Home grown Adventures in parenting off the beaten path, unschooling, and reconnecting with the natural world

Ben Hewitt, 1971-

Book - 2014

"When Ben Hewitt and his wife bought a sprawling acreage of field and forest in northern Vermont, the landscape easily allowed them to envision the self-sustaining family farm they were eager to start. But over the years, the land became so much more than a building site; it became the birthplace of their two sons, the main source of family income and food, and ultimately, both classroom and home for their children. Having opted out of formal education, Hewitt's sons learn through self...-directed play, exploration, and experimentation on their farm, in the woods, and (reluctantly) indoors. This approach has allowed the boys to develop confidence, resourcefulness, and creativity. They learn, they play, they read, they test boundaries, they challenge themselves, they fail, they recover. And these freedoms allow their innate personalities to flourish, further fueling growth and exploration. Living in tune with the natural world teaches us to reclaim our passion, curiosity, and connectivity. Hewitt shows us how small, mindful decisions about day-to-day life can lead to greater awareness of the world in your backyard and beyond. We are inspired to ask: What is the true meaning of "home" when the place a family lives is school, school system, and curriculum? When the parent is also the teacher, how do parenting decisions affect a child's learning? (And exactly how much trouble can a couple of curious boys gallivanting in the wild woods all day get into?) Home Grown reminds us that learning at any age is a lifelong process, and the best "education" is never confined to a classroom. These essays on nature, parenting, and education show us that big change can come from making small changes in how you live on the land, while building a life you love"--

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Subjects
Published
Boston : Roost Books c2014.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
vii, 166 pages ; 22 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN
9781611801699
1611801699
Main Author
Ben Hewitt, 1971- (-)
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In invigorating prose, small-scale Vermont farmer Hewitt ($aved) presents his family's parenting philosophy: more than anything, he and his wife want their two sons to have a "connection to place" and to understand how they fit in the larger world and ecosystem. To that end, Fin and Rye do not attend school, nor do they follow a homeschooling curriculum. Rather, they learn through "unschooling," a holistic process in which children pursue their passions and interests rather than a prescribed curriculum. The kids trap animals, read books, do chores, and ask lots of questions. But this book is about more than unschooling. There are musings on raising a windmill with a friend's help, home birth and midwifery, and debt, which no surprise, Hewitt is against. In the final analysis, parenting is Hewitt's vehicle for exploring a larger hypothesis: the more one sets aside societal pressures to become rich and accomplished, the freer one will be. Hewitt's meditations are sure to find a cult following among readers who yearn for simplicity. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency.(Sept.) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The author uses his sons' education in the fields and forests of Vermont as an example that learning at any age is a lifelong process and that the best education is never confined to a classroom.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"When Ben Hewitt and his wife bought a sprawling acreage of field and forest in northern Vermont, the landscape easily allowed them to envision the self-sustaining family farm they were eager to start. But over the years, the land became so much more than a building site; it became the birthplace of their two sons, the main source of family income and food, and ultimately, both classroom and home for their children. Having opted out of formal education, Hewitt's sons learn through self-directed play, exploration, and experimentation on their farm, in the woods, and (reluctantly) indoors. This approach has allowed the boys to develop confidence, resourcefulness, and creativity. They learn, they play, they read, they test boundaries, they challenge themselves, they fail, they recover. And these freedoms allow their innate personalities to flourish, further fueling growth and exploration. Living in tune with the natural world teaches us to reclaim our passion, curiosity, and connectivity. Hewitt shows us how small, mindful decisions about day-to-day life can lead to greater awareness of the world in your backyard and beyond. We are inspired to ask: What is the true meaning of "home" when the place a family lives is school, school system, and curriculum? When the parent is also the teacher, how do parenting decisions affect a child's learning? (And exactly how much trouble can a couple of curious boys gallivanting in the wild woods all day get into?) Home Grown reminds us that learning at any age is a lifelong process, and the best "education" is never confined to a classroom. These essays on nature, parenting, and education show us that big change can come from making small changes in how you live on the land, while building a life you love"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

The charming story of one family's mission to build a deeper, lasting connection to land and community on their Vermont farm When Ben Hewitt and his wife bought a sprawling acreage of field and forest in northern Vermont, they were eager to start a self-sustaining family farm. But over the years, the land became so much more than a building site; it became the birthplace of their two sons, the main source of family income and food, and even a classroom for their children. Through self-directed play, exploration, and experimentation on their farm, Hewitt’s children learned how to play and read, test boundaries and challenge themselves, fail and recover. Best of all, this environment allowed their personalities to flourish, fueling further growth. In Home Grown, Hewitt shows us how small, mindful decisions about day-to-day life can lead to greater awareness of the world in our backyards and beyond. In telling the story of his sons’ unconventional education in the fields and forests surrounding his family’s farm, he demonstrates that the sparks of learning are all around us, just waiting to be discovered. Learning is a lifelong process—and the best education is never confined to a classroom.