As a homesteading and homeschooling parent I was constantly looking for ways to include our young children in weekly farmers markets. I was spending half a day each week there and I wanted my children to experience the value in our time spent there. Read on for 5 reasons I wanted our children included.
1. Family Bonding
Jordan and I are spending a large deal of our time growing, prepping, and selling at the markets.
It’s important for our children to be included in that time with us. We value family above nearly all other things and we need to show that through our actions.
We want our children to feel that they are included in every part of our day to day family activities and that means the business side too.
2. Entrepreneurial Spirit
If you want your children to be innovators and free thinkers then you have to give them those freedoms.
Freedom to explore interests and learn ways to make revenue. We want to teach them the value of currency. Not simply a dollar, but time and skills. Many farmers markets vendors love to barter and what better way for our children to learn the value of currencies than to have them to “spend” first hand.
Not everything will be a success. Sometimes the value is in the lesson learned. Usually, the value is in the lesson learned. Learning perseverance is a valuable skill.
3. Money Management
You can’t spend money you don’t have. And it’s much easier to invest in things that make money if you have it.
Fruit grows on trees and can be sold for money. So money does grow on trees, but you have to learn how to care for and harvest and market that money to turn it into the currency you desire.
We unschool and rather than stick specifically to books to learn subjects we prefer to be hands on. It’s much easier to learn about counting change when it’s cold hard cash in your hand and you don’t want to short your customer or yourself. It’s amazing how quickly children learn this skill when they are in the moment and need the skill.
4. Learn About Seasonal Eating and Growing
The industrial world has taught us some really terrible habits when it comes to food. We no longer eat seasonally and that means we are missing out on valuable nutrition of fresh, local produce. We can learn together what grows well in our area.
Eating in season, local produce helps maintain farmland in your community. It supports the local economy by maintaining or generating growth in the farms in your area. It also means that there are farmers to visit and learn from.
Eating in season stretches us in the kitchen. We learn new recipes and preparation or preservation techniques and we get to learn all that together.
5. Building Community
Local farmers can tell you what growing practices were used. We always advocate for stricter than organic growing practices, and often times that means there is no labeling. I’ll gladly take something not certified organic where I can ask the farmer questions over something that simply checks a few boxes.
We want our children to build community and barter when possible. You can’t do it all and you don’t have to. You just need a community that supports one another.
Spending time with other farmers and makers helps our children to build relationship. Some are friendships, some are business relationships. all are valuable.
6. (Bonus) Encourage dumb comments about homeschooled children :S
Ok, so I’m not serious on this one and we should always be kind to others, even when they make rude and stupid comments.
We do find it comical how many people have a negative opinion about homeschooling and then comment on how intelligent, kind, respectful, helpful, and the list goes on, that our children are. If only they were homeschooled and connected those dots 😛