Sharing ideas and knowledge on teaching our kids some nearly-forgotten low and no tech lifeskills. Can yours do long division? Make a campfire? Mend a flat tyre on their bike? Grow tomatoes from seed? Replace a button? If it can't be done with the click of a mouse or the flick of a switch, you can find out how to do it here, and how to get your kids involved in some serious Low Tech Fun!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It's just an idea in the very early stages...

This blog came about due to a combination of being inspired by an audiobook entitled "The Ecotechnic Future" by John Michael Greer and being totally frustrated by my children's seeming inability to do anything The Long Way. If it can't be fixed or discovered without using a mouse, button or switch, then they seem baffled.

Now, I'm no stranger to the high-tech world myself - I live for my Thermomix, microwave, internet, mobile phone, car, and eleventy-billion other newfangled electronic devices designed to make life easy. I like life easy - who doesn't?

I do, however, remember vaguely how to do long division, hem a skirt, catch a fish, and bake a loaf of bread, so if all of my gadgets were suddenly rendered useless I don't think I'd catch death in the first week.

I'm not so sure about my kids, though. I swear they think food grows in a supermarket sometimes, and that everything worth doing in life can be done with an "app" of some description, so I think it's time I did something about it.

I am personally challenging myself to teach my children a few basic low-tech life skills by the end of this year, and maybe by next year they may even enjoy some of them. Here are a few of the ideas swimming madly around my head right now:

Catch, clean and cook a fish
Repair a bicycle flat tyre
Bake bread
Sew a basic hem
Grow at least 2 types of veggies from seed and then (gasp!) cook and eat them
Sail a dinghy
Learn a bit about ham radio
Build a cubby without powertools
Make a roaring campfire from scraps at hand
Do basic maths tasks without a calculator
Handwrite a basic business letter
Knit a small square of something made out of wool
Handwash their clothes

I know they'll be dead keen on making campfires, and that knitting will be about as popular as a very unpopular thing, but I think it's important. Hey - I might even learn something useful along the way!

One thing I'm hoping from this blog is to share knowledge, which is why I'm asking for contributors. I can bake bread, but I can't knit for shit, so to speak, so I need your help! I'd also love to help local groups get together for skills-swapping and kid-teaching. I'll teach yours how to bake bread if you teach mine how to knit kinda thing.

Like the title says, this is an idea in the very early stages, so any suggestions you may have are more than welcome - they're an absolute must.

Take this challenge with me. Let's both learn things ourselves and share that knowledge with our kids. and maybe even have some fun and make new friends along the way.


PS. If you scoff at this idea and The World As We Know It ends next year imma laugh bigtime at you!


  1. I like it! :-)

    Of course, from that list you made, I can only do about 4 or 5, as I'm pretty useless at nearly everything practical (i.e. cooking, sewing, knitting etc).

    I am, however, a whiz at reading maps, knowing how to tell where north is from either the sun or the stars. Hmmmm, maybe I should teach my kids and send you my contribution. :-)

  2. I'd love to be able to tell direction from sun or stars! I'm also pretty good with a map, but would need a compass! If you'd like to post a how-to on the basics, let me know!

  3. Love this Tara!

    From your list I can do everything but the growing of vegies and the ham radio thingy (ham radio??? never even heard of it!)... Is it bad that I'm excited about teaching my boys how to start a fire?

    Collecting water would be another one I'd be keen to teach my kids - especially in the dry.

    I'd love to contribute to this and do reciprocal links too, if that's happening.