Children: What have you tried so far?

It might be helpful if forum members with children could post their children's ages and discuss what Green Wizards-ish lessons have been well-received so far. I'd love to get ideas from what others are doing.

I have a daughter (almost 12) and son (9). We live in a city, but luckily they spend many weeks in the summer on their grandparents' farm and so have the opportunity to learn a wider range of skills there than we can always manage at home. So far we've worked on, and continue to work on:

- bird identification
- caring for chickens
- weeding and harvesting in the garden
- extracting honey
- cooking (still early days with this) and baking (they find this more exciting, of course!)
- archery
- composting/recycling
- sewing (just my daughter so far; she's working on her first quilt)
- frugality and energy efficiency in general (why we turn off lights, turn down the heat, use hot water bottles, etc.)
- mythology and legends (working our way through the major traditions)

Still to come:
- planting a postage stamp garden
- beekeeping in general

Thanks David for adding a family and children circle! I've been wanting to brainstorm with other GW parents. Our son is 2 1/2 now.
We hope to home school in the future if we can figure out the income/job part of it. So far, in random order, here are some things we've done with him:

- homemade formula
- cloth diapers and early potty training a la John Rosemond: it worked!
- lots of books, daily poems, music and singing
- in summer, "Make sure to leave some berries for the animals and thank the berry bush for their berries!"
- biking/walking when possible
- involve him in food prep
- show him edible plants, and never eat a plant without asking Mom and Dad
- observing groundhog, birds and other wildlife in the yard
- endlessly repeating, "No need for the light in the daytime; sun gives us light"
- he loves the moon, saying goodnight to "moonuiee" every night
- refrain from device/computer use when he's awake
- hanging laundry

I'd love to chat with others; I'm looking forward to hearing what other parents are doing with their little ones!

Sorting through my book stacks, I came across an interesting paperback, Botany for All Ages: Discovering Nature Through Activities Using Plants, by Jorie Hunken Society. My copy is dated 1989. I looked it up on Amazon and found there was a series. (My copy looks like the bird book.)

The book is divided into three parts: "Introduction to Teaching with Plants," "Activities for Learning about Plants," and "Various Parts of Plants: Names and Functions." And there are activities for children (and adults) of diverse ages and abilities. This would be a great book for home schoolers, scout masters, and teachers for all sorts. It's not a book about growing plants, but a book about how plants grow in nature.

lathechuck's picture

I'm not sure where we went wrong, but my 32-year old son would rather dedicate his large back yard to play with his German shepherd than plant a garden, and my 22-year old son has a "show car" (2003 Mustang convertible), a "rally/social car" (2019 Fiesta), and a utility car (Escape Hybrid). He drives a delivery truck all day, and lives with my wife and me. Somehow, the spirit of frugality and conservation did not get passed on to either of them, despite what I believe to be consistent examples (and not nagging or scolding). Neither one seems to have any interest in children of their own. (The older one is married.)

I'm not saying that we "failed", but we just have to remember that "our" children are their own persons who will go their own ways.

We did much the same. Results?

Oldest child is 31 now and well, they are not living under a bridge nor are they a guest of the state. They have chosen a different path and they don't live with us or ask for money and they seem happy with their choices. How those choices will play out since they've become a permanent client of the medical-industrial-pharmaceutical complex? Only time will tell.

Dear Daughter (23) has severe anxiety issues and will probably live with us forever. She's helpful when she chooses to be. We can't throw her out because the results would be terrible.

Dear Son (21) has the mind of an engineer and likes solving problems. He discovered he loathed college after flunking out of the University of Rochester (almost free ride too). Community College wasn't much better. He's happy working at Hershey Park, solving a host of problems every day and coming home to write esoteric code for Linux. He lives with us too but he's a helpful joy to be around.

Do your best with your children and understand they'll choose as they can and wish.