Government “Education”

Self-Reliance Skills on a Sewer Line and Secondhand Beaver Pond

by Todd Walker

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.”

~ John Lubbock

Self-Reliance Skills on a Sewer Line and Secondhand Beaver Pond -

Far from “wilderness”, an outdoor classroom sits atop an underground sewer line. When choices are slim to none, one takes what Nature provides. A concrete retaining wall manages storm-water from the school’s asphalt parking lot.

The black chain fence on top of the concrete wall, a legal requirement to keep kids out, is easily breached. Inside the “concrete pond,” a wetland ecosystem invites exploration. Cattails, a willow tree, and unidentified flora thrive in the “secondhand beaver pond,” less North America’s largest rodent. From the adjacent paved paradise, an uneducated eye would miss all the Nature possibilities.

At RISE Academy, our motto is “Second Chances ~ New Beginnings.” Our student’s have given the sewer line a second chance. The once weedy, vine infested location is now home to an outdoor classroom built by their own hands. In turn, their new beginnings are real and tangible. Math shifts from theoretical to the real-world as they determine angles, read a tape measure, and problem-solve structural design. Then there’s the reading, writing, science, and history to keep it all in context. Oh, and the physical skills of connecting bamboo securely. I’m happy to report that their construction stood up to Irma’s recent storms.

Our journey to self-reliance has begun on a pristine waste place beside a retention pond… our Nature. Even though our place may earn the top spot on the un-wilderness scale, the benefits of being out there are priceless. Interactive and authentic learning happens in our Nature. If nothing else, the lingering scent of woodsmoke in hair and clothing will hopefully remind them of the importance of surface-area-to-volume ratio and the science of fire.

Self-Reliance Skills on a Sewer Line and Secondhand Beaver Pond -

She was so proud of her first fire with spark ignition.

Self-Reliance Skills on a Sewer Line and Secondhand Beaver Pond -

Students scraping tinder material off bamboo to create a high surface-area-to-volume ratio.

Another benefit of being out there is becoming attached to the land. A mom told us that her son wants to bring a rake to clear vines and roots from his outdoor classroom. He recently commented on the bamboo structure, “I can’t believe we built this!”

Appreciation for our Nature doesn’t happen until we get kids outside to connect to all its gifts. Twigs, sticks, and rocks become personal. The tinder cattail shoots, once tasted, expands their notion of food and Nature being a grocery store. Dirt under their nails connect hands and hearts to their habitat.




Self-Reliance Skills on a Sewer Line and Secondhand Beaver Pond -

Students and hip waders go well together.

Self-Reliance Skills on a Sewer Line and Secondhand Beaver Pond -

Digging cattails for food, craft, and fire resources.

Studies show promising results for connecting kids to nature.

Our spot may not look like “virgin” wilderness, but it ours to curiously wander.

Designed for Doing

The things we have to learn before we do them, we learn by doing them.

~ Aristotle

The real world can’t be experienced on smart phones. Self-reliance is about doing the stuff, dirty hands, employing our senses, and discovering our potential. The first step is engineering an environment designed for doing.

All the math, science, history, reading, and writing typically shoveled into young brains is hardly ever retained. It’s a horrible strategy that keeps kids tied in knots of anxiety over test scores. Once they regurgitate facts floating in their head, the purge cycle begins to make room for the next test.

Here’s a thought…

Deep learning takes place by untying the tangled web of schooled knots. Instead of telling students what we, or the state, think they need to know, allow them to experience their interests.

But what about the curriculum and those dreaded high-stakes tests?

Remember we’re talking about deep learning not rote memorization of facts.

This little blog is an example of the importance of following one’s interest…

I never had an interest in writing. After my first 12 years of schooling, two college degrees, low C’s in every college English class, and over 500 blog posts, I still can’t dissect a sentence properly, not even if my life depended on it. I found that mastering parts of speech is not a prerequisite to writing. I’d bet my best double bit ax that most writers don’t think about this stuff either. They simply write.

Tim Smith’s blurb on his Jack Mountain Bushcraft blog concerning grammatical errors sums up my attitude as well, “Anything that appears to be an error in spelling or grammar is actually the author’s clever use of the vernacular, and as such is not an error, but rather a carefully placed literary device that demonstrates his writing prowess.”

Who really needs to know all the details of the English language? English teachers.

Being writing-challenged was no fault of my teachers. They tried. I simply wasn’t interested… except for that awakening in sixth grade. Our English teacher (Aunt Cindy) turned us loose in the school yard to sit under trees and get creative. Our class wrote and illustrated two books of poetry and short stories.

Unfortunately, that window of feral writing slammed shut in 1973 when I was thrown back into the cage of participles and prepositions. The point I’m making is simple – find what interests you and pursue it with passion. For someone who hated writing, I’ve penned over 600,000 words (conservative estimate) about Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance. Following my interest has taught me more useful stuff than any classroom or textbook.

Teach Only When Cornered

The biggest challenge now is to facilitate this interest-led, experiential learning style for our RISE students.

Teach only when cornered, otherwise let the people learn.
– Keith King

What little I know, or thought I knew about teaching, has disappeared like the smoke of our fire ring. And rightly so. Our students are teaching me more about what matters in their lives than any college professor could ever hope to share. Their curiosity and enthusiasm for hands-on learning experiences keeps me scrambling to stay one step ahead of their hunger to figure out how this world works.

There are more questions than answers.

My best teacher response is, “I don’t know. Let’s figure it out.” And we continue our journey together.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,


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Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright © by Survival Sherpa: In light of the recent theft of all my content by a pirate site, my sharing policy has changed. I do not permit the re-posting of entire articles from my site without express written consent by me. My content on this site may be shared in digital form (200 words or less) for non-commercial use with a link back (without no-follow attribute) to the original article crediting the author. All photos, drawings, and articles are copyrighted by and the property of Survival Sherpa. You are more than welcome to share our photos and articles on social media for educational purposes as long as you link back to the original article/photo with credit to the author.

Categories: Bushcraft, Camping, Doing the Stuff, Government "Education", Self-reliance | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

The Single Most Disastrous Effect of Forced Schooling on Preparedness and Self-Reliance

by Todd Walker

“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”

     – HL Mencken

In my recent interview on Preparedness Radio Network, I was asked by Joyce Pierce what impact our present educational system will have on future generations concerning preparedness and self-reliance. I didn’t answer her question as fully as I would have liked. I’ll give a more thorough response today.

In a word, disastrous!


Image source

I’m afforded an insider’s view of the intentional dumbing of your children. And I’m not even touching on the evil Common Core in this post.

Many of you reading this will be shocked. Some will bristle defensively and defend your child’s public school because they attend one of the ‘good’ schools. I may get a few shouts of “Amen!”  from those who already know the damage compulsory schooling inflicts on millions of young people daily.

If you can’t handle the truth about force, click away now! You’ve been warned.

“When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.”
— Thomas Sowell

Every parent wants their child to go to the best school, with the best teachers, the latest technology, and the best everything. What caring parent wouldn’t? The problem with meeting these expectations, especially in Schools of Excellence, is that the system simply won’t allow your child to reach his or her full potential.

What if the dismal results of our schools had nothing to do with the teachers, students, administrators, or facilities? Throwing another billion dollars at our system of schooling won’t fix the problem. In fact, more money turns a twin sized Procrustean-bed into a California King-sized torture device.

Dumping gasoline on a burning structure only intensifies the damage!

The puzzle pieces come together when you realize the eye-opening truth: Our system of schooling is not broken. It’s functioning as intended on all cylinders! Sadly, your child is fuel for the tyrannical machine.

*It’s not too late to click away*

Still following along?

Okay, here it is.

What’s the single most disastrous effect of our monopolistic system of coercive schooling on you and your child’s ability to becoming self-reliant, self-sustainable, and prepared?

Habit Training

Pavlov’s experiment is repeated hundreds of times daily in school. Bells ring. Students and teachers spring into compliance. After 12 + years of bells and single-file lines, you’re handed a fancy piece of paper signifying your ability to endure long periods of boredom.

Habit training hold society captive. Understanding this is your first step to building independence and self-reliance. Our ruling class relies on you and your children to follow the habits taught in factory schooling.

It wasn’t always this way. In today’s enlightened schools, your child is being taught dangerous, non-life serving lessons.

Just so you know where I’m coming from, I hold not disrespect for individual teachers or administrators of the compulsory schooling system. To openly buck the system would lead to immediate removal. I work with other brave individuals who feel as I do but are strangled by a system hell-bent on control.

Here’s a few habit training lessons you’ll never see in a teacher’s lesson plan but are unwritten in the system’s approach of forced schooling.

  • Never question authority – rulers are right
  • School nutrition is healthy
  • Teachers are experts
  • College is the only ‘real’ choice for success after high school
  • History taught in schools is accurate: “God cannot alter the past, but historians can.”  – Samuel Butler
  • Faux hero-worship is encouraged
  • Regurgitate answers rather than solve problems – (State Standardized testing is a money-making scam to pad pockets while keeping the masses dazed and confused. Of course, this isn’t openly taught, but true none the less.)
  • Give up your right to privacy in exchange for security in a world filled with boogie-men
  • Understand that the State owns your child and there will be no negative consequences when you transfer your authority over your children to that of government force
  • Individualism is not tolerated and will be squashed with great force
  • Students are lumps of clay that need to be molded to be useful to the collective
  • Guns are evil – knifes too
  • Schools incubate a mini police state in every child to forcefully mold compliant subjects
  • Learning through play is no longer allowed

What keeps the ‘lowliest’ job holder from rising like a meteor to challenge the ruling class? Habit training. We’re trained to accept our station and lick the boot on our neck.

Nothing about prison-like school buildings comes from research as to how children learn best. ‘Experts’ would have you believe the myth that educational best practices only take place when your child is packed into cubicle classrooms with 30 other children of the same age group.

The truth of the matter is that schools extinguish your child’s natural curiosity, drive to play, and socialization. These foundations of learning crumble under the pressure of teach-the-test and the reward-punishment system in our schools.

Self-directed learning, along with self-reliance, ends with the school bell and scheduled habit training.

I’ll leave you with a few quotes for an indictment on our system of forced schooling:

A big Hat Tip to my friend at Durable Faith for sharing this with me. Below are a few quotes taken  from Sheldon Richman’s book, Separating School & State: How To Liberate American Families.

Chapter 3: Why There Are Public Schools – Read the entire chapter here.

Let our pupil be taught that he does not belong to himself, but that he is public property. Let him be taught to love his family, but let him be taught at the same time that he must forsake and even forget them when the welfare of his country requires it. – Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence

As Horace Mann put it, “We who are engaged in the sacred cause of education are entitled to look upon all parents as having given hostages to our cause.”

For John Dewey, the mission of education was sacred:“The teacher always is the prophet of the true God and the usherer-in of the true Kingdom of God.”

William H. Seawell, professor of education at the University of Virginia, got caught in that position in 1981. He said, “Public schools promote civic rather than individual pursuits” and, “We must focus on creating citizens for the good of society.” But most startlingly, he said, “Each child belongs to the state.”

Any parent wishing to build preparedness, self-reliance, individualism, abstract thinking should take heed of the intended, but unspoken, consequences of government schooling. As John Taylor Gatto states, “the purpose of state schooling was not intellectual training but the conditioning of children ”to obedience, subordination, and collective life.”

Proceed with caution my preparedness friends.

Keep doing the stuff!


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Recommended reading for prepared parents:

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Government "Education" | Tags: , | 24 Comments

13 Assumptions That Undermine Your Child’s Future

[Editor’s Note: If you’re not yet familiar with Gary North, you should get to know him. He’s authored over 50 books, is known as the Tea Party Economist, and a regular contributor on

This article destroys many myths that well-meaning public school parents believe. Hope you enjoy.]

13 Assumptions That Undermine Your Children’s Future

Gary North – March 26, 2013
Reality Check

There are 13 assumptions that pave the road of good educational intentions. Most Christian parents who send their children to college have adopted eleven of the 13.

The first one is this: “The state has both the authority and the moral obligation to fund education.” Then come the other 12.

2. “Our local public schools are not like all the others. I will enroll my child in kindergarten.”

3. “The teachers there are conservative.”

4. “I have joined the PTA. My opinions are being heard.”

5. “The teachers have the sexual revolution under control in our middle school.”

6. “The high school’s textbooks are conservative.”

7. “Our high school’s teachers are conservatives.”

8. “The curriculum in our high school is religiously neutral.”

9. “My children will resist temptation.”

10. “I want my children to be missionaries on campus.”

11. “I am sending my kids to a Christian college. They will be safe.”

12. “The college is accredited. They will get a good education.”

13. “My kids will have high-paying jobs after they graduate in the humanities.”

Here are what assumptions the parents make when they make these implicit confessions of faith.

2. “Our local public schools are not like all the others. I will enroll my child in kindergarten.”

This is what I call Lake Wobegon statistics. The parent assumes that his local school is above average. But all of the nation’s parents assume this, at least those outside the ghettos. Otherwise, half of the parents would be self-consciously deciding to send their children into substandard schools. None of them would admit that they are doing this voluntarily. So, the parent sends the child off to kindergarten, which is the first step in a 13-year or 14-year process. It begins with this assumption: the parent can legitimately transfer the authority over his child’s education to the state. It also begins with this assumption: there will be no negative consequences for this decision.

3. “The teachers there are conservative.”

The parent has no idea what the political or religious views of the teachers’ are. He knows nothing about the teachers’ background. This much is clear, however: the teachers were all certified as accredited teachers, and the accrediting associations are all licensed by the government. They are all creations of the state.

4. “I have joined the PTA. My opinions are being heard.”

The Parent-Teachers Association was the creation of tax-funded educators. It was created for a specific reason: to make certain that the educators could head off criticism of their programs by offering parents the illusion that the parents have anything valid to say about the content or the process of education. The educators were committed to this principle: the will of the parents must be undermined throughout the entire educational process. In short, they assume that the only people with the qualifications necessary for educating the child are the educational elite, which enforces its views on the students in the state licensed colleges and universities that produce the teachers. From day one, they fully understood that parents would lose interest in the local PTA as soon as their children were out of that school, so that there would be no sustained opposition to the constantly evolving theories of the educational elite.

Read the rest here

Categories: Government "Education" | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Forced Schooling: The Antidote for Genius

by Todd Walker

What’s nepenthe?

Design for Periodic GeNiUS

Nepenthe – (nuh-PENTH-ee)


1. a potion used by the ancients to induce forgetfulness of pain or sorrow

2. something capable of causing oblivion of grief or suffering

My cache of fancy words is limited. I try to follow this simple rule when writing: Don’t be tempted by a 20-dollar word when there is a ten-center handy.

Sometimes, only the 20-dollar word will do.

Nepenthe popped up in my “Word of the Day” email on my school computer. A curious word, no doubt.

I had just finished Lew Rockwell‘s podcast interview with John Taylor Gatto on my morning commute. Both men being heroes of mine, this post began taking shape.

One statement John made that got my attention was…

genius is as common as the air we breathe. 

That’s a bold statement. If I made that statement around some teacher friends, we’d all give it a good chuckle and a resounding, “Right!”

We can’t see the genius for all the compulsory regulations and restrictions. To counteract genius and critical thinking in schools, we serve heaping doses of the balm of forgetting. Sweet relief comes by removing all recollection of our history and replacing it with the revised Hollywood version.

God cannot alter the past, but historians can.

– Samuel Butler

Is genius really that common today?

According to Mr. Gatto, it is, and history proves it.

  • The U.S. was the patent king at the beginning of the 20th century. We owned 92% of the worlds patents. 
  • How could a no good 12 year-old worker named Andrew Carnegie coiled twine on bobbins and one day become one of the richest men on our planet?
  • Other notable figures were written off early in life who later reveled their genius.

Before the turn of the 20th century, forced schooling in America was nowhere near the size and scope of today’s Leviathan-like institution. There were no centers for habit training where intellectual development was retarded. Now we train students to be obedient and pliable conformists. Our colonial forefathers would have never resisted tyranny had they been government schooled.

Our present consumerist economic model requires that future wage slaves never reach self-sufficiency. Any independent thinking threatens to sever the head of the beast. His fight or flight primal instinct kicks in. The serpent tempts us with another mind-numbing-dumbing dose to help ease the pain of forgotten genius.

Laissez-fair schooled geniuses

In “Is Public Education Necessary?“, Samuel Blumenfeld performs a great service in exposing the intellectual elite’s plan to reign in the “rebel” individualist and pioneering spirit that founded this nation. Ask any loyal educrat and they probably won’t know that wholesale government education didn’t exist in the 18th century. And somehow our population was educated without coercion and force – even without Al Gore’s internet.

Our cherry picked curriculum doesn’t mention that educational freedom in colonial days, free of governmental control, produced far better results than modern government-run schools. Here are a few inconvenient facts educated elites hope remain forgotten.

  • Based on the evidence of signatures on deeds, wills, militia rolls, and voting rosters, adult male literacy in American colonies ran from 70 to 100 percent. 
  • George Washington was educated by his father and half-brother.
  • Benjamin Franklin was taught to read by his father and attended a private school for writing and arithmetic.
  • Thomas Jefferson studied Latin and Greek under a tutor.
  • Of the 117 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution, one out of three had only a few months of formal schooling, and only one in four had gone to college.

5 tips to finding your genius within

Could little geniuses be filling cramped public school houses all across America? Of course! They’ve just never been weaned off the nepenthe of forced schooling.

Here are 5 tips to help you discover your child genius.

Albert Einstein

Stop sipping on your potion of forgetfulness for a second.

Start listing all your ideas. Sticky notes, napkins, notebooks. Doesn’t matter where you write them. Just write them down.

1. Practice writing ten new ideas everyday. You’ll find that one idea will spawn new ideas. Keep writing. Ten daily is the minimum maintenance required. This keeps your idea machine from rusting. Think of it as motor oil for the brain. When I neglect this practice, my mind doesn’t run at peak performance levels.

2. Shamelessly steal ideas. I’m not saying plagiarise here. But when you see a good idea, make it better. A “nobody” could improve a product or machine or idea, patent it, and put the original out of business.

Your masterpiece is carved by removing the stuff that doesn’t fit…little pieces at a time. What are you creating?

3. Read. Widely. Outside your field. Create connections to what may seem unrelated to your idea. Use the shotgun approach. Cross pollination in the garden of ideas is a good thing.

4. Get lost. Daydreaming may get you a reprimand from your teacher or boss, but it’s such an important incubator for creativity and genius. I hate telling students to get back on task. I really want to join them in their mental adventure. They seem lost in their own weird little world. It’s a survival technique.

Creativity is the residue of time wasted.
~Albert Einstein

There’s a time to focus on our job or work, but daydreaming is time well spent. Do it often.

5. Live unplugged. Throw it in the woods. Cure your nature deficit-disorder. In “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder” Richard Louv relates the importance of getting in touch with the wild side of our nature. I haven’t finished the book, but definitely see Nature Deficit-Disorder in kids today. Here’s a telling quote from a fourth grader response in the book:

“I like to play indoors better ’cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are.” 

If you can’t get in the woods, simply sitting outside to read your paper and drink your coffee or tea stimulates your senses. Do stuff differently. Stay out sterile environments as much as humanly possible.

Another path exists. What’s keeping you from discovering your child genius?

Doing the stuff,



Here’s a sample of my brain working to come up with possible headlines for this post:

School History: Drink Nepenthe to Swallow It

Does Your Child Drink the Nepenthe Potion in School

You Must Drink Nepenthe to Swallow the Lies…

Drink this Potion and Live Happily Ever After

Washing Down the Dumbness with Nepenthe

Genius is Forgotten with Nepenthe

Forgetting Your Genius Within

The Potion That Kills Genius

Nepenthe: Dumbing Down Your Unique Genius

This Tempting Potion Washes Your Child’s Genius Away

Did I choose correctly?

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Government "Education" | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life Learners: Unschooling the Prepper Community

by Todd Walker

I have to sit through meeting after boring meeting with fellow teachers, administrators, and highly paid “educational experts” and listen to the same old stuff, just in a different burning brown bag on my doorstep.

We huddle together to discuss…

“How do we get standardized test scores up – barring the Atlanta School System‘s methods?”

“How do we improve discipline?”

“Why aren’t parents doing more to help at home?”

In case you are not yet aware of the truth about government schooling, let me say it as clearly as possible…the system is not broken and doesn’t need reform. Once you come to this realization, the busy work and babysitting, the high-stakes testing, the regime-like control and surveillance, the hyper-allegiance and submission to authority, the path of dumbing-down becomes an open conspiracy. Cheating is not only tolerated, but it keeps the system healthy. This was a life-changing Aha Moment for me. I see clearly now.

The de-zombification process for some people happens first through their eyes. Text travels to the brain – rattles around – and your true nature verifies what you just read. Sometimes your intuition (your knower – “something ain’t right whisperer”) provokes you to further investigation. In my case, it was my knower’s constant nagging – reminiscent of Wife #1.

Do I really think that cheating takes place in every government-run school? YES!

While not every school or system has engaged in erasing bubble sheets behind doors with posted guards, forced institutional schooling cheats every student. The recent Atlanta cheating scandal pales in comparison to the rest of the ice burg hidden below the murky waters of coercive schooling.

Here’s how your child gets cheated by attending school.

  • Creativity is squashed
  • Lots of boring facts with no real-world application
  • Forced “friendship” with people you don’t like
  • Critical thing
  • Self-discovery is damned. There’s not a moment in the day where they can sit privately and contemplate.
  • Academically. We have to teach in the middle to low range to make it fair for everyone in the lesson. This bores kids who need a more challenging lesson. And it’s disheartening to those who learn slower. But there is genius in every student. There’s just no time for them to develop in the classroom.
  • All work and no play

If government schooling is so great, why does it have to be forced upon us? Hum….

I’ve addressed the question here, here, and here.

The most overlooked threat in the prepper community is…

Centralized forced schooling. The products of these institutional zombie factories out number self-reliant, preparedness individuals by a very wide margin. Zombie hunters, should the SHTF flag actually be raised, will be overwhelmed.

Solutions? There are no easy ones. Hard choices have to be made by parents wishing to escape the zombified matrix.

My number one option I’ve given to desperate parents seeking asylum and sanctuary from the gulags is to disobey the societal norms and unschool their children. The earlier, the better.

If you’ve got children with a few years of indoctrination and obedience training already, open their cage so they can follow their own self-directed, free-range educational journey. This doesn’t mean your little ones won’t have any direction or guidance from you and other knowledgable adults. It’s just that they now have the freedom to discover, experiment, test, play, and decide what’s worth learning.

Preppers Already Practice Unschooling

Adult preppers are great examples of self-directed learners. We’re not seated in cramped chairs with artificial lighting, forced associations, a set curriculum with an “expert” teaching us what we could care less about. Instead, we pick what we’re passionate about and meaningful learning occurs. We discover, what every school-aged child most desires – but can’t realize because of the school-funk, that learning for the sake of learning is fun.

In school, it’s just the opposite. Just when Johnny connects with a real teacher and sees value in the math lesson, the bell tolls and sends him on to a much less appealing grammar lesson. Does he need to know what an onomatopoeia is? Maybe, but not until he needs to.

Do you remember any rote lessons that didn’t interest you during your tour of duty in school? How about now? Same answer, right?

Useful stuff happens when we’re allowed to pursue our own self-interest.

Yesterday, by chance, Dirt Road Girl and I met a gentleman that works for a local timber frame company. I struck up a conversation and invited ourselves over to see the operation. He seemed genuinely glad to see my interest in his craft. After our new friend gave us the tour, I made a proposal to come and help out (free of charge) on my summer break. I explained my skill level in carpentry and general construction and expressed my desire to learn. There may be an apprenticeship brewing for me.

This is the traditional method to learn anything new. Find an expert in the field that interest you and learn from them.

Many of you are balking at the thought of allowing your child to unschool. The chief objections I’ve heard are:

  • That’s illegal in my state. Unschooling falls under homeschooling and is legal in all 50 states.
  • My kids need to be socialized to be able to function in the real world. Traditional schools only allow kids to socialize with peers in their same age group and a few adults viewed as authority figures. Is that real-world socialization? Not quite.
  • Where will they get their books and materials? Again, welcome to the digital age. The online world is where kids hangout. With a little direction, maybe not any, they can find info on anything they want to learn. The internet has the potential to make government schools obsolete.

Preparedness minded people seek out learning opportunities to further their prepping skills via the Internet, books, seminars, and experts in certain fields of study – without being forced to do so. Why? They’re following their self-interest. As a result, their education adds value to them, their family, community, and society. Personal preparedness and fulfillment also follows self-directed learning.

Do you see life and learning as the same thing?

I’m already working on my Ph.D. in self-sufficiency through interest-led unschooling. What are you studying? Beekeeping, permaculture, bushcrafting, wildcrafting, animal husbandry, aquaponics, bartering, security, blacksmithing, herbal remedies, alternative energy, food preservation? Share your best unschooling sources for preppering. We’d love to hear what you’re interested in and how you learn.

DRG and I want to thank each of you for taking time to visit us. One way we could really use your help is by you sharing this with your friends. If you’re on Twitter, be sure to look me up @SurvivalSherpa

Categories: Government "Education", Preparedness | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

School Alchemy: Turning Students into Gold for the State

by Todd Walker

Just as chemistry has many alchemists to thank for knowledge gained on the road to easy gold, we in the government school business send props to our Utopian-dreaming fathers of publik skools. Like the elusive pot of gold, government schools created a dystopia: An imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and fearful lives. But, we continue the search for the impossible by putting our faith and kids in the black cauldron of coercive government schooling. If only we could discover the ancient formula buried in the floorboards of a dust-covered laboratory.

The search for the missing ingredient (school reform) is intense. We can’t seem to admit that the system of schooling is not broken. It’s doing exactly what it was created to do.

Photo credit:

Failing American schools are no mystery to anyone: Especially those tossed in the roiling pot of public collectivism.  Students spend their school days graded by age, bored senseless, fed State doublespeak, and made to endure useless tests and worksheets. I tell them, “This is NOT the real world.” When’s the last time you saw adults have to ask permission to go to the bathroom or walk in a straight line down a hallway? That’s right, in prison. The few that do open their eyes to their predicament, I target for my Education Vigilante Apprenticeship Program. They’re invited to really explore individual freedom, out-side-the-cauldron stuff (self-ownership, liberty, freedom, etc.).

Thinning the herd is a methodical process. I use a one-on-one strategy. There’s nothing quite like seeing the liberty light bulb start to glow in a kids eyes. However, the infatuation with government dependence is multi-generational and sickening. Students aren’t taught real history. The whole language reading programs ensure functional illiteracy. Deep down they know schooling is not right.

By the way, a huge hat tip to all those parents who realized the dumbing process of schooling and rescued their children from the State alchemy laboratory. There’s an estimated 2 million American home schoolers who pulled the plug on schooling. Progressives and other statist types hate this growing trend. They brag on government schools, not for their ability to educate, but for the social education forced upon the captives in the cinder block cells. In my state, a score of 800 will meet standards on the high-stakes standardized tests. What parents are not told is that if their child scores 800 on all five sections of the test, they really only answered 50 percent of the questions correctly.  Wow Johnny, you passed the math portion!  It’s the only time he’ll get an ice cream party and a movie for making a F on a math test.

It’s risky, but I promote John Taylor Gatto‘s idea of the Bartleby Project when I safely can.

Forced schooling is the largest business in the country. Not counting salaries and expensive school houses that eerily resemble prisons, special interest groups and companies make huge profits from textbooks, standardized testing materials, psychotropic drugs, and food from the Industrial Food Machine.

I find it hard to believe the eco-extremists aren’t organizing sit-ins at the Department of Education to stop all the sacrificial tree killings to produce this wasted paper! I know why. Schools promote these groups with mad-science propaganda. They won’t let pesky facts get in the way of their truth. Why would they oppose the best recruiting agency for their cause? They won’t.

If only we could get all those wayward non-schooling folks back in the crucible, the collective would be complete. We could reach our mountain top and live in Utopia, insulated from stupid.

No amount of money stolen from tax payers or ancient secret formulas can turn the schooled into scholars. Science won’t allow it! Sadly, that’s never stopped the State from trying.

If you found this helpful, maybe you could help get the word out by sharing it with your social network, family, and friends. We certainly appreciate all the support we get from you!

Also, please follow me on Twitter for updates on our journey: @SurvivalSherpa


Categories: Government "Education" | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Six Dangerous Miseducation Lessons You Should Unlearn Immediately

by Todd Walker

Schools teach many things. These dangerous lessons may not be explicitly taught, but they are definitely ‘caught’ by every student – even parents. Good or bad depends which side of the desk you’re on.

the Radical Roldans UNschool + LIFEschool + HOMEschool

As an insider, I’m giving you my top six most dangerous lessons that need to be destroyed before the coming chaos. Before sending me angry comments that this is just another teacher bash session, honestly explore the list with your school aged children or grandchildren at the dinner table. You may be convinced, if they’re allowed to talk freely. As I’ve said before many times, I work with some of the most dedicated, selfless, and knowledgable teachers who aren’t allowed to do the job they are passionate about – to teach.

Ready to be un-schooled? Warning: Unlearning these lessons carry a heavy price tag. But the freedom you discover is priceless.

A.) The Powers That Be knows what’s best for you. Questioning authority – or even worse – resisting TPTB will land you in the re-education compliance camp. Once labeled and drugged, your status and future path is set. Your child knows some of the system’s victims. Just ask.

B.) Learning only takes place in the classroom. Just ask TPTB. Students are taught inside the box. Some teachers encourage outside-the-box thinking. The problem with thinking outside the box is that students don’t have time to even explore the edges. Every minute of their day is planned and spoken for. Even after the last blaring dismissal bell screams, schooling follows them to their bedroom. Homework eats the remains of the day. Forget playing outside (some kids still do that, right?), stomping through mud to the creek to observe crawdads and tadpoles, or reading a book of her choosing for pleasure.

Discovery is replaced with memorizing facts from revisionist historians. We teachers correct ‘wrong thinking’. Constant correcting teaches the student to be dependent on us – the “experts”. Critical thinking dies.

C.) Going to college is your only hope of elevating your worth. TPTB plaster school walls with posters comparing different levels of ‘education’ with earning potential. Why all the one-size-fits-all college propaganda? Our rulers need more debt slaves.

Here’s my advice. If you’re in college now, drop out. If you’re 18, you probably have no idea what you want to do with your life. Don’t buy the lie that you’ll get left behind if you don’t go to college. College will not teach you real world skills. You learn that doing what interests you in the real world. College is pure theoretical. I’ve worked in different fields over my life and have found nothing beats the school of hard knocks. What I learned in college was that I had to perform to get a permission slip to teach kids. It’s a hoop I jumped through. Letters behind our names does NOT qualify us to teach your children.

Alternatives to college until you figure out what you want to do…

  • Start a business. Become a producer.
  • Travel. Save all your money – you’ve got a job, right – while living in your mom’s basement. Explore places you’ve always wanted to see. Pay attention to the local culture. Ask lots of questions. Take notes in your travel journal. Maybe even self-publish it.
  • Volunteer. Not because someone says it’s the ‘right’ thing to do. Go help feed hungry people, build shelters, or work the local farmers market – for free. You’ve got low overhead living in your mom’s basement remember. This may not be your career path, but giving without expecting anything in return will expand your horizons, make you thankful, and even make connections for later life. It’s an antidote for self-absorbed navel-gazing.
  • Self-educate. Take your education into your own hands. Figure it out. Teach yourself to play an instrument, write computer code, or draw.
  • Work in a trade, find a skilled tradesman and become his/her apprentice. Contrary to what you’ve been told by your high school guidance counselor, you don’t start at the top – at least not in the real world.

D.) High Stakes Testing measures your future contributions to the collective. The dirty little secret about state standardized tests is that if your child ‘met the standard’ (passes a subject with a score of 800), little Susie only got 50% of the test questions right. And the parents breathe a sigh of relief and throw a pizza party for kids that score a 50. What kids learn is that vomiting facts and test taking skills are all answer-centered. Problem solving is not taught. It’s hard to when schooling institution’s accreditation (Federal and State money) is on the line. Right answers pay off for good students – the State gets especially giddy. Welcome to Answerland.

Kids in school seem to use a fairly consistent strategy…it is answer-centred rather than problem-centred…

— John Holt – from ‘How Children Fail

The ridiculous amount of energy, time, and money spent on High Stakes Testing has kids walking blindfolded into a train tunnel – with their parents cheering them on. These tests do not measure true value.

E.) We own you. Nothing about forced schooling teaches self-ownership. On the contrary, we (the State Collective) dictate what students need to learn, how to dress,  what to eat, when to talk, how to obey, how to think, and that you don’t own yourself. You have no right to privacy. We can search you and your possessions without cause anytime. You are under constant surveillance. Even that picture your first grader drew, or the app your high schooler created is fair game in one school district in Maryland. I’m sure this will be a catchy trend. The lesson: You belong to the State.

F.) Learning is separate from living. Some things in life should be dropped. Schooling is one of them. Compulsory schooling is a type of child abuse. Yes, I just went there. Every child that enters school at age 5 will have his or her creativity, curiosity, confidence, individualism, playfulness, independence, intuition, and self-reliance crushed under the school steamroller. It’s painful, but these poor lumps of clay have to be molded into what the State thinks they should be.

What passes for ‘education’ today promotes fear of making mistakes, fear of failing, constant pursuit of everybody-is-a-winner awards (Student of the Month bumper stickers and gold stars, for instance), and conforming to the collective. We group students according to age. They spend their most formative years never exposed to adults or other children outside their age bracket. They are now dependent on the one ‘expert’ standing in front of them to gain all the knowledge they need. Sure, we’ll invite an occasional guest into talk about their job in the real world. But that’s far enough. These commoners don’t possess the credentials to ‘teach’ kids – anything.

If you’re curious, here’s a list of people who quit being schooled and ended up doing something with their lives.

  • William Faulkner – dropped out of high school
  • Walt Disney – high school drop out
  • Wilber and Orville Wright – never graduated. They tinkered with things.
  • Richard Branson – Branson’s dyslexia caused him a great deal of trouble as a student, so when he was 16 he left school to go into business for himself.
  • Thomas Edison – Dropped out of school to be taught at home – over 1,000 patents followed.
  • Albert Einstein – Dropped out at age 15. He later went back to get a diploma so he could enter the university. He failed the entrance exam twice.
  • Colonel Harland Sanders founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken dropped out of elementary school.

If you’ve attended, or you have children in public schools, the chances are very high you need to unlearn these dangerous lessons. Un-schooling your mind is your first step in becoming prepared.

I have hope and confidence in the human spirit. Once freed, there’s no limit to what we can accomplish.

Feel free to share your miseducated lessons in the comments.

Follow me on Twitter for the latest on our journey to self-reliance, preparedness, and resilient living: @SurvivalSherpa



Categories: Economic Collapse, Government "Education", Preparedness, Self Ownership, Self-reliance, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 25 Comments

A Warning for Prepared Parents About Public Schooling

by Todd Walker

“I’m selling my baseball cards.”

English: The famous Honus Wagner T206 card, ci...

English: The famous Honus Wagner T206 card, circa 1910. Français : La célèbre carte de baseball T206 Honus Wagner. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If only I owned this card

Dirt Road Girl was shocked.  She’s witnessed me lugging storage boxes from attic to shop to moving trucks for years.  They were my “precious”.  They ranged from the 1970’s to 2002.

Can’t remember when the hologram cards came out, but I never really liked them much. I bet they would have looked cool in my bicycle spokes growing up.  A hologram is “an image of technically sophisticated refraction purporting to be a solid due to its 3-D appearance.”  Another definition is “a document falsely representing itself as an accurate metaphor.”


English: “Aleph 2 (8X10 in.)” Hologram by Eric Leiser (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What we have in American schools is a hologram of education.  If schools were one of those fancy hologram baseball cards, you could hold it up at the right angle and the light would reflect to make schools appear to be solid institutions of leaning.  Only the slightest twist of the wrist changes the image into a new look.  Kind of like schools today.

This sophisticated refraction we call education, at its roots, is nothing more than the machine of the State to maintain obedience, submission, and supremacy.  The State is concerned about the education of children to the extent that VBCs (victims by choice) of government schooling become useful servants to their government and industry. I’ll be tarred and feathered at the lunch table when I come off Christmas break.

The governing intellectual elite hoodwinked the commoner and forced their will at the expense of the individual.  Taxes on the citizens were levied to maintain public schools as a tool of government whose purpose was to create an atmosphere of respect for America’s institutions.  Government schools eventually became an essential institution for the new experiment called America.  If they couldn’t control the liberty-minded adults that helped forge this republic, Uncle Sugar decided to use the force of government to indoctrinate their children.  Feel the creepiness up your spine yet?

Aristotle said, “All who have meditated on the act of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth.”  The State is very concerned about your children.  Children belong to the State.  Parents are guardians to simply provide food, clothing and shelter similar to slave quarters of old.  Don’t believe me?  Try resisting.

Let’s stroll through one case of resisting law.

The idea of the judicial branch of our government balancing justice gives us warm-fuzzy feelings.  Reality, if you’re able to stomach it, paints another picture.  If you resist the State Compulsory Attendance Law on the basis it violates your natural rights as an individual to raise and educate your children in the way you see fit, you’ll be pursued and prosecuted – not for your beliefs, but for contempt of the law or court.  The State has little patience for  contumacious parents.  Just the threat of legal force to arrest is enough to bring compliance. If you’re a hard case and resist enough, the State will kill you.

The story of John Singer can be found here, and here.  Hidden at #1,909,423 on Amazon is “Death of an American: The killing of John Singer” by David Fleisher.  The ranking does not reflect the value of the story.

The Singer’s broke the “law” by refusing to subject their children to collectivist’s ideals and corrupting influence of State mandated schooling.  Charged by the State with “contempt of court” and “criminal neglect”, unsuccessful attempts were made to arrest the bandit Singer.  Singer defended himself from physical assault by the tax-feeders.  The State, hellbent on saving face, issued a “felony warrant” which allowed the hired-guns of the court to use any means necessary to bring fugitives to justice.  Deadly force is preferred.

The State’s death wish came true on the morning of January 18, 1979 when a jack-booted-thug of the State fired a blast of buckshot into the back of Singer, ending the “renegade’s” life.  The benevolent State was only interested in saving the “neglected” children.

A more recent story of State child snatchers illegally kidnapping a child who has been home schooled her entire life.   The mother won this round, but it ain’t over yet.  Child Protection Services and the State prosecutor were knocked down but not out.

Embarrassed, prosecutors are gearing up for another siege on the physically handicapped child and her family.  They used a SWAT team the first try.  Maybe they’ll just burn ’em out next time.

It’s not nice to flaunt individualism in the face of the State mafia.  “Family Court Judge Lynne Pierce told Assistant Attorney General Deborah Carley, who complained it appears the girl has never received anything other than homeschooling her entire life, she is not barred from pursuing criminal truancy charges if she feels the parents are flouting state law that required the education of children.”

How dare this mom.  She believes she has a right to make medical and educational decisions for her own child. This brave mom simply needs to be educated by past educrat elitists.

A big Hat Tip to my friend at Durable Faith for sharing this with me. Below are a few quotes taken  from Sheldon Richman’s book, Separating School & State: How To Liberate American Families.

Chapter 3: Why There Are Public Schools – Read the entire chapter here.

Let our pupil be taught that he does not belong to himself, but that he is public property. Let him be taught to love his family, but let him be taught at the same time that he must forsake and even forget them when the welfare of his country requires it. – Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence

As Horace Mann put it, “We who are engaged in the sacred cause of education are entitled to look upon all parents as having given hostages to our cause.”

For John Dewey, the mission of education was sacred: “The teacher always is the prophet of the true God and the usherer-in of the true Kingdom of God.”

William H. Seawell, professor of education at the University of Virginia, got caught in that position in 1981. He said, “Public schools promote civic rather than individual pursuits” and, “We must focus on creating citizens for the good of society.” But most startlingly, he said, “Each child belongs to the state.”

Any parent wishing to build preparedness, self-reliance, individualism, abstract thinking should take heed of the intended, but unspoken, consequences of government schooling. As John Taylor Gatto states, “the purpose of state schooling was not intellectual training but the conditioning of children “to obedience, subordination, and collective life.”

Proceed with caution my preparedness friends.

Recommended reading for prepared parents:

H/T to DurableHow Psychiatry & Modern Psychology Subvert Education, and Harm Children and Society

Separating School & State: How to Liberate America’s Families. Book: In Separating School & State, Sheldon Richman effectively and comprehensively analyzes the failures of public schooling in America and explains the ideas and ideology behind the case for compulsory education.

Follow me on Twitter for the latest on our journey to self-reliance, preparedness, and resilient living: @SurvivalSherpa


Categories: Government "Education", Life-Liberty-Happiness, Preparedness, Self Ownership, Self-reliance, Tyranny | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Another Fine Reason To Homeschool Your Kids

Homeschooling your kids yet? No. Well here’s another great reason to get them out now – especially the boys!

Boys will be boys. They’ve been known to gnaw a slice of government school pizza into the shape of a gun and hold the lunchroom hostage. This poor second grader used a strawberry pastry to unleash a terrorist event in Maryland. 

I for one say outlaw pizza and pastries in schools. A smart business man or woman should invent a dough detector to be stationed at all school entrances. That’ll stop these mini-pastry shootings! We need more laws my friends… For the children.

School Offers Counseling for Students Troubled by Pastry-Gun Incident

by Kevin Underhill

As you know if you have been following this dramatic story unfolding in Brooklyn Park, Maryland, seven-year-old Josh Welch has been suspended for two days after he allegedly fashioned his breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun.

Did I say “dramatic”? I meant “stupid.”

the letter

The elementary school that was the scene of Josh’s brutally harmless rampage sent students home Friday with a letter describing the incident as if it had actually been serious:

Dear Parents and Guardians:

I am writing to let you know about an incident that occurred this morning in one of our classrooms and encourage you to discuss this matter with your child in a manner you deem most appropriate.

During breakfast this morning, one of our students used food to make inappropriate gestures that disrupted the class. While no physical threats were made and no one [was] harmed, the student had to be removed from the classroom.

* * *

As you are aware, the … Code of Student Conduct and appropriate consequences related to violations of the code are clearly spelled out in the Student Handbook, which was sent home during the first week of school and can be found on our website,….

If your children express that they are troubled by today’s incident, please talk with them and help them share their feelings. Our school counselor is available to meet with any students who have the need to do so next week. In general, please remind them of the importance of making good choices.

Pretty sure that if your children are “troubled” by another kid biting a pastry into something that looks sort of like a gun and waving said pastry around, you have already failed as a parent.

The two-day suspension indicates that the school considered this a “Level 3” violation, but exactly what part of the Code was in play is not clear. The letter suggests Josh disrupted the class, but the reference to “inappropriate gestures” involving food can only mean he was also charged with a pastry-based-weapons violation. The Code defines “other weapons” as:

Read the rest of the insanity here

Categories: Big Brother, Government "Education", Self Ownership, Tyranny | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

The Thought Police and Fake Guns in Schools

My experience  as a government school teacher can confirm Mr. Rappoport’s  claims in his article. Remember the kid who pointed a pizza chewed into the shape of a gun at lunch? It gets worse.

What’s behind the punishment behind fake guns in schools

By Jon Rappoport

February 6, 2013


In the latest episode of Ban Fake Guns, we have a boy suspended from school in Florence, Arizona, for carrying, yes, a picture of a gun on his computer. Screen saver. This is surely a sign of complete mental breakdown by school officials. And yet one more reason to home school.

Steve Watson, writing at infowars, runs down the recent litany of fake gun crimes at schools across America, resulting in student suspensions, suspension hearings, and actual school lockdowns:

Transparent toy gun. South Carolina.

Gun built from lego bricks. Massachusetts.

Two kids talking about a nerf gun. New York.

An actual nerf gun. New York.

A pink bubble gun. Pennsylvania.

A paper gun. Pennsylvania.

Pointing a finger and saying “pow.” Maryland.

Playing cops and robbers with fingers. Maryland.

Making a gun “hand gesture.” Oklahoma.

Should we assume that because cops and school officials can’t stop real crimes, they’re settling for stopping fake crimes.

Can you hear the typical response to these school suspensions and lockdowns? “Well, everybody in the community is on edge these days, after Sandy Hook.”

That remark garners a “Mmm, well, sure.”

Then, the follow-up: “It’s unfortunate that school officials and police MAY HAVE overreacted. Suspension from school is PROBABLY too much. These kids need some form of LESSER DISCIPLINE, and, of course, EDUCATION about the dangers of guns.”

And there you have it. It’s a sleight-of-hand trick. Go completely overboard with an officially certified insane action (suspension, lockdown), and people will ask for something slightly less insane instead.

“Well, shooting old Bob in the leg and blowing up his car because he was sitting on his back porch cleaning his rifle was probably a bit much. A few days in jail would have taught him the right lesson.”

In schools, the slightly less insane (but still quite insane) solution to fake guns might go something like this:

“Today, class, we’re going to learn about how dangerous it is to have a picture of a gun.”

“You see, Jimmy, when you build a gun out of lego, you think it’s all right because you don’t know any better. But some other child might be terrified when she sees the gun. And that’s why we’re here. To protect everybody from bad feelings.”

Jimmy scratches his five-year-old head and wonders what world he was born into. He’s just been introduced to “greatest good for the greatest number,” “you have no freedom,” and “least bad for the lowest number,” all in five seconds.

What we’re seeing here is a mandate to change the culture. Teach these kids that any reference to, symbol of, or thought about guns is wrong.

Welcome to operant conditioning.

These fake-gun busts are really about thought crimes.

We recently saw that with the passage of a New York State gun law. It requires psychiatrists to signal the police when they have a patient who may be “a danger to himself or others.” The patient is thereafter banned from owning a gun.

Any patient, any person has had thoughts of violence. Any psychiatrist can tease such thoughts out of a patient. And that can be sufficient to make a report to the police.

Read the rest here

Categories: Big Brother, Firearms, Government "Education", Tyranny | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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