On Friday I loaded my boys into the Runamuk-truck and we ventured over to New Sharon for some goat manure. Two older women manage the 80-something goats and their farm, and for $10 will use their tractor to load your truck with manure.
The boys had a blast petting the goats while we waited–the tractor needed a boost to get going after all the damp weather we’ve been having. One of the farmers kept us company, and Winter and Summer asked questions about the goats and the farm, then we watched as the other woman–a spry, white-haired lady used the tractor to load the truck. I paid the ladies, then we drove home with our truckload of poo.
I love these excursions with my boys.
This homesteading lifestyle promotes learning on a spectrum of levels, and homeschooling my children gives them the freedom to access and experience it all.
The boys accompany me to the greenhouse, to the hardware store, the natural foods store, the county-extension office, the town hall–learning everywhere we go. They go with me to the beekeeping supply store where the air above the parking lot is filled with flying bees from the nucs stacked about the yard. Each little boy has gone with me on beekeeping forays such as swarm-collecting and out to install honey-supers on the hives stationed at Medicine Hill.
A family business offers all sorts of educational potential, from the production of product, to the maintenance of equipment, finances, marketing, and inter-personal relations between management and clients.
To make this endeavor successful, the whole family has to pitch in, and so the boys are responsible for a number of chores each day. Since our boys are still relatively young, their chores typically revolve around household tasks like cleaning up the main living space, emptying the compost, feeding the cats or the dog, scrubbing and dusting–that sort of thing. Sometimes they help outside in the yard, or accompany me on my CSA-deliveries. I’ve been gradually adding responsibilities and increasing the difficulty of the tasks that Winter and Summer do, according to each child’s age and ability, building up their stamina and work ethic hand in hand.
It is my hope that as our business grows the boys will grow into it, find some niche where they excel and make it their own. But even if they find an interest outside of Runamuk and venture off on their own, at least we will have provided them with a variety of valuable skills to sustain them in life.
Until then I will treasure the time spent with my boys, and enjoy these homeschooling adventures.