Monday, October 21, 2013

Volunteer Work: Farm style

Sometimes, being homeschoolers offers us some amazing opportunities.
This weekend, we took a volunteer job at a local living history museum, demonstrating some of the heritage arts that we do at home. We dressed in costume and sat on the porch of a 100 year old bunk house, where we showed knitting, crocheting, embroidery, and finger knitting.

It was an incredible opportunity for Two Little Girls. For as much time as they spend doing these things as a regular part of life, it was fantastic for them to hear the “oohs” and the “ahhs” of ‘city folk’ as they watched such young girls doing them. For me to be knitting wasn’t anything special. But for folks – kids and adults alike – to see my six and ten year old daughters proficiently creating beautiful, useful works of art was inspirational to some.

The girls sat with other kids as they came by and taught them the basics of their skills – Littlest One taught many a young girl to knit a chain by weaving yarn on her fingers, and sent each one away with a small ball of yarn to practice with. The satisfaction she got from sharing her skill equaled the satisfaction of the children learning it.

We taught a group of girl scouts how to knit and crochet, patiently demonstrating and holding their hands as they fumbled through the stitches. A couple were so eager to learn that they sat with us for nearly half an hour, carefully making stitch after stitch across rows. It’s neat to think they may go home with a desire to learn a lifelong skill that was nearly lost to antiquity for a few generations.

When they tired of sitting and doing their needlework, Two Little Girls took turns churning butter from fresh local cream and cleaning apples to be pressed into cider for the many visitors. No matter what they were doing, watching them brought smiles to many faces. To see some of the elderly women that passed through smile so big at my sweet girls having so much fun doing what most would consider work warmed my heart. 

And upon the end of our day, when The Oldest took my hand and swung my arm as she skipped along in her pinafore and bonnet, and she said, “This was such a special day!” That made it all worth the effort we put into it. I love when my girls are able to take pride in this (somewhat crazy) life we live. Not every kid gets to do the things they do here, and while it doesn’t always seem special to them, times like this help them realize they get to experience a lot of things most kids never get to.

The museum will close up soon for the winter, but we hope to continue volunteering our time there next year, sharing the skills we use every day with kids who don’t get to see them often. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Children with functional, earth-based life skills are an endangered but recovering species ;-)
Heal your corner of the world, Mama. We'll all need it!