I know we are blessed. Families are so spread out in our world, yet one of our daughters, her husband and children live with us on Abiding Pastures Farm. The other daughter is five minutes away and is here Monday through Friday.
Homeschooling is a part of their day and so is learning about sustainability. One of their science questions was how is nitrogen added to the soil. Our grandchild’s answer was that you plant beans. Answer to another question about bugs gave detailed accounts. They often refer to the thorax and number of legs on a bug. They recognize those bugs that are predators and are working to tell the difference between a bean beetle and a ladybug. They have quite the insect collection for one of their science projects.
When microscopic life is discussed, they can explain the relationships between various types of soil life. They understand the value of composted poop and why you wait before spreading it on the soil. They know many wild plants that are edible and one of the grandkids can find wood sorrel anywhere.
The value of work and fun at the same time, learning to cooperate, and developing character becomes a part of daily life. Yet, school is structured as well. It is just that we live seasonally with school and with the farm. Planting season has days where only math is completed. Harvesting pigs is always a biology lesson as well as a food safety lesson. They have learned to reach for gloves, aprons, and hand washing before I can remind them…they are reminding us.
One day, when the grandkids have their own families, they will know the value of caring for the earth, caring for themselves, and the wonderful knowledge that comes from books. Structure must be built into daily life as well as school. Hopefully, they will understand why life is structured, why there is a need for math, science, excellent writing, and learning the history of mankind.