unschooling on a farm
This girl here was born to live on a farm. It is in her heart and in her soul. She is something special and our farm animals know it, too. She is the one to get up before everyone else rises in the morning to milk the cow. She is the first one down to feed the chickens. She scours the ads for sheep and goats to fill the spaces in our barn stalls. Her favorite outdoor activity is jumping on hay bales. When it is chicken butchering time, she is the first to volunteer to be on 'gutting' duty. And when our pigs were pregnant, she would check thier progress by 'milking' the teats to see how close they were to giving birth. So, when she asked if she could post an online ad for bunnies, I had to say yes. The ad went something like this:
"I am looking for three to four bunnies. One male and three females. I won't pay more than $15. Call Presley at ....."
Afterall, she is spending her own hard earned cash.
Did I say she is only 11?
Within two days, Jamie called and said he had 20 bunnies she could pick from out in Richland Center, a town 20 minutes a way. Presley woke up early the next morning and rummaged through our used fencing to find some old chicken wire, some t-posts and a post pounder. Within an hour or so, she had the bunny's quarters built and set to work on their shelter. She took an old Rubbermade tote, cut a 'doorway' in it, flipped it upside down and added some curb appeal.
Sunday morning, after pancake breakfast, we headed out to meet Jamie and the bunnies. We found out that they are New Zealand white crossed with a Flemish Giant, which are a good meat variety. They have a tendency to breed every four weeks and can produce a litter of up to 12 critters. With their gestation being only one month, it is safe to say we will never run out of rabbit meat.
Within the first day of taking care of these bunnies, she has rescued one from the mouth of the cat and is in the process of nursing it back to health. She cleaned the wound, wrapped it in gauze and is giving 'Molly' some extra TLC.
All of the learning she has done in the last two days is something our current school system could never have given her. She has covered business 101, math, biology, history and eh...agriculture all in two days. All on her own. And, this style of learning...the type that is child generated...will stay with her forever (unlike the algebra I 'learned' in 8th grade). These are the times I am grateful we chose to unschool.
...and Molly? I am confident she is in good hands.