Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Who's the Teacher?

When you home school something wonderful happens: Your kids get to learn about things they are interested in. AND When you have grandparents that want to encourage their grandchildren every step of the way some thing even more wonderful happens: You get to see real dreams come true. One day last summer my father wanted to put in a little garden, just something small, like a salad garden............His thoughts where he, as a city boy, could teach the kids a little bit about real country life and they would be able to eat the fruits of their labors.
Win! Win! Everyone loved the idea.
We as a group really do not know much about gardening but we all thought maybe we would get a good summer tomato out of the deal. My boys suggested to their grandfather it might be a good idea to build a shed to hold all the tools they would need for the garden. The shed went up and the tools went in. Through the summer they worked and worked on the garden and the shed. Many fruits and vegetables were eaten. However, that was not the only thing that grew the summer of 2008. Huge things developed from these little ideas……Relationships grew stronger. My son’s got to spend real time with their grandfather learning and building and just dreaming… Matthew started dreaming of a muscadine farm. He started reading and researching and talking to my dad about how wonderful it would be to have a real muscadine vineyard. Like any reasonable person talking to a 16 year old kid would say………. “Sure that sounds like a great idea”…..”Let’s do it!’ Did I say reasonable? I meant crazy man would say………….
They went on field trips to the neighborhood farms. They started to research. They went to a convention out of town. They had the small fruit expert from Clemson University out to the land to give them advice. They held business meetings. THEN They started to clear land.
The kids (I mean we) have learned so much about soil, seeds,wine making, clearing land, driving trucks and tractors.………..We have even learned that scientists are using the seeds in research to try to make diesel fuel and are researching uses for the skins for cancer research. We have learned muscadines are the highest known natural resource for antioxidants and for resveratrol…….. What the heck is resveratrol?? SEE This is why you need kids to study hard to teach you things like…resveratrol……Which is a natural compound found in grape skins that slows aging, prevents cancer and something else. Look it up if you really want to know more. I forget! The kids want to grow muscadines and sell them, make wine and earn money for college…..
When we started home schooling 6 years ago I never imagined where it would take us……… I never imagined these kids could teach and give us all so much.

12 comments:

  1. Your educational methods are really great. More home schoolers should get out in the sunshine

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  2. I think the shed looks like an outhouse....

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  3. This really looks like a lot ow work. These kids are fantastic

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  4. What a great way to educate, Jenny has hers looking at building dams, you have your and James looking for food. Mother

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  5. It does!
    But, the boys are very proud..;)

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  6. Who is the teacher indeed.
    This is how real family and a real education should be.
    You are doing a great job with your kids. You seem to really enjoy them. I enjoy your blog.

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  7. Your dad is SO excited about this. Wine grapes. Who wouldn't be excited about WINE??

    You're doing a great job capturing these moments > and that last photo of your parents with Mary Elizabeth is beautiful!

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  8. I have always been afraid to Home SChool. I am intrigued.

    Pat

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  9. When the boys learn how to grow and cultivate a large Margarita....call me.

    XOXO AM :)

    P.S. Maybe I can make cupcakes out of their wine...or...we can certainly eat cupcakes while drinking wine.

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  10. Melissa Humphreys18 March, 2009

    No intention of feeding the ego here...but MAN...from one storyteller to another, your writing is blooming into a most beautiful flower!!!!!!
    Am soooo excited for the boys and your Dad!!!!
    Will be praying that S-T-U-P-I-D proposed Farm Bill that could strip away this dream (and as Matthew put it, the funding for his college education)is trashed, falls dead to the floor...hey, got an idea...let's burn it!!!!! Oh sorry, didn't mean to think that out loud! Am off on a rant again!
    Knowing how well your children are turning out has really got me pondering again the idea of homeschooling. It seems to keep coming back! If only the hubby were more supportive of it... Maybe if I told him he could get more chickens and bees for we (me and the kids)would be home all day to care for them...hmmmm....good science projects too (as your youngun's will see when they come over to watch Rick pull-off the honey. Once again, I digress. UGH! ABSOLUTELY charming pic of the parents and Mary Elizabeth. I love you, Sweetie. :)

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  11. One of many cuzzins'19 March, 2009

    Hey Cuz!

    Never mind resveratrol, I've never even heard of muscadines! You folks are so doggone smart down there!

    Is that a SINK in the shed? Did that superhero you call Dad manage to plumb the vino shack?! Bet you can toss a pretty mean salad with that "little" garden and you can do right there, out in the fields in your kitchenette!!

    My brother Tommy stomps grapes with his girls. They say it's great for athletes foot!! He makes a wine that turns my cheeks green, but don't tell him. Can't wait to see pictures of the Bionic Man and his bride splashing in a wooden tub of muscadines.

    No doubt your entrepreneurs will have a website up in no time to sell their product. Good for them! And kudos to you & Marg for encouraging such interest in zest for learning. Those kids are lucky to have their Grandparents so involved and supportive.

    Love, love, love the closing photo. How sweet it is!

    Happy sippin'
    ~Regina

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  12. Nice Post and great pictures. Love, Marg

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