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Helene Cummins’ article, “Rural children’s perception of life on the land in southwestern Ontario” (2009) asserts that play, leisure, work, and future aspirations are vital in the lives of children. Helene backs this with descriptions of how children in the farmland do not really enjoy life on farms, in order to increase awareness in people on the need to give children a variety of geographical exposure. A look at the basic language, which Helene uses in the article, implies that her main target was averagely bright individuals with basic knowledge in family values and bringing up children.
Helene Cummins’ article, “Rural children’s perception of life on the land in southwestern Ontario” (2009) argues that farm families in Canada usually face severe economic problems, just like those in the 1930s. Some of the challenges include high costs of farm materials, such as fertilizer and seeds for planting. Similarly, prices of agricultural goods are extremely low, and the revenue that they collect from the farm sales cannot sustain the entire family. This and many factors lead to an uncertain future of the child living in the farm in Canada. Researchers have not given adequate attention to explore children living on farms. Every time the scientists are conducting a research, they always dwell on the urban children, failing to take into account the farm children. Thus, the author intended to look at the life of children in rural areas and the vital aspects of their life. The author also analyzes divergences based on gender, age, class, or socialization process.
Place and space studies
According to Helene Cummins’ article, “Rural children’s perception of life on the land in southwestern Ontario” (2009), space refers to any geographical links in terms of flow of goods or services and information. On the other hand, place usually specifies the site of location. There are researches that investigators have undertaken in areas like Canada, England, and Australia, which have examined the cultural variations between lives of children in the rural areas and those in urban areas. One survey indicated that it was easier to get children adhering to their respective gender roles if they were part of community clubs or associations. Another survey indicated that not many children are happy to life on the farms. They felt that it was challenging and depriving them of some benefits that they could access if they lived in urban areas. Another theme that had been examined, the work opportunities in the rural areas, came up with amusing results. It found that a majority of women aged 18-30 were less interested in farm work, and in fact, none of them wished to marry a farm worker.
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The Agrarian way of life
According to Helene Cummins’ article, “Rural children’s perception of life on the land in southwestern Ontario” (2009), agrarianism is a principal component of life in the rural areas. According to the theory, agriculture is a source of a healthy life, and comes up with norms and values that people associate with hard work. However, agrarianism does not identify farming as a role for the females. It is the duty of the male child to involve himself in farming activities, and not the girl child. According to a study in 2004, farm families have a tremendous impact on community development through their purchasing power. Such families also participate a lot in sports and church or community vents.
Farm Children in Southwestern Ontario
Research indicates that the main contributors to the lives of children are structural conditions, as Helene Cummins’ article, “Rural children’s perception of life on the land in southwestern Ontario” (2009) shows. These conditions are usually out of the children’s control. The researcher obtained a sample of 19 boys and 12 girls to pull together the data. Results signified that the farm was the place of work for the children. For example, one respondent pointed out that he had to feed the calves or make food for the cows. Most of the children complained that they did not enjoy the jobs they were undertaking. Some children said that they were happy when they had executed assignments on the firm, which the opposite gender initially did. For example, when a girl was to look for cows, she was happy about it. Some children, at a tender age, felt that life on the farm was exciting.
On first sight, life on farms in Ontario seems to be fun. However, at later stages, the experiences become tormenting and stressful to young children living on the farms.
Helene Cummins’ article, “Rural children’s perception of life on the land in southwestern Ontario” (2009) asserts that play, leisure, work, and future aspirations are vital in the lives of children. Helene backs this with descriptions of how children in the farmland do not enjoy life on farms. She does this in order to increase awareness in people on the need to give children a variety of geographical exposure. A look at the basic language, which Helene uses in the article, implies that her main target were bright individuals, with basic knowledge in family values and bringing up children.
The author narrates some of the life experiences of children living on farms in Ontario. First, she sees the farms as a workplace for children. Generally, most of children living on the farms participate in day-to-day chores. For example, one of the respondents has claimed that she usually gets the chickens in. She also indicates that during the month large trucks come, and they are to help in offloading the chicken.
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The gender aspect of farming was also evident in Ontario. As much as both, girls and boys, cherished farming to some extent, boys appreciated farming more than girls did, because they believed they had grown up on the farm. In fact, most of the boy respondents have claimed that they want to become farmers in the future.
In addition, children viewed the farm areas as exclusionary settings. They believed that life in the rural areas was so dull, and that they could not have more fun than in urban areas. They believed that there were many friends in urban areas, and recreational facilities were readily available. However, despite some of the children saying that urban homes provided more fun than farm areas, the other were okay with what farms provided. For instance, some children took solace in their farm pets, such as goats and puppies.
Children in farm areas also tend to be keen on keeping boundaries. Rural set-ups usually mold children into appreciating the boundaries and limits for their games. Therefore, they grow up upholding these morals up to adulthood.
Gemeinschaft and Community Space
Children, who grow up in farm homes or rural areas tend to develop an appreciation for the land that they are living on. They incline to understand and appreciate the fact that the land has fed several lineages before them. Some, however, recognize the farmland as a place for families to unite and merry together with friends. In fact, one researcher, Bonner (1997) found from his research that most parents would opt to bring up their children in farm communities where family interacted with their daily work life harmoniously.
Strengths and Weaknesses
The strong point of this piece of work is that it gives a detailed report of the opinions that researchers have collected from children in the Ontario farmland region. This increases the credibility of the paper.
However, one weakness of the article is that its conclusions are based on findings from one area only, in this case, the rural farmlands of Ontario. The conclusions, made on children’s opinions of life on the farms, would have been universal if the collection of data had been on other regions as well.
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Without an inner examination of children’s life on the farms, one could think that it is enjoyable. However, a closer investigation shows the contrary. Majority of the children, mainly young girls, had no aspirations about life on the farm. Most of them indicated that they had never wanted to be farmers in the future. Thus, Canada may be facing a challenge of maintaining its agricultural legacy. This is because a majority of its young population does not have ambitions to pursue farming in the future. The research pointed out that less than 50% of the boys were willing to take on farming. However, since most of them were extremely young, there were high possibilities that they could change their stands in future.