What do Amish and Finns have in common in raising children?

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amish-boys-shipshewana
Image by hifijohn from Pixabay

You will not meet Amish in Finland, but there is something in common in the upbringing of these communities. One of the most amazing phenomena associated with the Amish is the constant and steady growth in the number of community members. You can learn more about Amish culture on The Amish Schoolhouse.

Earlier education

Children receive their basic education in the family. It is in the family that all the foundations and basic rules of life in the community are laid, the history of its development, in a word, everything that the Amish consider mandatory knowledge.

amish boys and girls walking on the grass
Photo by Kia Sari on Unsplash

Children start helping their parents early, starting somewhere from the age of 13. Boys work with their fathers and brothers in the fields and on the farm, or do crafts, and girls help their mothers with household chores in the house and in the garden. It is here that young Amish get a lot of knowledge that you will not get at the desk, but only in the process of working, caring for animals or for the land. There is also little theory in Finnish schools, everything is learned in the process of applying knowledge in reality.

School

Amish children go to school, but not to a public school, but to their own, which is located in the community. Usually, it is a small building consisting of one room, where children aged 7-8 to 15 years study at the same time.

Among the subjects studied at school are languages and mathematics, history and geography, reading and writing, and, of course, the traditions of the community.

After school

The Amish do not recognize higher education, considering it not only useless, but even harmful.

Finnish children are brought up in complete freedom of action and opinion, which surprisingly allows them to become well-mannered and educated people.

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Image by Joe Keim from Pixabay

As soon as the Amish graduate from school, one of the most important and amazing periods in the life of young members of the community begins, which is called “rumspringa”. For several years, teenagers get the right to live not as their family and community demand of them, but as they want themselves. They can go to the cities and lead the usual lifestyle for modern teenagers.

But at the end of this period, young Amish must make a conscious and balanced decision: to stay in the outside world or to return to the community.

Surprisingly, 85-90% of young people return. It’s all about conscious choice.