"I don't want [my sons'] horizons limited by city blocks, their feet on pavements, everything under the sun in their heads that concerns a scheme to make money; not room for an hour's thought or study in a whole day, about the really vital things of life. After all, land and its products are the basis of everything; the city couldn't exist a day unless we feed and clothe it. In the things that I consider important, you are a king among men, with your feet on soil you own."
Quote from: Laddie; A True Blue Story by Gene Stratton-Porter
Yesterday my son told me, "Dad, when I grow up I'm going to buy a farm and have lots of land and cows and horses." I couldn't help but think of this quote from Laddie's father. He then told me he was going to be an architect, a musician and a farmer. It certainly made me smile.
Back when I was still hesitant to embrace the idea of homeschooling my children, my wife started us volunteering at the Farm to Food program for the Maryland Food Bank. She would learn of a gleaning opportunity, gather the family together, and haul us all over the Eastern Shore to pick produce. I often thought the children's time would be better spent learning lessons at home or doing worksheets instead of trying to get them to pick cucumbers off the ground or whatever the project that day was. I realize now my ignorance. There really is no better lesson young kids can learn than where their food comes from, the value of hard work, and the satisfaction of serving others.
Since we moved to the country two years ago, the pace of life has slowed down. We seldom watch TV or movies, video games are a thing of the past, and the only time I ever get on my computer is to write these posts. I've found I have more time to read and think. My children are learning how to plant and tend gardens and care for our animals. My wife has learned how to spin yarn and we started collecting the kashmir from our goats. It may take a long time to get enough to knit anything but I think it would be neat for my kids to see how clothes are made from start to finish. These are the things they are learning. Things they could never experience in a classroom.
I would sometimes consider how Abraham, Moses, Isaiah and others became such profound men of God. I came to the conclusion that it must be easier to develop a relationship with Deity when you have the time to think on the things of eternity. We often get so caught up in what C.S. Lewis described in the Screwtape Letters as the "stream of immediate sense experiences." Screwtape then instructs his nephew Wormwood to teach humans to refer to this stream as 'real life'. So it is that we get so distracted by this 'real life' that we forget to focus on real life. While I still get distracted I'm hoping to stem the flow of the stream and get my kids looking in the right direction.