Ah, so far so good. But who am I to talk about homeschooling and all its wonders and delights? My oldest is 5 for God’s sake. It’s all fun and colorful. All rainbows and sparkly things. Or mud and wet shoes in our case. We haven’t hit the calculus and chemistry years. We are nowhere near puberty when I’ll want them out of the house for hours.
We start homeschooling the minute a baby sits up on their own, don’t we? The reading of stacks of books, singing toddler tunes, talking about everything from colors, numbers, shapes, and how to make bread. I did. I still read a lot of books almost daily and at night we have a couple favorites. I talk about all sorts of things with my boys. Not just the backhoe and allosaurus, no, we talk about organic produce, the weather, when the neighbor’s lemons will be ripe and that, yes, we can pick the ones on our side of the fence. I chat with the boys constantly. Just not anything depressing, dark, political…we talk about spiritual matters, topics that lift one’s spirits up, teaches them to believe in the power of positive thought and words.
Arjan was getting hungry for a friend outside our little circle so I signed him up for a year of Fox Walkers that we accidentally stumbled on this summer. Of course, there are no accidents and it was a perfect solution. It is all about kids being out in nature, hiking the forest, building things out of sticks, making tools out of rock, finding the clay soil and making things from that, analyzing skeet, tracking animals, and so on. It is based on teaching the 4 Elements and Native American traditions.
Arjan loves his Fridays and counts down the days. He already has two new friends; Oliver and Durin. He is singing and storytelling more and now his father joins him on Fridays. Sammy and I join in the beginning and end of the group but we have our own adventure that is the Briar Patch Coop where we drink soy lattes (not Sammy, he’s still on cocoa) and shop for organic fair.
Yesterday Sammy and I joined the group the last half hour. They were in a circle in the field and doing silly drumming and body movements. We caught a hacky sack without flinching and then ended that whole session with lying on the ground and watching the hawks swirl about in the sky. There were a few girls that eyed me for a time before they tested the waters with telling me about the skeet they found that day and then they showed me mushrooms growing out of the tree near the teepee. The relationship deepened with the months they were born and how long they had belonged to Fox Walkers. One girl chewed on her hair and the other did most of the group representing. I love little girls. I love children really. They are fun and goofy and have the attention span of a gnat. Girls will size you up from afar and then test you with a subject. If you seem to have some personality…your in. Boys just jump in and splash and holler. Your in or you’re not…your choice. It really depends on how dirty you’re willing to get.
We went over to the wooded part that has a small lagoon, tent roofs pitched made of tarps in the trees, wood tables, and campfires. There are homemade dream catchers and clay pots everywhere. I love the feel of this place. It is where children are truly children without the iPad and Smart Phone. They grow wild here once a week and many of the children grow up with this tribe. I see the teenagers helping around the place with building and gardening. They have been here since they were 4 years and up.
We sit around a cold campfire. They have fires on cold and rainy days. It’s story time and Arjan eagerly offers a “true story”. I’m a bit surprised when he talks of his encounter with a King Cobra. In his story, he runs into the house upon seeing the snake and locks the door. The Cobra knocks on the door (very polite snake). When he lets it in (probably assuming that if it knocks it’s got manners) the snake doesn’t harm him. But then comes along a rattlesnake and they battle (the Cobra and Rattlesnake that is. Everything is about “battle” at this age) and the rattlesnake wins. The end. My favorite part is when the Cobra knocks. Later Arjan volunteers to sing.
Sammy is very involved too. The men leading the children have a bucket filled with baked pottery the children made last time from the lands clay soil and was cooked in the campfire during the rainy days. As Scott holds up each piece and inquires who it belongs to, Sammy who has parked himself next to Scott, stands up and says, “mine!” Every time until one of the boys gives him a clay snowman. Sammy still tries to claim other works of clay art. He’s 3 years and the world and all that is in it belongs to him by invisible rights.
We sing some more and then everyone departs. There will be no class next week with Thanksgiving. We will have withdrawals. Later that night Arjan asked me confidentially not to tell anyone the story of the Cobra and Rattlesnake was made up. I ask if the Cobra knocking might not have already given it away? He says no. So I promise to keep quiet.
I am grateful that I don’t have to miss a minute of this. I’m planning to manifest our next home up there in the forest.