How is the course content presented?
We expect that you all run busy lives and so we have structured the content to be brief and straightforward. Each week we will provide you access to two new ‘classes’, each based around a permaculture principle. Each session briefly introduces the concepts to the adults and is followed by conversation starters – these are prompts to introduce a discussion with your child, prior to, or while heading into the activities themselves. You’ll find a range of activities to choose from, each applying to the permaculture principles outlined. The activities are described simply, with relevant links to resources for further information and entertainment, if needed. Then Minecraft challenges are available for those who choose to undertake that option.
I don’t have a garden. Can I still do the course?
Yes! The course is designed to suit families everywhere. You might have access to some pot plants, a local park, a neighbour’s garden. You do not need to have your own garden in order to understand and implement permaculture.
Do I need to complete every activity in the course?
Each of the 12 classes in the Seedlings course is designed to provide options rather than direct instructions, so it is up to you to decide how many activities you and your family want to do. The idea behind each activity is to foster inspiration for you and your children, and working in partnership with them. It is not essential that you complete all activities. We recommend you set aside about 40 minutes per principle, to begin with, and do what excites you most. Some families like to save other activities to return to in their own time, or choose to join the course again in the next round, at our reduced re-enrolment rate. We recognise that each family will have their own ways to best facilitate learning with their children. Think of it a bit like a choose your own adventure; you can pick and choose activities from each lesson that you think will be the most enjoyable or suitable. You know your family best, so approach this in the way that feels best for you.
Are the activities really that fun for children?
The activities in the course have been road-tested with our own children (aged 4yo, 8yo and 11yo), who we home educate. The activities that will be most fun will no-doubt vary from person to person, and that is why we provide a number of alternative activities to choose from. We recognise that some children are happiest when learning in front of a computer screen, others when working independently with their head in a book, others through listening, and others still through tactile interaction with the subject matter. With the range of options we provide, you are sure to find activities that are fun for you and your child. Many of these practical life skills are highly valuable for adults too.
Our recommendation for younger children is that you undertake the activities with, or alongside them. Older children may like to work on some activities independently, and we encourage you to give them the space to do that and to choose their own adventure!
Also, to stimulate and support the tech-mindedness of many 21st century children, we have incorporated a bit of technology into the course, through links to online videos and our own safe, whitelist Minecraft permaculture server. In the online Minecraft world, your child can have freedom to put some of their permaculture learnings into a plot of their own!
I’m not from Australia – can I still do the course?
Yes you can! Whilst the course has been developed by us here in Tasmania, Australia, the activities are generic enough that they could be applied in almost any part of the world where nature exists! For activities that are particularly seasonal, there are alternatives described for the northern hemisphere season, or we can suggest them if you get stuck.
I’m not on Facebook – can I still participate?
We hold weekly chats via Facebook, but it is NOT essential that everyone attends. It is beneficial, but not essential. We share lots of inspiration and insight, answer questions and chat on Facebook but it does not affect the course structure or content. If you would like to ask questions, chat or get in touch at anytime via email, we are more than happy to chat!
When can I start?
We take new students all year round, but memberships run between January to June, or July to December. The course is self-paced and designed to fit your lifestyle. Membership is granted for up to 6 months. If you sign up in January, you’ll receive a full 6 months. If you sign up in June, you’ll receive access for one month. The full course is printable, so you can take it as slowly as you like in your own time.
Is the course video based?
We offer links and suggestions to film and video content, but the course materials themselves are via the written word and are printable.
Are the seasonal activities updated each time?
Within each principle are lots of suggestions that will work for you at different times of year. This means you can revisit them at a later time when seasonally appropriate, or the course can be undertaken anywhere in the world at any time.
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©Spiral Garden 2015.