I am a lover of gardens.
I am a lover of food. Real food.
I am a lover of children and all things just a bit wild and most definitely chaotic.
I think sometimes chaos is my happy place.
Nature and children are just this natural kindof awesome chaos!
When we decided to bring Lucas back home this year and homeschool 1st grade I knew I was going to have a lot to live up too. He had loved his sweet little kindergarten class with all of the lovely fuzzy fun stuff that comes with that age.
But at the same time this kid was born into homeschooling. It was actually all he knew up until going off to a classroom. So he remembered he liked it but he had one request.
He wanted his very own “garden club” like they had at his school last year.
I knew that request was one I could full heartedly make happen for him. Hello, I am a huge gardener and a farm photographer.
This kid loves gardens as much as I do.
You can find him grazing on the herbs any time he walks out our back door.
Children thrive in dirt y’all.
My boy has grown up dirty.
Actually all of mine have.
I feel like the disconnect with kids and where their food comes from grows as computers continue to take over our world.
If you ask a typical child “Where does your food come from?” the answer in most cases would be “the grocery store…duh.”
But the truth is our kids are so far removed from the good earth that if it doesn’t come directly from a box, bag or can they are just kindof lost…is a vegetable even a food if it isn’t in a box?
No really, you can ask kids this and they really are stumped.
I actually have known people who say their kids have never set foot in the woods or a park.
That going outside is just not on their kids list of things they want to do so they don’t make them.
I have actually had conversations with mothers who are afraid to let their children actually get a speck of dirt on them. There is a real fear there of the unknown…because nature hasn’t been on their list of things to do either.
I am not judging here. I am simply a girl with a goal.
My goal… (always lofty with my goals)
I want to change that. I want to get kids back outside. I want them to try a veggie and even if they don’t like it I want them to know what the heck it is. I want them to have ownership in the growing, the making…make the connection. Know what it is like to have food adventures and be daring!
We can do better by them….for them.
I am a big believer that anybody can garden…
All the things…
So as promised I created our very first little Homeschool Garden Club.
I put the call out into one of my smaller homeschool groups.
I have been homeschooling for close to a decade now. I knew that THIS club would grow large…fast.
With it being at my home I needed to keep the numbers limited to 15-20 kids. My house is only so big.
I am kindof this professional “organize gaggles of kids on the spur of the moment” type of mom now. Homeschooling makes a mother have skills she never even knew existed…or could even be useful.
How does that saying go?
“I never dreamed I would be a super cool homeschool mom but here I am killing it!” (or something like that. And yes I am totally going to be making that teeshirt for myself..bahahaha!)
It filled FAST.
The first week came and we all fell in love with our little club.
These kids…these mama’s…ugh.
I must tell you guys the thing I missed the most last year were my mama friends.
There is this sisterhood to homeschooling that is just impossible to explain. At least if you find the right group…and if you haven’t yet don’t give up!
As I was telling one of the mom’s today…these are the woman who will be there for you in a heartbeat even years after your children are gone.
I still love all those woman who walked through the sisterhood with me that first decade with that first gaggle of kids.
Any one of them could call me night or day and tell me they needed ANYTHING and I would be there.
We simply spent hours laughing, crying, supporting…literally climbing mountains…together.
Homeschooling is this shared experience.
I think it has much to do with being part of a small group of families who know what it is like to make this huge decision to teach their own. To take on that responsibility, to wake up every single morning and do this thing. To sacrifice for this VERY hard thing.
Only a handful of folks truly know what it’s like to walk this walk.
The struggles, the victories, the joys…good days…bad days…
Parkdays, clubs, field trips…those are our mom therapy sessions of sorts.
Our support groups. Our village.
That was the part that I missed badly last year.
In my opinion ALL mothers should have such things…homeschooling or not!
Woman supporting woman.
Human supporting human.
It makes life wonderful.
This garden club…the children learn but the mama’s? Well those hours after club ends and we mom’s lay on picnic blankets in the middle of the yard, babies crawling around, children making up games and screaming like wild things…sun shining down.
It’s heaven. Or at least a glimpse. I know how fast this time is going to go.
I have lived it before. I am getting a “do-over“.
I will take every last day sprawled out on blankets with good friends any day of the week.
Back to the garden club.
As the word grows those who are interested in joining grows.
I am full for the Fall…but I HATE saying “no”.
My thoughts are that any mother/father can do this.
You don’t need to be a homeschooler.
You don’t need to be a professional gardener.
You don’t need to be a professional chef.
You just have to have a desire to share the good earth and good food with your child.
And if you are lucky…throw some blankets out and share the experience with your friends.
Teach them to put don’t devices and BE with others.
Make connections with all three earth, food and friends.
It’s like the perfect trifecta.
You won’t regret it.
Tomorrow or Thursday (depends on how my day goes tomorrow;-) I will write out what we did for our first and second week meetings so far.
I will give you guys the links and format we are following. Each week I will pop on and share what we did that week and any links to products, books, videos etc… that we used in our curriculum.
You can do this! You can join along!
And if you are in the Richmond VA area I will be putting together 1-2 farm tours each month come Spring that will be open events for the RVA Homeschoolers group.