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10 Reasons Homeschooling on a Farm ROCKS

As if homeschooling isn’t awesome enough as it is, I thought it would be fun to put together a list and hear your favorite things about homeschooling on a farm, too.

  1. Field trips and nature walks are right outside our window. We can do so many experiments and make so many observations right here at home. The kids can borrow books from the library on how to make catapults and collect logs and sticks to make a real one here on the farm…. And use it. Potato launcher? Sure!
  2. Each day involves teamwork, socialization, problem solving and leadership. You learn people skills and animal skills and learn to interpret and understand many different spoken and body languages – from goat, to rabbit, to chicken and dog.
  3. Math is living. Everywhere. Everyday. Perimeter, area, fractions, adding, subtracting, dividing, multiplying, ratios, probability, percentages, estimation, etc. Science is everywhere on a farm. All forms.
  4. You don’t get to be lazy. You experience people (and animals) counting on you. If you drop the ball, everyone knows. You don’t want to drop the ball. You know those animals are waiting for you to eat, so you take care of them first thing in the morning. You freeze in the winter to make sure they have fresh water available all the time. You spend time pruning apple trees because you know the rabbits enjoy gnawing on them and you bring kitchen scraps out to the chickens because they enjoy them. You know and understand that all animals, even those meant to be raised for food, deserve a good life and you go out of your want to provide it for them.
  5. You learn the meaning of hard work from a young age. You still get plenty of time to play – and you play hard – but you also learn about good time management and making good decisions about the planning of your day. No one wants to have chores left by the time the school day is done and everyone runs off to go play!
  6. Your time playing is spent building forts in the woods, walking around the property, observing nature, climbing trees, digging big holes to china (or at least a big enough hole to be a deer blind for dad), experiencing cause and effect as you ride toddler toys down hills, hunting, designing bunkers, trenches and fields to re-create wars from history (or make your own) with little green army guys. Creating roads and tunnels on hills for your cars. Bathing goats and dressing them up in flowers. Braiding your own flower necklaces and headbands. Growing your own flower garden. Picnicking in the woods. The list goes on.
  7. Taking time off “formal academics” to plant and maintain your crops, tend to livestock emergencies, assist animals in birth or death, put up the harvest, etc. not only grows you as a person, but in so many other ways. This is a part of life that can’t be replicated in schools. The life lessons learned and family time spent working as a team during these periods of life prepare us for so much more. Plus, the memories will last forever. The big one around here is, “remember the time you saved the newborn rabbits life by putting it in your bra and warming it up as you did the rest of your chores?” we have the freedom to weave our academic schedule around that of the farm – we do take time off for planting in the spring, we take time off for canning in the fall when the harvest comes in at once. And opening day of deer season (bow, normal gun, and late gun season) is a mandatory school break. And we don’t fret over unexpected time off as we treat a sick animal (it happens) or discover something else that needs our attention. We tend to school year-round which means we don’t take long breaks all at once. We can take frequent short breaks and still come out ahead.
  8. Field trips may consist of farming seminars, livestock expo’s, visiting farms to see how they do things, and lending a helping hand to another person in need. We have come to learn that learning happens everywhere, at any time. The lesson may not always be academically rooted in text books, and that’s ok. Life is so much more than that. Learning to live life with a heart of service, a desire to learn, and a willingness to change based on new things we may have learned are all important aspects of life that are best learned while young.
  9. When you learn “home ec” its topics like cooking over a wood stove, canning and dehydrating the extra garden harvest, learning to tan hides, preparing food just brought in from the garden and learning to butcher. Sewing becomes a necessary skill because you’re taught to “use it up, wear it out, fix it up or do without!” The farming life is a resourceful life.
  10. When it’s snack time and “recess” you can run in the garden to grab fresh vegetables to eat and play in wide open spaces until it’s time to come back in. And you can’t beat doing school work in front of your warm wood stove in the winter!
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