The Weekly Digs #55

by Becky

“Why are you going to homeschool next year when you move to your land? I would think you would want to send your kids to school so you can get things done on the farm.” 

Cameron had a friend ask him that question last week. 

Just a few generations ago children were considered an asset to a family farm. They would labor with the family and share in the benefits.

 As the years went on family farms were mostly replaced with industrial agriculture, creating an environment where a farmers children couldn’t contribute since the risks from equipment and chemicals proved too dangerous. After several generations of having the children removed from the family farm, we can see the results. 

Today’s children think the world revolves around them and their entertainment. They scoff and complain at having to help with a simple task like loading dishes in a dishwasher. Modern children shed tears and have tantrums over not getting to watch a movie or losing device time. They expect to be able to sign up for every sport and activity and then be shuttled around. All the while Mom and Dad are in a frenzy to cater to their schedule, keep up with basic home tasks, and become stressed out and overworked.

I understand why our friend would think that it would be easier to send the kids to school. An average modern child would complain about having to help on a farm and it would be easier just to send them off and not have to deal with an attitude. But we have a different idea. It is the harder road less traveled but a path that is worth taking. We have a long term vision of the potential our kids are capable of. 

We know from experience it takes a lot of patience, repetition, and much more time to teach a child, but they will eventually get the hang of it. Our load becomes lighter as the children become more adept and skilled in their tasks.  We do plan on having them help us on the farm and learning together new skills. It will be a balance of school, work, and play for our family. 

Through the years we have worked hard to teach our kids life skills as they have grown. One example is our third child Dax. He really enjoys baking. When he was six years old he learned to bake homemade bread from start to finish. 

It definitely wasn’t an easy thing for him to do at first. I stood beside him a lot at first helping him to know what to do. But, each time he made bread, he needed less and less help from me. Sometimes he forgot important ingredients but then he learned how to troubleshoot and that it was possible to add them in later. 

A few months later, he mastered the skill of making homemade bread. His self esteem went through the roof as he realized that he learned a skill many adults don’t even know how to do. Dax has a lot of determination and it was a goal he set for himself and accomplished.

The same idea applies to our kids staying home, homeschooling and helping on the farm. It will not be easy for Cameron and I or the kids at first. The hope is that in the end the homeschooling and the farm work will become natural and we will all gain experience. I’m excited because I know through working and accomplishing new things our family will be able to feel a sense of joy. 

I also believe that working can be fun and the children can usually sense when the parent is finding enjoyment in the task. Cameron and I are both outdoor people and could literally work all day outside and have fun doing it. Of course we wouldn’t make the kids work all day and will definitely have balance. But our children have noticed how much we love being outdoors. If we are outside, the kids usually follow us outside and ask what they can do to help. 

As the farm generates income, the children will be paid for their work and I’m sure the motivation to help will increase even more. Having our children home with us is the road less taken but the one that will make all the difference in what our family will achieve and become.

“I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

-Robert Frost

In the garden this week:

It was a big seed starting week since we are 8 weeks away from last frost. All listed below are indoor sown plants.

  • Planted purple tomatillo and tomatillo verde
  • Planted lesya, emerald giant, mini yellow bell, and canary bell sweet peppers. Also planted tam jalapenos, poblano peppers, and banana peppers.
  • Potted up the red express cabbage and golden acre cabbage as well as winter density lettuce and rouge d’hiver
  • Potted up scarlet kale
  • Planted blue curled scotch kale, burmese okra, and cilantro

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