The big kids are off at the Firefly gathering in North Carolina. Mirin is very excited to learn more about carving and flint knapping from the teachers there. While they are off learning primitive skills, we are busy finishing up some big farm chores, like spreading the fertilizer and soil correctives and some building projects that have been in the works for way too long. We also got the new fence charger, and that needs to be put into use ASAP.
An interesting aside – when Ethan was ordering the charger he said the Stafix website was completely different if you viewed it as if you were from New Zealand. The US website was just “it’s great to go move cows, just try it,” but the NZ one was all about the details of how exactly to position solar panels, etc. The model of charger we bought is actually not really offered here in the US. I think we are way behind technologically here. Just reading some of the first comments on the Ted Talk by Allan Savory, many people who wrote in when it first was up had never heard of solar-powered fence chargers and electric fencing, although these things have been used overseas for decades and are at this point in the process of being perfected (for NZ users) rather than being tested out. I know that the US likes to think of itself as superior in so many ways, but it’s stuck in the mud in this way. It’s really too bad.
While there is a little extra time, I am starting to plan next year’s homeschool. I want to be well prepared this year. I need to figure out how I’m going to do first grade, fourth grade, and Clothilde’s “pre-school” (really just something to keep her occupied while we try to focus on something).
I have just begun reading over the first grade curriculum. There’s some very deep stuff in the beginning regarding Steiner’s ideas on cultivating the senses. Interestingly, I had many similar thoughts about the subject during my last year in high school, so it kind of speaks to me. After I went backpacking in France alone when I was 17, with so much time and inspiration to work intensely on art work, writing and learning new things in the “real” world, it was such a dive to come back to high school and try to relate to the rich suburbanite kids. That year I would bring an Altoids tin filled with blobs of dried watercolors and paint in the back of the classroom when I was supposed to be learning Algebra or “Life Management Skills” (abstinence only and no drugs class) or Economics (funny – I think I would have really liked to learn about Charles Eisenstein’s ideas about economics or Charles Walters, but what we learned was just so boring and one-sided). I would also bring a crochet hook and was crocheting a scarf out of the school paper towels, much to the fascination and entertainment of my classmates. I was desperate to do something creative, something practical, something that spoke to me more than what they taught in public school. It certainly felt like a deprivation of something essentially nourishing to not be able to learn what I wanted, all for the sake of a piece of paper that has yet to really be useful to me twelve years since I graduated.
I am enjoying all the thought-food the Christopherous curriculum provides.