I want my children to act in eco-friendly ways because they care about sustainability. Caring isn’t inherited, though, and, if I teach them well, they will think for themselves, so they won’t necessarily come to the same conclusions I have about appropriate responses to the state of the world.
Even if we were all to arrive at the same conclusions, we wouldn’t necessarily get there at the same pace.
And, you know we won’t all arrive at the same conclusions.
The only hope if you want your kids to be eco friendly is to teach them the underlying principles and set them free to come to their own conclusions. When they are very young, they will probably lift their opinions from yours, but that will end soon enough. While they still think you have the answers, make sure you help them understand why you care about your environmental footprint and how that influences the choices your family makes.
I found that it wasn’t enough to just tell my children what we are doing as a family. I have years of influence that brought me to any given moment’s decisions. I wanted teaching tools to help me integrate environmental education into our homeschooling.
After looking at a variety of resources, we chose Facing the Future as our environmental education curriculum. I like that they don’t take environmental issues out of context. Connections are complex, but they provide curriculum from elementary to post-secondary levels.
The global issues addressed through Facing the Future are:
- Nature and Natural Resources
- Human Health and Wellbeing
- Impacts on the Planet
- Government and Economy
The subject areas addressed through Facing the Future are:
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
Their approach to global sustainability is multi-diciplinary, and their lessons always encourage students to take action. They emphasize service learning, media literacy, and understanding how worldview and culture shape our perceptions of the world.
Sometimes I look at curriculum and think, “I could have done a better job with this.” That’s inevitable for a PhD who has spent a lot of years teaching. I don’t say that with this curriculum. Not even close. This curriculum is far beyond the level that any individual could put together alone. Facing the Future is a team—a BIG team—and I am constantly grateful for their work in developing this valuable tool.
We have used Global Issues and Sustainable Solutions (grades 6-8). We’ve also downloaded some of their free environmental education lessons. I’m looking forward to Buy, Use, Toss? A Closer Look at the Things We Buy (grades 9-12), but I’m trying not to get ahead of myself. We have more middle school resources to get through before we need to face high school
How have you taught your children about sustainability and green living? What tools and resources have you found helpful?