Tonight was the opening of the farmer’s market season in our city. I decided class was going to be held at the farmer’s market instead of at the kitchen table. That may sound odd to you, but to this country-girl, it made perfect sense.
Red onions, eggs and dental packets.
Even though the farmer’s market is typically higher in price than my produce stand close to work, they do have some items I can’t get at my regular spot.
I think it’s important for kids to realize there are actual people associated with the food they eat. It’s not a nameless store with a produce neatly stacked. It’s the small farms and families that work hard at providing good, quality fruits, vegetables and herbs.
It gives my daughter the opportunity to see “imperfect” produce. Farmer’s markets often have organic vendors. They are not the large corporations where everything must be perfect before it’s sold.
The lil miss will see onions before they are “beautified” for the grocery store. She will see how they come out of the ground. The same goes for garlic and carrots. Carrots have green leaves? Yes, yes they do.
I personally prefer non-commercialized eggs. When I can buy from local farmers, I do. I definitely don’t mind spending a few extra coin on eggs. They taste so much better. Did you know, the breed of chicken determines the kind of egg it will lay? We used to get 3-4 different colored eggs when I bought from a local farm.
She learns to engage her community and support local businesses.
We meet other businesses in our community. Tonight, I think we found a possible new dentist. Not to mention, we received free dental samples.
I view teaching my daughter from a variety of sources.
While some people may not see a farmer’s market as a classroom, I can’t help but see all the educational opportunities within her community.
Last night, we began reading a book about frogs for our science lesson. We actually had been talking, earlier that morning, about when I grew up how I used to go “frogging”. From the perspective of a 9-year old, city girl, she thought that was funny. For a kid growing up in the country, before cable came into existence, it was something to do.
We turn the page, there’s a picture of fingertips holding a tiny frog.
Photo from “Frogs” by Reader’s Digest Young Families
I have to say, what happened next is definitely one of my favorite parts about homeschooling. The life of tadpoles and frogs was momentarily forgotten. The focus? The hand. My daughter started to talk about what finger the little frog was sitting on. Now that might seem strange to some. It would have probably irritated a public school teacher because she wasn’t focused on the reading. Yet, I smiled and let her continue. She was discussing which finger. She was talking her way through if it was the ring or middle finger the frog was on.
Just then, my pup needed attention, so I asked her to continue reading aloud. No reason we can’t get some language arts mixed in with our science lesson, right? She continued reading and I as I return to the table, I can see how interested she’d become in the book. She finished the page, and looked again at the fingers (opposite page). She now offered proof of what finger was in use by the frog.
She compared her own hand against the one in the book. She stated how the finger the frog is on is slightly longer than the other two fingers. She said it had to be the middle finger. If it was the ring finger, the next finger would be the pinky. As the pinky is so much smaller than the ring finger, it would drop off the page.
Deductive reasoning in action. It was a proud mommy/teacher moment. It showed she was being observant. It showed she wanted to know more. She’s learning to question what she sees. It’s showing she’s learning. Seeing your child learn, understand, and grow confident in her knowledge is priceless. This is what homeschooling offers me.