Looking for other homeschooling/ farming families to chat with - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 09-02-2012, 06:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi.  I am going to begin homeschooling my 5 year old DS this week.  I also have a beautiful 4 month old DD.  We live on a small farm where we raised pastured poultry, pastured pork and grassfed beef and a family garden.  We have a customer base of about 30 families and attend a farmer's market once a month so we're on the medium-scale of farms around here.  I'm looking to share with other families in similar situations.  I'm trying to figure out exactly how to do everything- homeschool, manage the farm, get animals and children fed, laundry, dishes, housework and all the other little things done without losing my mind.  Anyone out there in a similar situation and want to chat?


Mama to one sweet monkey born 07/07 and one perfect mouse born 04/12.

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#2 of 4 Old 09-02-2012, 11:48 AM
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We have a hobby farm with chickens, turkey, and sheep. This is our first year trying it all together, as we got the animals this summer. We started a garden but the summer was brutal to it. We have 4 children, 10, 8, 4, and 2 and another one on the way this April. The best advice I can come up with is to involve your youngster in the daily chores. Our hope for this school year is to have our kids help with the animals and stuff that needs to be done around the house. When we work together things don't take as long to accomplish so there should still plenty of time for our lessons and even fun activities. Routine and consistency will be very important in this endeavor, for us.

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#3 of 4 Old 09-03-2012, 07:25 PM
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Hi there! I also just started homeschooling my 5 year old this week (and have a 3 year old, and a baby due in 2 weeks!)  While we are not an actual 'farm'  we raise chickens for meat and sell eggs, have around 100 chickens, plus turkeys and ducks.....and are in the first year of trying to grow our own produce, and be as self sufficient as possible....canning, making soap to sell.  My husband has his medical practice out of our home, and I have been trying to manage the animals  (though he has been helping more now that my pregnant self can no longer lug the feed bags around.) I can see that I am going to have to be kind of flexible with homeschooling, and having relaxed days (or weeks) when it comes time to process chickens, or when 200 lbs of tomatoes ripen at the same time and HAVE to be dealt with...but i suppose that is part of the wonderful flexibility of homeschooling!  feel free to e-mail me if you want to chat!  I too would love to talk with someone trying to manage a similar life...it certainly is a balancing act!  - Lisa Williams   katmanduzen@aol.com

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#4 of 4 Old 09-09-2012, 06:52 PM
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Hi!  We are in central NC and have a small family farm.  We've raised pork, beef, chicken, turkey, goat, and lamb, but just lately started to focus more on just vegetables and fruit.  We've had gardens for several years, but animals seem to get the most attention around here because their needs are higher on our list than the cabbage's.  We ran ourselves ragged last year, but foresee it being more manageable going forward.  


We have three kids, ages 9 (ds), 7 (ds), and almost 5 (dd).  We have leaned heavily towards unschooling in the past few years, after starting out 1st grade for the oldest with a couple curriculums that crashed and burned upon implementation.  However, just lately, my dh and I have begun to feel that we want to see some changes towards more structure in the near future.  Last year, we added music lessons and karate, which has given a certain shape to our weeks and gotten us moving on daily work towards a larger goal.  I did a small amount of sit-down work with my oldest ds when he was ready to learn to read.  We did the first 50 or 60 lessons in "Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons."  He was 6, almost 7 when we did that.  From there, he took off and is an avid reader now.  He actually re-reads books again and again, really getting into the stories and learning all the characters and relationships and events way better than me.  In school, I did all the required reading, and was an English major, but really never took time to read anything more than once.  I realize now, it's because I didn't have time, and because I wasn't choosing the material.  I do love to read still, and devour books year-round, but the content is way different now!  (i.e. teaching myself how to be a farmer! ha ha)


For me, reading about other families' experiences homeschooling gives me ideas, allays my fears, and is inspiring.  I especially love the blog, "Nurtured By Love," whose writer will no doubt read your post soon enough!  I also enjoyed the stories in "A Little Way of Homeschooling: Thirteen Families Discover Catholic Unschooling" (even though I'm not Catholic!) by S. Andres, and "Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children" by S. Oppenheimer which leans towards Waldorf-style learning.


In your shoes several years ago, I didn't do any formal schoolish work with my kids.  We just lived our life and took trips to the library and a local outdoor exploration camp at a friend's farm.  I was busy learning to bake bread, starting my first garden, selling my house, and doing the regular dishes, cleaning, laundry, naps, nursing, and bedtimes that take up most of the day in that time!!  With my dd, who is almost 5 right now, I've started to play card games and board games regularly (math!), and we have been reading through the Laura Ingalls Wilder books for several months.  We are actually mid-way through the final book ("These Happy Golden Years"), and I'm so sad!!  I love reading the books aloud, and she adores hearing them.  We don't want the story to end!  Since we've been talking so much about Laura's life, I intend to delve into American history with all three kids this year, taking plenty of time to explore geography, native-American cultures, watch documentaries, read other period fiction and biographies, and a thousand other things that will naturally come up as we go through.


What works well for me, with so many things to manage in life and on the farm, is to build new things slowly into our routine.  Making a habit of things is the only way for us to stick with it.  I've also learned to add things slowly.  None of us can handle a lot of change all of a sudden, which is why our curriculum forays turned into disasters where everyone was unhappy and stressed.  


I'd be happy to talk more if you want to pm me!  Best wishes going forward!


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