Charlotte Mason advocated that children should learn handicrafts, better said, life skills.
Today I’m going to dive into why and how we’re going to teach our kids and ourselves the craft and skill of gardening.
When I was a child my dad talked about having a farm one day. About the horses we would ride and the farm animals we’d care for.
I still hold that dream close to my heart and talk about it now with my own kids. Only my dream has expanded to include a
potager garden or French style kitchen garden with a whimsical mixture of beautiful flowers and vegetables along with the horses, chickens, goats, cows. You know just your average dreamy Old McDonald farm.
But that’s definitely not where we’re at at the moment. However, I feel the pull to do something, anything, to achieve that dream however small… right now. And as Jess Sowards from Roots and Refuge says, “turn your waiting room into a classroom.” Pretty perfect since I’ve officially decided that the hand craft we’ll be focusing on this year is the craft, the art of gardening, of cultivating, of caring for our soil, our seedlings, our plant babies.
This is what Ms. Mason said about handicrafts:
The points to be borne in children's handicrafts are:
Another note she makes, in my own words, is that Handicrafts should be an opportunity to teach our kids skills that bless and benefit others. What a good and beautiful thing to start training the young and old to do. To work with your hands so as not to glorify yourself, but so that your work would be a blessing to others around you. That my friends is a purpose to take root in, especially when the work of training these young hands gets … a bit frustrating.
And so begins our official preparation for gardening as the handicraft of choice. A skill that will help these kiddos conquer their fear and reluctance (you know it’s hard for even an adult who has never gardened or gardened unsuccessfully to feel like they are capable of nurturing a fruitful plant.)
A skill that will help give a sense of responsibility and learning from mistakes. To have patience and persevere. And to enjoy quiet… to learn the art of being at peace within oneself and taking the opportunity to marvel in the beauty of small, meaningful moments.
Then we fell in love with the idea of having an arch (thanks again Roots & Refuge and your cattle panel inspiration) and he created this paver arched planter for me.
Our sons had a ball learning alongside their papa.
If you’ve seen my latest videos in homeschooling you know that I tend to be a planner and like to organize things. I also happen to love creativity. It’s my outlet when I feel like I’m lacking a bit of control. So this is where I take control. In the planning, in the organizing, in the creative space of a blank page and my thoughts allowed to paint their ideas unto them.
We are novice gardeners to be sure, but we have the heart and desire to learn and grow into Master gardeners one day. You all get to see the joyous and inevitably rocky ride this will be as we take out kids along with us.
So this inspired us to buy some seeds
Plant the seeds
And encourage and marvel at their growth every day.
Yes, I talk to my young plants everyday. I teach my kids to talk to the plants. To say kind things like, “wow, cilantro look at those frilly leaves of yours. You’re just showing off for us aren’t you?” Those sweet young things need all the encouragement they need and Plus! We’re so proud of them!! I mean aren’t seedlings just the very essence of optimism and resilience?
Anyways, this is where we’re at at the very beginning of loving this garden life dream. The very beginning of converting this dream into reality by teaching our kids this craft and teaching ourselves in the meantime Hopefully we can find a volunteer garden to truly teach us what a market style garden’s needs are. If and when we find that, I’ll be sure to share!
What are you planning for your handicraft and life skills this year? Please share below what your strategy is and let us know if you have any suggestions for us so that our plan is fruitful.
Thanks for hanging with us today friends. If you haven’t yet, please be sure to subscribe and like this video. We’ll be posting a new video soon all about meshing our AO and G+C schedules together. See you soon!
Mom of three beautiful kids, married to my best friend, finding daily ways to bring joy!