This is our catalog of courses. We will occasionally adjust the course listing to reflect the addition of new courses and the retirement of others. 

Recorded HS
Life Skills
Homesteading: Why and How

If you’ve ever wondered about the ethics of our current food system, mourned the loss of practical knowledge and skills (the ones your great-grandparents had), desired to live closer to your own land and family, or worried about the dangers of globalism, this course is for you.

Total classes: 4

Prerequisite: None

Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th grade

Suggested credit: 1/3 semester Homesteading or Life Skills


The course is meant to be a primer on the issues relating to homesteading. We will define what homesteading is, why there is a movement to return back to the land, and practical ways that homesteaders are thriving. Our topics will cover the ethics of food, farming ethics, and our responsibility to God’s creation. We will look to theology to discover what true Christian environmentalism might mean in light of the Bible and Catholic theology. We will think about the unexpected political and economic consequences of our current industrial food system. We will consider how our treatment and respect for nature and one another affects how we understand who God is, as the author of nature. The course will aim to be half lecture and half discussion, with the instructor providing content by lecture each day. The lectures—in union with the readings—are meant to evoke student reactions and stimulate discussion, allowing us to think more deeply about the material in accordance with the interests, concerns, and experiences of the students in the class.


Day 1: Introduction: What is industrial farming and what are the alternatives (homesteading). Preliminary definitions, introductions of the book and its author, canvassing the main themes of the book, and getting a sense for where students stand with regard to the topic, their experiences, and so on.

Day 2: Caring for God’s Creation: What does God intend for us with regard to the earth? Think through the history of mismanagement until the present. Consider better ways to provide basic needs that honor God’s designs. What is stewardship? Discuss the carbon cycle and God’s patterns that we are meant to respect.

Day 3: Economic and Political Considerations: Think about the problems with cheap food. Why is it cheap, and how is that possible? Concentration of power and money in the current food industry. CAFOs. What is Distributism? Restoring order to the food system by returning it to the local community and family. Can local feed the world?

Day 4: Homesteading: Practical Approaches

We will discuss here a variety of practical ways to overcome many of the issues discussed above. From composting and backyard chickens to small-scale gardening and rotational grazing using electrified netting, we will think about practical ways to get started and—given the first three classes—change the world.

Materials and Homework

Course materials: The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs: Respecting and Caring for All God’s Creation by Joel Salatin, ISBN: 978-1455536986 (https://amzn.to/3AuGC57)

Homework: Daily quizzes on readings and lectures (1 each day for a total of 4) and a final response essay.

Quizzes will test for basic comprehension of definitions, terms, and processes from readings and lecture. The final response essay will be a 1-2 page essay, on some topic related to course material. The idea will be for the student to respond critically. For example, one might evaluate the morality of current farming practice using the lens of the course; one might try to formulate a biblical theory of food. One might give reasons for embracing or rejecting the factory farming system. One could speak about stewardship and God’s intentions for living ecologically in light of Scripture. The goal of the final response essay is for the student to engage in a sustained effort at thinking through some concepts of the course in their own way beyond the quizzes. The response essay will also be a chance for the instructor to provide feedback on writing skills.

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