Unless I've missed it, I don't see a place to discuss raising children in a Green Wizard mode/preparing children for the future that's coming. If that area of the forum exists, could someone point me there? If not, where does it make the most sense to start a section on that topic? Thanks!

David Trammel's picture

As a long time bachelor, I'm sorry I didn't even consider them.

I feel they probably deserve their own forum/circle.

I'd like to keep the sort of "mystic thirteen" in forum numbers, so perhaps I can consolidate the Sixth Circle, Livability into the Seventh, which is Energy and Power, and then have the Sixth Circle say "Children and Family"?

What does everyone think?

I think each of the Circles as they stand should have a Sticky topic for Teachers, that leads to a special page like story-telling for how to engage young children and teens (who have different needs) and how to cope with infant needs

Blueberry's picture

When working on projects one should always think about teaching a child what you have learned. Growing a garden can help a child understand the seasons, the stars in the night sky. Working with wood how to take care of the forest. Children need to start understand the natural world at a young age like 3. Without children who needs Green Wizards?

I like gkb's idea of a sticky in each circle - then the discussion relating to children/family could be slotted into the appropriate circle. My kids are elementary and middle school age, so we're facing a range of issues from understanding and working with the natural world to very initial discussions about career/college.

Parents and Teachers: Within each Circle you can Search on the field labelled AgeRange to find items of interest to your child or pupils. For posts relating to infant care, search for Infant. Activities suitable for children are coded in 5-yr increments: 1-5 yrs, 6-10 yrs, 11-16 yrs, 17-21 yrs.

The First Circle: Your Physical Health and Your Mental Welfare
Infant Diaperless Daycare
Surround the daycare square with low-growing plants and shrubs; As soon as babies start to pee or poo, nurses simply pick them up and hold them over the planted area.
Older children cover up the babypoop with scoops of sawdust or soil.
1-5 yrs Toilet Training for Composting toilets
6-10-yrs Hand-washing, Sneeze-guarding, and Handkerchiefs
11-16 yrs First Aid at home and in the Fields
17-21 yrs Sick Room nursing care: principles and practices

The Second Circle: Food and Water
Infant Homemade Formula, Goat’s Milk and Wet-Nursing
1-5 yrs Making Roasted Corn
6-10-yrs Kneading Bread
11-16 yrs Building a Clay Oven
17-21 yrs Fire-tending for a Community Feast

The Third Circle: Gardening and Composting
Infant Playpen tractor for mobile babies (and chickens)
1-5 yrs Starting seeds; Shapes of Leaves
6-10-yrs Growing Soil-Sprouted Greens
11-16 yrs Principles of Humanure
17-21 yrs Arborculture, Hugelculture

The Fourth Circle: Animal Husbandry and Pests
Infant Animal Alphabet
1-5 yrs Helpful Insects; How to know where Fire Ants live
6-10-yrs How to milk
11-16 yrs Animal Breeding seasons
17-21 yrs Slaughterhouse season’ Smoking and salting meats

The Fifth Circle: Home, Shelter and Security
Infant That Pot’s Hot, Baby!
1-5 yrs How to make a lean-to; How to know clean water
6-10-yrs How to start a fire
11-16 yrs How to stack a Cord; Filling the Kindling Box
17-21 yrs Tree-felling and log-hauling

The Sixth Circle: Livability (Heating, Cooling, etc...)
Infant Safe vinegar cooling rub
1-5 yrs Paper fans
6-10-yrs Knitting, Signs of frostbite
11-16 yrs Advanced Knitting, Quilting
17-21 yrs Sewing quilted jackets, trousers, boots

The Seventh Circle: Energy and Power
Infant Rack-drying diapers
1-5 yrs Making Hot Pads
6-10-yrs Solar Cooking, weaving candlewicks
11-16 yrs Haybox construction, Candle-making, oil lamps
17-21 yrs Solar water heater from old refrigerator coils

The Eighth Circle: Your Money and Your Craft
Infant How to make a cradle
1-5 yrs Tool Names
6-10-yrs Basic Woodwork
11-16 yrs Advanced Woodwork
17-21 yrs Home Construction: timber framing, plumbing, electrical

The Ninth Circle: Recycling and Repair
Infant Use old venetian blinds to shade your baby-tractor
1-5 yrs Basket-making basics
6-10-yrs Darning socks
11-16 yrs Carving new tool handles
17-21 yrs Shoe repair; attaching new handles to tools

The Tenth Circle: Communication and Transportation
1-5 yrs Semaphore flags
6-10-yrs Morse Code
11-16 yrs Ham radio
17-21 yrs Courier service by bike; security code encryption

The Eleventh Circle: Spirituality, Magic and Religion in Green Wizardry
Infant ????
1-5 yrs Prayers, How to meditate
6-10-yrs Learning songs of praise
11-16 yrs Joining rites of ceremony
17-21 yrs Planning and leading rites

The Twelfth Circle: Critical Thinking and Mental Skills
Infant Exposure to music and rhythms
1-5 yrs Five-Finger math
6-10-yrs Memorizing poems
11-16 yrs Geography, Basic Logic
17-21 yrs Logic Fallacies

The Thirteenth Circle: Community Building and Whole Systems
Infant Community-based daycare
1-5 yrs Sharing food with elders
6-10-yrs Helping with home gardening
11-16 yrs Participating in Community Gardening
17-21 yrs Planning and planting a community garden patch

Serinde's picture

This is an interesting list, and I can see that a lot of work went into thinking about it. I suspect that every group of people will adapt, adopt and adjust lists just like this to suit their own needs and the geographical place in which they find themselves. For that reason there will be many different crafts and even more overlaps between circles 8 and 9 (areas of great interest to me). One thing is for certain, the concept of unemployment will pretty much vanish.

In my experience, children are sponges on legs who will mimic, for good or ill, what the older members of their community do -- they are desperate to learn. Given the opportunity, youngsters absorb lessons quickly and their own abilities become increasingly clear -- the child who has a natural empathy with animals; the child with quick fingers who can weave, for example. All able children will also need to be able to cope -- within their obvious age limitations -- with everyday, life-necessary tasks like planting and the harvest, communal tasks surrounding animal husbandry (lambing and shearing, in this part of the world; fishing) as well as whatever specialty they eventually take on as they move towards adulthood.

In my view, one of the most difficult tasks for us going forward will be to reimagine adulthood. Therefore what children learn, and by extension, our expectations for them and the adults around them, is vitally important.

mountainmoma's picture

that can be done at home, of course. But, in a daycare situation for infants ? First, there is, if you are lucky, 1 daycare provider for every 4 infants, this is raised to 6 to 1 as they get older. But, let's use 4 to 1. So, the provider is either wet nursing or giving a bottle to baby one, and baby two starts to poop, or 2 babies at once..... Wether you are indoors or outdoors, you just got a public health issue. Also, the low lying bushes next to the outdoor play area ? Rains wash this ont the grass or pavement, children will go into the plants, etc..... I could go on. Not to mention that it is too cold ( and in some areas too hot) to be outside with under 1 year olds in all seasons. Yes, I do think kids should be outside, even infants, but once they are bundled up for the weather this is one more reason that you wont be able to just hold them up and let them poop....ANd, this is a totally different scenario than doing this in your own yard with your own child.

But, this is not needed. Just use washable cloth diapers. Insist that daycares cannot say "No" to having the infants/toddlers use cloth. It is no harder for them, you as the parent just has to provide an organized diaper bag with everything prefolded so the provider can grab and use one just as quick as a disposable, and provide a waterproof, washable bag that the provider just puts the whole mess, diaper and cover, in the bag again this is just as quick as throwing out a disposable . And then the parent gets all this cleaned up at home. This is what people do now, if the daycare lets them ! SO, if you are environmentally minded on this, show the daycares how it does nothing to make things dirtier or more time consuming

I was only reporting what used to be done in wealthy upper class Chinese households where there are many servants and young mothers--the ratio of nurses to children is more like three adults for each baby. Ad the courtyard is indoors, not outside, with a skylight and stoves for winter warmth. So I understand your objections and the alternatives you describe are useful for less wealthy people and those who do not have a communal compound living arrangement. Plus it is more adapted to our contemporary mindset.

mountainmoma's picture

If you have sources for how things were done in the past, maybe your sources tell how the peasants handled the diapering ? That could be useful, as I am afraid we are more likely to be busy with hands on work and no servants

The source I was using was a Pearl Buck novel. She was raised in China. The main point of the novel was that an upper class woman adopted a whole orphanage of unwanted girls when the priest who had saved them from death by exposure outside the walls of the city was killed by an anti-Christian faction. She trained up these orphans so well that they were sought after in marriage despite their being discarded at birth. So, for some very poor Chinese peasants, their answer to infant hygiene was to kill the unwanted girls.

I just passed on the idea I found as a possible method for doing without manufactured diapers. There is no telling whether you might end up rich and having to support a lot of older women and younger girls who would be happy to do babycare in exchange for food.

One person thinks diaperless won't work because to them the word daycare only means what we get in the industrial world. Another might think daycare means the way African women share a common space in the middle of their compound which is separate houses with walls inbetween to protect the kids from lion attacks. They have a dedicated 'go-to' area and a lot of dust that absorbs moisture. Still another might think daycare means one of those warehouse-type places where unwanted children are left to lie in cribs without any stimulation or interaction apart from feeding. What if there is an epidemic of diarrhea and what you need more than diapers is clean water and rice flour to feed the kids to help stop the runs? How can I predict all the circumstances care-takers might have to face in future? Or divine what everybody's different notions about daycare might be? I can't cover all the bases with just one little idea.

My intent was to pass along what little I knew in case it might be useful someday.

As best I understand the issue, for normal, healthy babies, when you carry your kid around on your body all day, not only do you get to know the signals the baby makes when it is about to evacuate, but the baby can be trained to evacuate on request, same as a dog. Or it can tell you by touch or vocal cry when it wants to go, same as a cat.

Native Americans of the north often put their babies in cradleboards. According to wikipedia:

The inside of the cradleboard is padded with a lining of fresh plant fibres, such as sphagnum moss, cattail down, or shredded bark from juniper or cliffrose. The lining serves as a disposable diaper, although the Navajo could clean and reuse the lining made of shredded juniper or cliffrose bark. These plant fibres have antiseptic properties, and thus nurture healthy skin in the infant. The Chippewa tradition was to make a lining for the cradleboard usually from moss growing in cranberry marshes, which is smoked over a fire to kill insects, then rubbed and pulled to soften it. In cold weather, the infant's feet may be wrapped in rabbit skin with the fur facing inward. The moss lining is surrounded by a birch bark tray insert placed into the cradleboard, which could be removed for cleaning.

South American natives carry their babies in woven shawls, which can presumably be lined with wool tufts too short to spin, along with other plant fibers nd big tropical leaves as a water-resistant lining.

African women have been observed to hold their babies out over the road or a ditch to evacuate, then wipe the baby's bottom on their own knee and then clean their knee with a corncob. One outhouse method was to have a bucket of water in which corncobs were soaking to soften and people used a wet corncob to wipe themselves. Could that be used for babies? I don't know, I never had to try it. People may have to just wing it. The more ideas floating around, the more likely they will latch onto one when it's needed!

mountainmoma's picture

Even in a power down world, we should use our knowledge of disease transmission ( and many other things), knowledge does not need energy or "stuff" to be useful, we can keep kowledge with us even when we have to move fast and leave most else behind.... Many times and places, in the past and some still today, did not know about the risks of fecal contamination and so did many things that ended up causing disease, worms, etc.... The plant matter as diapering, such as used by our formothers the world over when carrying infants, I have heard of. The new information that we know now is how to be careful with what we do with it once it is soiled, and good handwashing after cleaning them up ! Burying, pit toilets or composting are all ideas that work well for disposal of organic matter contaminated with feces. Just letting them go wherever, on the side of the road that others will walk thru, etc.... could well end up causing disease or parasitic worms at a time when we no longer have the same medical system to deal with it.

I am reminded of the old joke about the Lone Ranger and his sidekick Tonto, for which the punchline is "What you mean 'we', white man?" We who value Western industrial standards of hygiene may be outnumbered or laughed at by some other "we." For instance, strong communities who have durable traditions of their own. Pig toilets were once widespread in China and all over Asia. One was still operating in the northern regions of China; it was shut down by the government in 2005. Vietnamese villages similarly set up fishpond toilets, and resisted government efforts to change their method for a modern one because the modern facility was much smelllier. India has a whole class of untouchables for managing sewage, including women of the lowliest order whose daily duty is to remove human wastes from middle-class toilet holes with their bare hands. Ancient Roman toilets had no S-bend to lock out accumulating methane gases and prevent flies. Every once in a while a toilet seat might erupt in blue flames of self-igniting gases. The huge sewer project Cloaca Maxima was prone to silt blockage despite routine flushing operations.

Migrating masses of climate refugees (among whom we may find ourselves!) will be much less concerned with the long-term health of the towns and villages they are passing through than with their own immediate and pressing needs. A knowledge of wayside plants that have anti-helminthic properties could save a child's life or our own. The big question is how can "we" -- whoever is included in that 'we' -- choose what knowledge to preserve and find multiple ways to transmit it? Teaching children is one of the most reliable ways to do just that. Handwashing songs sung to infants still in the cradle? Why not? Prints of little hands painted in red ochre or henna on the basins used for handwashing before eating or handling food? Why not? Passing along information about properties of herbs to young women recently entering the menstrual hut? Wouldn't be the first time. Religious prohibitions against eating pork or shellfish? Worked well over a couple of thousand years for at least one religion, didn't it? Maybe it will be more important to transmit recently emerging data about the contents of gut biota, the value of fermented foods and the protective effects of vitamin-rich foods than how to make soap out of animal fats. I don't know; nobody knows for sure. Possibly a habit of deep meditation and seeking divine guidance will be more important than anything we can cram into children's heads. Maybe all the knowledge they need will be given to them at the time they require it if they are in right relation to the earth and its spiritual elements. A wide-angle view seems called for.