The thing about homeschooling – the awesome thing – is that plans are made, expectations logged, and as a parent you do a lot of letting go of both of those things as your child sort of takes over.
I personally planned on going full force into the alphabet and phonics, drill numbers and be sure my three year old was the smartest on the block. At age two she already knew all the states on the U.S. map south of the Mason Dixon line.
Kiddo, God, and the universe, had other plans. And I like them.
With the help of S. Smith’s Seed Savers series, some extreme budgeting issues (I’ve been the poorest person I know for the last twelve months), and Merriweather’s fabulous foraging site (see the links on the right), we’ve pretty much spent our ‘school days’ in the woods.
It all started many, many moons ago (as I like to say to my kiddo when telling stories)… somehow I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Seed Savers: Treasure from S. Smith by mail. I remember reading some of it out loud, but then giving up and devouring it all alone. I gave up because I wanted to read it faster, I wanted it all to myself, not because Kiddo was anything but cooperative.
What resulted is a long standing admiration for S. Smith, requests for her to participate in Earth Day 2013 (which she graciously accepted from 3000 miles away) and taking Kiddo to said Earth Day celebration. Before Seed Savers, I was already on a mission to be more self-sufficient and have my own garden, but Seed Savers really solidified that need in my heart. Instead of *wanting* to do it, I got my butt in gear and did it. This shift in my mentality eased over into the preferences of my daughter.
She loved the Earth Day celebration. She got to plant seeds with volunteers from the Mercer Arboretum. She got to watch me raffle off S. Smith’s first two books (Treasure & Lily), and it was all over – these Fall plans I had noted during my pregnancy were half out the window. Without hearing the entire Seed Savers story, Kiddo fell in love with seeds. S. Smith’s words are so powerful they radiate into every aspect of our house just by sitting on the shelf.
We have seen and read The Lorax more times than I can count. On her third birthday her great-grandmother gave her spending money and she spent it at Good Books in the Woods on two Cat in the Hat Learning Library books. One is on Rainforests and the other on Seed Planting.
However, you don’t have to be a mom, a conservative, a homeschooler, a toddler, or a hippie to enjoy the Seed Savers Series. Seed Savers, including the latest – Heirloom – is full of courageous characters, a rich adventure, and exciting philosophical food for thought.
What started out as a really unique young adult dystopian society concept on Smith’s part, has evolved into something more than we initially bargained for. The story is more complex than I anticipated. The effect on our lives has more reach. Smith has matured as a writer along with the growth of her characters. I’m a little disappointed that the stories will, at some point, come to an end…
If you don’t believe me, find out for yourself.
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