Can you unschool without gardening? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 102 Old 02-15-2009, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So far everyone who homeschools and unschools gardens enthusiastically. Don't get me wrong... I love nature and the outdoors. I love hiking and the woods and eating healthy foods.

BUT I hate gardening. I have a brown thumb and plants die. I hate weeding because I have back problems and it hurts a LOT to bend or crouch or hoe. I hate zucchini.

So I grow some lettuce in a whiskey barrel in the summer and I let the bulbs and mums in my yard grow happily unmolested.

I let my kids play in the dirt if they wish.

But I feel a little weird, like if I homeschool it's a requisite that I have to garden and teach my kids to garden. Thoughts?

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#2 of 102 Old 02-15-2009, 05:23 PM
 
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You sound like me! I don't garden enthusuastically either. I have planted stuff in our garden and I do stuff out there in the spring and summer but I'm not planning self sufficiency.

Our best gardening of the type you may be thinking of happened last year when I dropped a manky potato on the way to the compost bin and it fell into a plastic bag (yes plastic, shoot me now....) that I had filled with a virulent weed coming under the fence from next door that I didn't want to compost.

I didn't bother picking it out but a month or so later there were green shoots and leaves coming out of the bag that looked potato-like. I left it to grow and at the end of the summer when we emptied the bag to see what had happened we found potatoes! So cool but so random. I have never had the patience or space to dig trenches for potatoes or earth them up and care for them but I see more potatoes in plastic bags in our future!

I have also given up the fight with the weeds from next door and accepted them as part of some grand plan that I should not stand in the way of.
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#3 of 102 Old 02-15-2009, 05:28 PM
 
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Whistler!

No, you don't have do garden, but then you must at least have a CSA! !

JK, you do whatever it is your family does best. Gardening happens to be a great way for kids to learn and connect with their environment but their are lots of ways you could do this.

Also, if you aren't involved with a CSA it is a great thing to do with kids. It connects them to their food source, they come and help weigh out the veggies on picnic day and gets everyone involved in our food. We live in an urban area with no yard so gardening is not an option for us right now, but we love our CSA!
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#4 of 102 Old 02-15-2009, 05:30 PM
 
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Whistler!

No, you don't have do garden, but then you must at least have a CSA! !
:
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#5 of 102 Old 02-15-2009, 05:31 PM
 
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We have a garden growing for the first time ever. I would say in our big homeschooling group and our big unschooling group combined, less than half have a garden.

It has added a lot of joy to our lives but its certainly not necessary. I only started it for myself, I really didn't expect the kids to be interested in it at all, that was just a bonus.

If you want to, you could grow wheat grass on your table or something easy like that...

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#6 of 102 Old 02-15-2009, 05:37 PM
 
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When we were unschooling last year, we didn't have a garden. Hmmm- is THAT why we ended up moving towards "eclectic homeschooling" and stopped unschooling?

With unschooling you live your lives and your child learns organically. If gardening is part of your life, then that's part of the education. If it's not, then your child learns about whatever else it is you spend your time doing.

Or, you could join Webkinz and create an online garden.

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#7 of 102 Old 02-15-2009, 05:39 PM
 
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Sorry, but here's what it says in Section 3.2, Paragraph C, of the Ultimate Universally Approved Official Unschooling Regulations:
"All persons referring to themselves as "unschoolers" are required to plant and maintain at least one annual garden. A garden, for this purpose, refers to a plot of ground where vegetables and herbs are cultivated."

But you're welcome to refer to yourself as an Eclectic Homeschooler. Lillian

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#8 of 102 Old 02-15-2009, 05:55 PM
 
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Sorry, but it here's what it says in Section 3.2, Paragraph C, of the Ultimate Universally Approved Official Unschooling Regulations:
"All persons referring to themselves as "unschoolers" are required to plant and maintain at least one annual garden. A garden, for this purpose, refers to a plot of ground where vegetables and herbs are cultivated."

But you're welcome to refer to yourself as an Eclectic Homeschooler. Lillian

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#9 of 102 Old 02-15-2009, 06:07 PM
 
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No, it must not be a rule that you have a garden because you can't pull weeds in a denim jumper, and those are definately mandatory!

: mama to 4 boys
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#10 of 102 Old 02-16-2009, 12:06 AM
 
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No, the denim jumper (with clogs) is the uniform of the more structured homeschooling mothers. We unschoolers wear tie-dyed t shirts. They do fine in the compulsory garden. Unfenced chickens are nor required, but a definite sign of dedication. Especially in the house.

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#11 of 102 Old 02-16-2009, 01:37 AM
 
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#12 of 102 Old 02-16-2009, 03:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Bwahahahahaha!!!! You guys are the best!

We DO have a CSA (I had to google what it is) and if they can find some sort of back-friendly activity for me and will not force me to take home extra zucchini, I am there. I would love for my kids to be connected to their food source. I grew up in a farm family (my mom gardened extensively, I know, I know, why didn't I get the gene?) and it was cool to be so close to the wheat and the garden and the animals. I want my kids to know that feeling of belonging to the land.

I'd like to learn to grow things but I need to do it in such a way that I don't have to bend over for long periods. Any ideas? Raised beds?

Oh, BTW, I have a tye-dyed Polar fleece. And a hat. I made them. (Well, I sewed them; I didn't dye it!) The chickens, though... hmm... our Parakeets will have to do.

Erin caffix.gif , Happy wife of Honey Bearguitar.gif , mom of Curly Miss (11/04), Little Mister (10/06), Princess Abi (3/08), and The Bean (9/09) jumpers.gifadoptionheart-1.gif  <>< oh, and I blog.

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#13 of 102 Old 02-16-2009, 05:14 AM
 
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I've skirted the garden rule by being a radical unschooler. (pun intended)

Mom to Eoin (11/02), Eilis (09/04), Eamon (07/07), and Ellery (04/10)
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#14 of 102 Old 02-16-2009, 10:43 AM
 
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Unfenced chickens are nor required, but a definite sign of dedication. Especially in the house.
And goats. Don't forget the goats.
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#15 of 102 Old 02-16-2009, 12:14 PM
 
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I'd like to learn to grow things but I need to do it in such a way that I don't have to bend over for long periods. Any ideas? Raised beds?
Start small and stick with container gardening. Do you have decent sun exposure on the porch/deck (by some stairs so you could sit below the container(s) on the stairs? If you have a railing on a porch/deck, you could mount a long window box which would let you stand up to tend to your plants/flowers. Or just do indoor herbs for cooking.
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#16 of 102 Old 02-16-2009, 12:27 PM
 
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Maybe try a couple earthboxes? Or would that be cheating? No weeding required! I love them!

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#17 of 102 Old 02-16-2009, 12:29 PM
 
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I'd like to learn to grow things but I need to do it in such a way that I don't have to bend over for long periods. Any ideas? Raised beds?

.
My DH built his mom a square foot gardening bed and placed it up on a frame so that it is a little above waist high. Its not deep enough for potatoes or probably not carrots, but would work for most everything else

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#18 of 102 Old 02-16-2009, 01:24 PM
 
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Ha! I had my very first garden last summer to legitimize my homeschool . Stuff grew without too much back-breaking labor. But I just didn't "get it". Glad to hear I'm not alone!

(Too bad about the official rules, though -- I had a feeling I was going to get kicked out of the club anyway after I made my children write the letter A on a whiteboard before I gave them some candy yesterday

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#19 of 102 Old 02-16-2009, 01:49 PM
 
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LOL

No, I'm a city girl and so is my daughter. She loves walks in the park and on trails but we can't have a patio garden here cuz it doesn't get enough light.

I know this is meant to be humorous but really, it's incredible what "rules" some unschooling factions can come up with and what is expected of an unschooling family.
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#20 of 102 Old 02-16-2009, 02:36 PM
 
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Wait I just thought of something. Do you knit? If you knit I think you might be exempt from the gardening requirement.

Better yet get some sheep and start from from scratch!
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#21 of 102 Old 02-16-2009, 02:37 PM
 
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LOL

No, I'm a city girl and so is my daughter. She loves walks in the park and on trails but we can't have a patio garden here cuz it doesn't get enough light.
What about a chia pet? I've read the rules........ ch ch ch cheeeahhh!

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#22 of 102 Old 02-16-2009, 03:10 PM
 
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Or, you could join Webkinz and create an online garden.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post
Sorry, but here's what it says in Section 3.2, Paragraph C, of the Ultimate Universally Approved Official Unschooling Regulations:
"All persons referring to themselves as "unschoolers" are required to plant and maintain at least one annual garden. A garden, for this purpose, refers to a plot of ground where vegetables and herbs are cultivated."

But you're welcome to refer to yourself as an Eclectic Homeschooler. Lillian

:

PS....after being on MDC since 2004, I JUST figured out how to multi quote! Yeah Me! :

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#23 of 102 Old 02-16-2009, 03:12 PM
 
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Wait I just thought of something. Do you knit? If you knit I think you might be exempt from the gardening requirement.

Better yet get some sheep and start from from scratch!
Crap! : I do not knit OR garden. :

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#24 of 102 Old 02-16-2009, 03:34 PM
 
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This is all too funny! I have been dealing with some stereotypes lately, and this is exactly what I needed to take the chip of my shoulder.

Oh, I am a horrible gardener, too. I once killed a cactus. Appearently, those suckers need water every once in a while.

Last year, my (then) 3 yo wanted to plant a garden. So, I tilled up a 4' x 4' corner of the garden for him. He "planted" all sorts of leftover seeds from my horrible attempt at a garden the year before. And, I took him to the garden store where he, on his own accord, approached the clerk and asked for a "pickle" plant. His garden grew and grew and grew, and we are still eating pickles to this day. He is now, at 4 yo, planning garden expansions for this summer! So, if you have a small piece of yard that you don't mind turning over to the kids, you might be surprised by what they grow themselves.

J - Homeschooling mom to H (1/20/05), Z (11/6/06) and C (8/22/08)
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#25 of 102 Old 02-16-2009, 03:53 PM
 
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Sorry, but here's what it says in Section 3.2, Paragraph C, of the Ultimate Universally Approved Official Unschooling Regulations:
"All persons referring to themselves as "unschoolers" are required to plant and maintain at least one annual garden. A garden, for this purpose, refers to a plot of ground where vegetables and herbs are cultivated."
oh dear. that's what happens when you don't read the rules. and here we've gone and planted perennials. Well, DD is just 4...we've got a while before we have to call ourselves anything!
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#26 of 102 Old 02-16-2009, 04:19 PM
 
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I'm hoping the mushroom growing kit that ds got for Christmas has us covered...

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#27 of 102 Old 02-16-2009, 04:35 PM
 
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PS....after being on MDC since 2004, I JUST figured out how to multi quote! Yeah Me! :
So...uh...are you going to share the tip? I mean...you know, just in case there's anyone here who doesn't have a clue how to do that... Lillian

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#28 of 102 Old 02-16-2009, 04:39 PM
 
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Our development is overrun with deer that eat everything and are impervious to fences. I, too, tend to kill anything i've tried to grow. I have some dead houseplants hanging around... a sage plant outside that has miraculously survived both me and the deer... and a couple of rosebushes we'll see about in a few months. Other than that, no gardening. I'm hoping someday; maybe one of the kids will have an aptitude for it that I don't, or maybe DH will have time again.
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#29 of 102 Old 02-16-2009, 05:30 PM
 
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:

PS....after being on MDC since 2004, I JUST figured out how to multi quote! Yeah Me! :
Wow, AngelBee, 19,000 posts and you just figured it out?!? Hurrah for you!

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Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post


So...uh...are you going to share the tip? I mean...you know, just in case there's anyone here who doesn't have a clue how to do that... Lillian

See that cute little plus sign at the bottom right hand corner of each message? If you see a message you want to quote, just click the little plus sign. Then click any other plus signs on other messages you want to quote. Then hit the Post Reply button as usual, and you will see all of the individual quotes in your reply box. So that's a tip for anyone out there reading who might want to multi-quote. Not you, of course.

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#30 of 102 Old 02-16-2009, 05:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Chimpmandee View Post
See that cute little plus sign at the bottom right hand corner of each message? If you see a message you want to quote, just click the little plus sign. Then click any other plus signs on other messages you want to quote. Then hit the Post Reply button as usual, and you will see all of the individual quotes in your reply box. So that's a tip for anyone out there reading who might want to multi-quote. Not you, of course.
Wow! Thanks! For explaining that...to someone else, that is... I could never have explained it so well : - Lillian

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