If you are a parent, preparing for any disaster is going to require some extra planning. You have a huge responsibility that goes much further than your own best interest. Instead, you have been entrusted with the care and keeping of these little people and chances are that you would lay down your own life for theirs in a split second.
As a mom, my preparedness plans are drastically different from a lot of the survival stuff I’ve seen online. I have to think beyond the basics like food, water, and firearms. What about education? If the worst happened and the grid went down or a natural disaster wiped out a large part of the country, how would I manage to give my kids a good education? Textbooks would not magically appear in my prepper stash so I figure this is one area that I better be thinking about ahead of time.
Homeschooling parents will be ahead of the curve in this area because they already have the necessities for learning tucked away at home. But for parents that rely on public schools or even private centers for education, teaching the kids at home could pose a major challenge. Even homeschooling parents would encounter difficulty when the old curriculum was used up and the kids were ready to move on to something new and more challenging. So how can you prepare home education supplies in a practical way? Here are some ideas to help you get started.
Build a Home Library
You don’t have to collect thousands of books, but having a small library of a few carefully chosen books will serve you well if you find yourself responsible for educating the children at home. Start with a set of good encyclopedias. You should aim to find a set that is as updated as possible, but if you don’t have thousands of dollars to spend, that’s okay. Shop yard sales, browse Craig’s List, or look in local classified ads. You might even want to check with the local school board to see if they have an annual sale. This is a great opportunity to grab encyclopedias and tons of other good books at a deep discount.
After you have a set of encyclopedias, move on to works of classic literature. Forget “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight”. You need good solid works like “Moby Dick” and “The Scarlet Letter”. Try to collect classic literature from around the world. While young children might not be able to read these books independently, you can read them together. I found over a dozen adaptations of the classics that my third grader can easily read and she devours stories like “Heidi” and “The Secret Garden” every night before bed.
Collect Textbooks From Core Subjects
Look for basic textbooks in all of the core subjects like Grammar, Math, Science, History, and Geography. In the beginning, you can aim for one of each topic for the elementary level, middle school level, and high school level. This would give you a good basis to work from if you are suddenly responsible for your child’s education at home. You can buy textbooks online or sometimes the library will host an annual sell where you can get expensive textbooks for only a few dollars.
Once you have the basic core subjects for pre-graduate studies, consider expanding your library to include college textbooks from important subjects. Studying agriculture, medicine, sociology, and engineering could be not only good for the mind, but also vital for survival in a disaster scenario.
Store Reusable School Supplies
When the shelves at Wal-Mart are empty and you can’t just run out for another pack of notebook paper, how will you handle home education? Make sure you have reusable school supplies in your stockpiles. Think back to the old days of one-room schoolhouses. Do you remember watching episodes of “Little House on the Prairie” where the children would write their math problems on a little blackboard? Those small chalkboards can be used over and over again as long as you have good supplies of chalk. So make sure you have plenty of the blackboards and lots of chalk on hand.
Get Educated Now
Beyond the challenges of supplies, the mental difficulty of a disaster situation would be horrible. If you can ever begin to imagine educating your kids at home, you will need to have a solid education ahead of time. There will be no time for cramming history facts when you are also trying to forage for food or collect rainwater. So make education a routine part of your life now, while resources are easily accessible. Just because you are done with formal education, that is no excuse to stop learning. Make it a habit to read and absorb new information on a variety of subjects as often as possible.
With a little planning, you can teach your children the most important aspects of education from home even in a survival situation. As you continue working on your preparedness action plan, don’t forget to include education supplies on the list of items to start collecting.