Operating Our Home-Based Classroom on Homestead Principles

Reader Contribution by Amy Vaughan-Roland
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When you made your spring plans and dreamed of the days getting longer and warmer, I’m sure they included putting in your garden, welcoming fluffy chicks, mending the fence, and letting the woodstove finally go out. Yet here we are in the thick of a glorious spring with a responsibility we may not have planned on: home educating our kids!

With the recent events of the world, we all know that our homesteads are the best and safest places for our littles. However, with most of our nation’s schools closed it creates a unique challenge of just how do we educate our kids? So many people I talk with feel unprepared for providing education with minimal resources in our homes. Like me, you may find yourself in a rural part of country where accessing online resources is not always a viable option.

As a licensed educator, I want to take this chance to reassure you that there is so, so much to be learned on the homestead, and now more than ever you have been given the incredible and irreplaceable gift of time with your children. It is likely that when you embarked on your homesteading journey, it was to live a more sustainable life. You wanted to know where your food comes from, how to be self-reliant, and live a more authentic life. Suddenly, all those social obligations, kids sporting events, and extracurriculars that impeded your true visions are all a thing of the past and you are left with a glorious amount of time and clarity about what is most important to you.

No longer will your children have a traditional school day. We have aptly named our home study Corona University. School here consists of a hybrid of a nature-based secular home school, and dirt, and chickens, and plants, and calves, and gardening and more chickens (yes, I’ve accumulated 32 more chickens since the event began). As my Grandpa Vaughan used to say, children will be children if the adults just stay out of the way.

We live this life to be more self-sustaining and with that comes an incredible sense of legacy to pass our knowledge on to the next generation. Maybe you’ve never taken the time to explain how yeast makes bread rise, or how to make homemade jam, or what plants in the yard are safe to forage. Maybe you’ve never told them the story about your first failed attempt at home butchering, or had conversations about special projects they might like to try on the homestead. Dear friends, you’ve been given the incredible gift of time with your children to do all of this and so much more.

You’ve likely known in your heart for sometime that not all of the lessons and learning come from a classroom and a textbook and there is no better time than now to enjoy the greatest classroom on Earth, your homestead. 

Need more homebased learning advice? JoinAmyeach weekday morning at 7am EST for a live coffee chat on Facebook at The Annetta G. Wright Learning Labwhere she shares home based learning ideas that don’t require worksheets or the internet.

Amy Vaughan-Rolandis a Maryland homesteader and educator who operatesThe Annetta G. Wright Learning Lab, a learning space for diverse learners promoting courses in the lost arts and hands-on learning. She is an avid canner, gardener, thrifting expert, and monarch butterfly enthusiast. Connect with Amyon The Annetta G. Wright Learning Lab on Facebookand on Instagram @agwlearninglab, and read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

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