational Needs

I have read three quarters of the book "Radical Homemakers" by Shannon Hayes and I am finding that some of the ideas posed in the book parallel thoughts that I have been musing over lately.

Over the past few years I have watched our current economic crisis change the criteria for finding employment. The job market has completely changed, yet our educational systems are still spitting out graduates that have been trained to serve a now defunct industrial/consumer based economy.

Well, guess what, we are not consuming. All of a sudden the skills necessary for survival consist of creativity, cooperation and flexibility. Skills such as how to make repairs, raise food and making the items your family needs.

During the Great Depression subsistence farmers were in a better survival situation than were bankers. The farmers were able to feed their families well and their creativity led to clothing being made from feed sacks. They taught their children how to do everything. I remember that my grandfather and my uncles could fix anything and hunt to put meat on the table. My aunts could make anything that was needed for cleaning, dress their families, raise food animals and gardens and preserve their homegrown food.

I am not sure what the answers are for economic survival, but I know that I want my daughter to be competent in our new economic world. I don't know if our current university system will be able to help her, but I will do my best to teach her the subsistence skills I know and that we can learn many things together.

This is a complicated time with an unpredictable future. Flexibility will be our most valuable tool.

God bless,


  1. I love that book..

    Hello from a cold TN! lol

    Denise T

  2. all good thoughts. i think the best education you can give is to teach your children what you know. i learned the most valuable skills from my grandma - how to cook, how to treat my husband, how to get along with lots of other people, "save your money", and that being 'farm poor' is better than regular poor. farm people never went hungry while city friends stood in soup lines.