The day started early. A tractor wake up call from our neighbor who was letting us borrow it to hang our pigs on after they were slaughtered. Miles had purchased an inflatable raft with his birthday money the day before, and we immediately headed out for the pond to test it out. They spent the early part of the morning taking turns learning to row, exploring cat tails and searching for frogs. We headed back, plucking plantain to dry for all sorts of concoctions along the way. Many books were read, many neighbors stopped by to help with the pigs and maybe to see if this baby was on her way. She is not. Yet! Our sweet little “almost nine-year” old neighbor played with the boys for hours and then we all headed down to the neighbors barn to walk some baby cows; Get a proper lesson, use the new halter, hop around in the now full hay loft. A late supper was devoured and eyes were at rest before heads hit the pillow.
I started to get caught up somewhere in the middle of the day that we had no time for “school” work that day; That the baby was coming soon enough and we would be behind. And then it hit me. What we did was so much more than I could ever teach them. Not all days are like this, but the reality is most are. There were lessons in butchering, in where our food comes from, in life and death, in sharing and cooperating, habitats of ponds, medicinal use of plants… the list goes on and on. And the best part was, I didn’t have to do a thing extra.
Homeschooling puts on a certain level of pressure, and at the very same moment takes a giant mound of that pressure off. All these books have their time and place. And honestly, the boys enjoy the crafting and stories that are tucked inside them. But, I must remember not to let them take the place of the real reason we are choosing this life. The idea that life can present all the learning we need. The thought that these boys have a mission in life, and will seek it out despite their education or hand in hand with it. I am, of course, an advocate for all types and styles of education, both in a traditional school and at home- but on a day like today, it solidified our current path.
Now if only the tooth fairy had not “forgotten to come”, the day could have been rounded off with perfection… ah well you win some you lose some right?