The children have been living, learning, and loving life at Zaytuna Farm, absorbing themselves in the diverse environment and people who come to visit. But there were still some close friends and family from the big smoke that were yet to come and see what we’ve been up to.
Four adults and three young children came to visit. They were excited to arrive, and quickly reached a kind of sensory overload that took me by surprise. The grass was long, the animals were close by, and by night they were almost touching the stars.
The children were hosting our guests, showing them around, serving them tea and generally spending some quality time together. I had been distracted for half the time, with all the usual farm shenanigans — animal feeding time, potentially injured/ill horse, fixing a leaking tap, etc, etc — when I finally caught up with them.
“The children have grown so much!” our friends exclaimed — a usual comment to expect.
“They seem to really be at home here!” they observed correctly.
“Do they usually give people tours of the farm?”
Apparently, they had been giving a ‘professional tour’ of the farm, explaining the design, animals and plants as they went, with a kind of confidence our friends have not seen in the children before.
“Look at the beehive. We put it here because they are protected from winds and predators by the trees on these swales, and they go and pollinate the plants in the garden,” Ali, aged nine, explained as our friend whipped out his phone and started recording.
“Look at the horse licking his lips! That means he’s just learnt something. And when they crook their leg like that, they’re relaxed,” Aisha, aged 12, eagerly shares her tips on understanding the language of horses.
And on went the tour. Past the cows, through the main crop, around dams, and amongst the chickens, on went our little group, exploring, sharing, and bonding.
I was oblivious to all of these goings-on, and was grateful to share a quick cuppa before one last share of the stars, and a bidding each other peace and farewell. After a couple of hours, once our friends had reached home, they sent me their videos they had recorded while at the farm. I hadn’t realised how profoundly deep the children’s knowledge had grown until they shared it for newcomers to see.
I hadn’t noticed … just how much the children had grown in knowledge, confidence, and contentment.
The children hadn’t realised … how much they had to offer others in knowledge and deeds.
Our friends hadn’t thought about … how embedded the effects of our environment are to our very human nature and its expression.
We all learnt a great deal with this new perspective. And it is what inspired us to share our homeschooling experiences with you. We will continue writing and making videos, in the hope of encouraging other young people and their families to make changes towards a world of true abundance.