When the term, “farm school” first originated, it meant a place that took children away from their family farms, to learn something other. Isn’t it ironic, then, that the current “farm school” trend is a total reversal? Now we want to bring children back to nature, back onto the farm: learning about plants, animals, seeing how we grow food, gaining self sufficiency, and doing hard work with their bodies – something that is grossly absent in our kids’ (and our) lives today. What of that? Is this turnabout fairplay? I am so grateful for the swinging of the pendulum. I am a firm believer that not all humans are cut out for pure analytics, especially to the exclusion of creativity and expression.
Somehow we seem to have collectively lost the plot in the last 150 years, amidst the hullabaloo, the shiny aura cast by the devil that is progress unchecked. Trading away time-honored traditions and hard-earned survival skills for Christmas in October, ‘sorry kids I only have time to cook Hamburger Helper’ and ‘here, just sit down and take a test’ was NOT a good idea. What I wouldn’t give to have my grandmother / mother teach me how to plant a summer garden, milk a cow and can tomatoes! It seems there
was (is no?) room in our lives for that anymore. I have Rudolf Steiner and Waldorf Education to thank for waking me up enough to notice this very simple idea…we don’t have to keep sleeping through our decisions, making the same mindless mistakes, we can take back our lives. Ok, then!
So now, all there is left to do is roll back a sleeve, crack open a few ancient books on homesteading, befriend some farm animals, dare to plant hundreds of seeds, cosy up my big, historic famhouse with all of the loveliness of silk, wool and beeswax and wait for the children to arrive… Love it and they will come.