Growing Up (New Hope)

Growing up in New Hope

New Hope’s children go through a number of phases as they grow up –

From Birth to the age of 5 or 6 they are seen as infants =- they stay with their mother (or nurse) tagging along and helping out with those tasks while playing and having fun.

When they get to the age of 6 they are expected to start learning - for a few days a week, they go to school m (if they can afford it) and spend the rest of the time helping out around the family home/business or playing. (Most kids of this age group will have a couple of ‘chores’ that are their responsibility to help the family live/survive. Most children get a ‘dame school’ education – while the luckier ones get a grammar school education that covers the basic skills in a little more depth.

At 10 or 11 years old the child becomes an apprentice - they have no rights yet - but they have some responsibilities. At this age they start going to militia training and start working. However they are working at the lowest of levels. They may be picking husks out of the grain or separating rock from ore. Or carrying water, or just running errands - but wherever they are, most of them will earn an absolute pittance for boring work, that teaches them the basics of their trade. As they progress through their apprenticeship they are finally allowed to hit rocks with hammers, cast out nets, plant crops etc etc. A few however, might show potential, and might be selected for an apprenticeship with a truly skilled craftsman, such as the Smith or the Herbalist - or may even sent to university to study.

Somewhere between the ages of 14-18 they are seen as adult and are expected to support themselves. Those kids with a basic education and an unskilled apprentice ship are released to the word first as general labourers at about the age of 14. Over the next few years more and more children are released into the world, and by 18 even the most educated members of the highest ranking families are expected to start making their own way in the world.

Parental Apprenticeships – a parent teaches a child their own occupation.

Most kids get apprenticed to their father/Mother - what skills the parent has are passed on to the child - so they become a labourer in their family’s own field. They don’t know any of the advanced stuff - but they do know which plants produce food and which are weeds - or which rocks are worth smelting and which aren’t. In other words they are effective farmer labourers, miner labourers, fishermen’s labourers etc etc.

EG Little Jimmy spends 5 years helping carry Ores for his father James - over that time Jimmy gets a little pocket money (often related to how much extra James earns from Jimmy helping him out). As Jimmy becomes more skilled, James manages to earn a little more money - and James, like a good father, passes some of it onto Jimmy. At the age of 17 Jimmy knows enough to wield his own pick and carry his own ore basket - and sets out in life as a journeyman miner in his own right.

Family Apprenticeships – where a family member gives a child an opportunity

If a child is fortunate, and shows some potential, another member of the child’s family might offer an apprenticeship in a different field. This normally only happens if the child shows some potential and the Uncle/Aunts trade is of equal or higher prestige than the parents. This is one of the things that the Corwen’s and the O’Barants use to bind their families together. As they are bigger groups, they are more likely to spot a child’s potential – and more likely to have a suitable apprenticeship in the ‘family’. While the ‘ranking’ members of the family want their children to have the bestg opportunities - they need to ensure that there is a healthy crop of ‘experienced’ family members there to back the up.

Trade Apprenticeships - where a child apprentices outside the family

Although few and far between, they do exist. However, normally the child’s parents are expected to make a payment to the master Trader when he takes their son as an apprentice, and then the child is expected to work in the same way as any other apprentice for 5 years or so, until the apprenticeship is completed. This is another way that PCs might be able to make ‘good donations’ – by sponsoring a child into a apprenticeship. It might only be with a mine or farm labourer - but at least the kid has a chance to learn a trade.

Advanced education – some kids are lucky - and rather than being pushed into an apprenticeship they go to University! However, university in this case - is a bit basic  and actually matches up, in some senses, with the original role of universities.

To go to university an applicant takes an entry examination. Those who do badly are rejected, those who do passably well (Dame school quality education) are admitted to the Grammaticus class, while those who do well (grammar school education) are admitted to the university proper. At the end of each year Grammaticus Class Students are allowed to re-sit the entrance exam to see if they have learned enough for full admission to the university.

Only the wealthiest and brightest students go to university full time – others might be enrolled for Gnomic language lessons and cartography (for example) while completing an apprentice ship on his parents fishing boat.

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