“Often. A little bit often”The stories are just as important as the spelling. For the latter; after the children have written their farmy stories (they have a special book) we collect the spelling words, correct them and add them to our collected words list (individual home made dictionaries).
When creating a written image I think it is more important that a child embraces the flow of language first, and writes without impediment, then deals with spelling and grammar next but in the same lesson. I have a horror of bad spelling so there are lots of exciting spelling lists.
I have always thought that a child who has taken the time to formulate a serious question deserves an honest thoughtful answer. Whereas grown-ups will acknowledge and sometimes accept a lie, as a lie to save face or soften news, a child will not understand or forgive a lie. A child needs to know that they can trust adults words. My Mum used to say that if they are ready to ask that particular question then they are ready for the honest answer.
You and I know people who lie to cover something up. Barefaced. No shame. Our respect for them is immediately diminished, whether we challenge the lies or not. We cannot trust their words. They become the boy who cried wolf, forever. And if we have been continually lied to as children then our bullshit radar will not be developed enough to save us from those liars when we are adults.
So when I was asked whether the lambs were being raised for the table or not, I gave her the difficult answer. The farm is for raising food. Though it is fun, raising healthy food and looking after the earth we sit on is our primary objective.
But I then went on to explain that we don’t eat any animal that we have given a real name. That is why all the lambs for the freezer are grouped as Murphies and all the steers are called Bobbies. Every year. But we will not be eating the Mama or Daisy. In this we deviate from a real farm. But the lines are clear and I hope sustainable.
Sheila was out with me yesterday because it was such a lovely day. But when I opened up Mama’s draft-free pen so I could clean up in there letting the lambs out into the corridor, Sheila was asked to stay in her corner. You should have seen her face.
Why not miss c. Why can’t I have a lambie. I was a good quiet girl when they were being bornded. I lay right next to Mama through the wall, and kept it warm and thought nice thoughts for her. Can I have one to play with when they are biggerer then? Can I?
Yes. When they are bigger Sheila, you can help babysit when they are bigger. Now go and sleep with your cats, they are waiting.
I have trained Sheila (in Charlottes absence) to lie in her bed and I cover her up with straw last thing at night. Once she has chosen her spot and laid down for me she does not move a muscle as she is covered. I have noticed, that when I am tucking her in, the gate above her collects cats, they arrive silently and sit poised above the straw. As I leave the pen and turn out her lights I see these little cat shadows dropping gently and quietly, one by one, to snuggle in with the pig.
… changes on a daily basis.
Good morning. You all have a lovely day.