Loosen Up!


by Camilla Leedahl



When I was trying to loosen up after my first year of homeschooling, I remembered back to my first year of marriage when I was putting in my first garden and knew very little about it. I wanted a successful, low maintenance, bountiful garden.


I did not enroll in a class (though I could have in the university extension course). I did not get any textbooks. I sent for a multitude of seed catalogs, purchased several gardening books (after the fun of browsing through shelves of possibilities at the bookstore), subscribed to two magazines, sent for government publications, and watched PBS gardening shows. I immersed myself in study.


My first garden was a wonderful success, even growing my own seedlings for transplants in my house. The following year I tried some new ideas, including making my own cold frame and hot bed. People who had been gardening for years would ask me for advice, wondering who had taught me so much in so short of time. I would just laugh and say I had done research in my living room chair during the winter.


Throughout my adult life, I have used the same approach to learning about home education, finishing a basement, backcountry camping, computers, animal husbandry (cow/calf), speaking, state history, organization, and homeschool support group management. Learning more about writing and self-publishing is in process.


Thinking about how I approach learning something new, I realized I could apply the same idea to my children's education. It was like a light going on. (Duh!) It was exhilarating! Loosening up brought much enjoyment to our learning. I also discovered that when I was freed from the bindings of "This Is How It Has To Be Done Because This Is The Way The Schools Do It", creativity bloomed and blossomed within me as well as my children. Not only are we all enjoyably learning more than ever before, now I am freed to really know my children better, and they are able to "discover" themselves!



I got the seed packet from:


...and the garden background from:

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