It's not for the faint of heart.
Homeschooling.After one year of high school homeschooling, my son returned to his local high school with such anticipation, motivation and focus that the experience was a win for both of us.
Between online courses, and homeschool courses at museums in the DC area, he met new students and traveled independently throughout the DC area as part of his coursework. The experience increased his confidence, independence, and introduced him to business owners, artists, and educators from all background throughout the Washington DC area.
Part of the homeschool experience coincided with my new interest in farming- the scale, variety, infrastructure and as always, the relationship to health and wellness. Farming offers an unparalleled experiential opportunity for students of all ages to learn and practice math, science, botany, agronomy, nutrition, engineering, solar energy and business to start.
Hands on experiences brought both of us an growing knowledge base on hoop houses, greenhouses, drip irrigation, ethnic crops, aquaculture, and fertigation while we volunteered at a research farm that distributes farm grown produce to local hunger organizations. And with our CSA, we traveled to food deserts in DC to offer locally grown food in partnership with local organizations and businesses.
The school day usually started with a handful of strawberries growing in the greenhouse or strawberry patch. Local chefs visited the farm and piqued his interest in cooking and the culinary arts.Before I knew it, our kitchen was filled with cakes and cookies and his love for kale salad ,in big bowls, began. Walking around the farm, lifting tables for farmers markets, pushing wheelbarrows, and harvesting a variety of berries and fruit for our CSA , in all seasons, and in the great outdoors , was at least 4 hours of functional and physical fitness.
Coincidentally, our local high school offered a culinary arts program and operated a small cafe for students and staff. When he presented the information brochure to me along with the registration papers, I knew our homeschool experience was ending as his self advocacy and educational focus blossomed. I just had to sign my name on the dotted line.
Wins All Around.
Fast forward to today, after a part time job in a restaurant, his career goals changed from working in the back of the house to the business side helping local restaurants increase their reach and revenue. The desire to become a chef came to a screeching halt but his interest in farming continues. Now, he's a young adult , continuing to learn on and off the farm. Hot composting, cold composting, solarization, Eisenia fetida, vermiculture, and building a trellis for snap peas inoculated with Rhizobium leguminosora- the lessons never stop.
So, if you are home because of COVID19, attempting to work and homeschool one or more students. Relax. Take a walk. Grow something. Stay safe, Stay home. Learning is not limited to a computer screen , or whiteboard.