Green-Ed Series #2
Home school through a pandemic
We’ve been trying to achieve a balance with homeschooling for the last year during COVID-19 lockdown. The year started a bit haphazardly with science experiments and the history time-line. A bit of geography and some on farm projects around developing systems. But as we progressed we needed to get more serious about English learning: reading, writing, speaking, grammar and math.
James is a fast learner. He loves homeschool on the farm. Since learning to read and write and speak in English he is devouring a host of resources we have here and is an excellent learner generally who is making good, all round progress.
What is missing with homeschool?
While the farm offers an excellent and varied canvas for learning, the social aspect is the ﬁrst really obvious gap. James has an adult world to rest in, and he does really well with it, but there is no question he needs playmates. And lockdown isn’t over here yet, so it’s been a long time. He has learned resilience and adapted to a different lifestyle where he rides his bike and plays really well alone or with adults. He loves board games too. One thing that helps is he is very much included, and also we don’t have TV, so he reads a lot, writes stories and plays.
What are the main things we are learning?
A lot of the learning at a young age is about routine, schedule and consistency. He is involved in the planing of this each week, each day. Physical ed and art are incorporated, and he has a full timetable. It will be interesting to see how he goes with intercultural school assessments in the coming academic year. All the learning he has done has been based on the resources at hand and some creative teaching on our part.
Can you remember when you were at primary school? What stands out in your memory? Play time or learning to read? Other kids or classroom learning?
Before lockdown there were a lot of other kids around
The local children often came to the farm to share in learning and activities before lock down.
And we were increasingly hosting workshops, tours and ﬁeld trips. Sometimes they lasted a couple of days with up to 60 students, or they were more focussed small groups of 10 or 15.
We look forward to a post pandemic future and to welcoming everyone back and meeting new friends in the future.
Taking homeschool to big school
• James will go to an intercultural school next academic year. His English is too advanced and his learning too layered now for the local school to be any kind of satisfaction. It was good for him socially, but he is stronger now.
• He also wants to learn to code and other technology based areas which we are not yet set up for. Maybe he will be one of the future helpers who establish such learning scope at the farm for those who are less fortunate or who have no resources in that way.
If you are interested in helping we have needs ranging from networking, booking future ﬁeld trips, volunteering or considering us as a partner for extension learning, in nature.