When i was younger my mom made the decision to “pair down” she quit working ( im not sure of the full circumstances) and began to home school us. we lived in a cabin part of the time and in a rented house part time.this was when she was married to John, which im sure had great influence on her choices, but in general i believe she did a lot of it as a desire to give my brother and i a better start. we knew that for the most part we had a choice in the matter,but we didn’t really care, granted i am speaking only for myself here,but i dont remember really wanting to change most things. i didnt really care what toys other kids played with because we didnt have many outside friends. didnt matter what i wore and i often invented clothing i thought to b stylish. (har har har) any who, we were much more self reliant and i think for the most part we were happy.
Now, John had some issues that i don’t fully know of. i believe he had bipolar disorder, which is fine, but he stopped taking his meds once he and mom got married. i do not believe she knew or was unwilling to see he had a mental disorder. i was too young at the time to understand or care much. i just thought he was mean.not all the time but i hated him yelling at my mom.
any whoo, we where home schooled. got our lessons done in about 2 hours and the rest of the time we played, usually outside in the woods. maybe when our papers got looked over,we might have to do a bit more if something was wrong,but for the most part we were free. we built things. forts, dams,bows, u name it, we tried it. vinny and i didnt fight that much then. we were our best friends pretty much except dusty for me.
we went to the cabin a lot in the winter and got snowed in. it was heated by an old cast iron wood stove, it glowed red when hot. no running water, had a well we drew from with buckets and mom washed dishes in a wash pan. always had hot water because had it on the stove to put moisture in the air. we did have electric, and every night before bed we would either read little house on the prairie books,the bible or watch educational stuff on tv. learned a lot about canning, wood chopping, what i could dye fabric with naturally, what we could forage to eat, names of trees,herbs and local wildlife. found several old barn sights with deep wells and bubbling natural, springs.i believed faeries lived in the moss covered secret places only i knew about. learned about making wine from wild grapes, sassafras roots, ginseng, winterberry and how to harvest maple syrup. my mom was full of knowledge it seemed to me.
mom caught a lot of slack for “isolating her kids, not giving them an education, ruining our social skills/” a lot more. she felt what she did was right. we went along with it fine,until i started growing up. i wanted more friends, better clothes. school. i had no idea what i was in for. the first 5 year back in public school were hell. i was smart enough, and except in a few areas i was just fine academically. spelling and math have NEVER been strong points for me. i was socially….backward , had nothing to do with home schooling, it was just me. i did make some awesome friends.my point is tho…… was my life better returning to public school? more enriched, fulfilled? i dont think so. but we cant change the past,but i am grateful for what i did get. i think the fond memories are part of what drive me to complete my goal of becoming a homesteader.