"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Amazing adapability

Our grandson, Mike, is adapting to life on their smallholding like a duck to water.
On RMan's birthday last month -
Mike learning that grinding
coffee beans with a manual
grinder works just as well as
an electric one - and is more
fun :)
He seems to have a special affinity with animals, and is delighted with the neighbours horses, sheep / lambs and cows / calves - although the cows are a tad bigger than him at the moment, and possibly a bit overwhelming...
Bless him - he couldn't wait to put on his
new school clothes, even though school wasn't
due to start for another week.
He is attending a local primary school, which is 1st language Afrikaans, and apart from some basic instruction in his old school, and a short period of extra lessons, he seems to be coping well even though he is being taught in a "foreign" language.  More than I could.  I mean, I can speak the language sufficiently to save my life if I had to, and to converse with the local people, but to be taught in that language - no way!  And I have been through an entire school career with it as a 2nd language.

He enjoys the school so much and has even gone so far as to say he's going to summer camp every day, not school! LOL  The school is delightful - his classroom is in a separate wooden structure on stilts - like a tree house.

The head master introduced goats to the school a few years ago.  The school has won awards for the goats milk cheese they produce, and the children are also involved with taking care of the goats, cleaning up after them, milking them and making the cheese.

Mike LOVES it!

Natasha tells me that the headmaster has commented to her that Mike seems to have an affinity with the goats.
That's Blackjack in the centre (with the
black stripe down it's back)
The goats can't get enough of what
Mike is feeding them... :)
We had to collect him from school the other day, and before we were able to leave, we had to go with him to meet "his" goats.  He has named one of them Blackjack.

Apparently, the headmaster has told him that the goats are due to kid at the beginning of September, and that he always has a few for sale.  So Mike and his dad, Wayne, are planning the shelter for their future goats :)

This is what childhood is all about.  Not being entertained by movies, the latest must-have gadgets, and material things.
Natasha, Wayne, Mike and their dogs on their
way to visit us one evening - just a short stroll
along a dirt road, with some LED headlights to
light their way :).
I am so thrilled that they moved here - not only because they are just over the field and we can walk to them, or they to us, whenever we feel like it, but also because it is a less stressful lifestyle and such a perfect environment for everyone, especially for children.


Sue said...

What a lucky child. And lucky you, getting to see your grandchild so often. I truly believe there would be a lot less trouble in the world if that's how they were all raised.

Harry Flashman said...

Your schools are clearly more sophisticated than ours. Ours tend to be a place where the kids are warehoused during the work week because mom and dad both have to work a job. My kids were home schooled. My wife and I were both teaching in public school at the time and we realized that was the only way they were going to get any kind of quality education. When you have up to 40 kids in a public school classroom, many of whom are disciplinary problems, you aren't going to get much teaching done. We bought their curriculum from Texas Tech , and when they finished high school we sent them to British Columbia, Canada to technical schools.

Quinn said...

Oh, goats and a working dairy as part of children's daily educational experience is even more magical than the gardening programs! How wonderful :)

JaneofVirginia said...

How wonderful. It never hurts to speak a second language, and practical learning such as goats and cheesemaking is really good for young children. He is adorable, by the way, and I know you are so glad to have them in the area. Best wishes,

Dani said...

Sue - Oh, I count my blessings every day - I am soooooo thrilled to be able to visit with him on a daily basis, and to experience his own eagerness to visit with us :)

Dani said...

Harry - Most of our schools here are what you describe in the first part of your comment. This school is special with what it offers to children, and we were very fortunate that they had space to accomodate Mike. Mike's school tries to limite the number of children per class to the early teens - the primary school only has 160-odd pupils.

Home schooling is brilliant, and I'm sure that your children are displaying the benefits of what you and the Mrs provided them with their home schooling.

Dani said...

Quinn - Mike is l-o-v-i-n-g everything about his new school. Even with his current language disadvantage, I KNOW he will come up to speed very soon - he is an amazingly bright kid :)

Dani said...

Jane - Given that this country has 11 (yes, 11!) official languages, learning at least Afrikaans is definitely a requirement for his future here. Strangely enough, there are words in Afrikaans which are very similar to both Dutch and German - the origins of this country and the people who colonised it are obvious LOL

Thanks - he is our VERY precious grandson :)