There are two things that I have been resisting for way too long. Buying the Herb Fairies series of books and formally apprenticing my girls in herbal medicine. I started studying herbal medicine when I was twelve years old. I am glad that I did not really start our formal studies any sooner as the girls were not truly ready until now. The interest and skill sets were just not all there until recently. We also did not have the opportunity, time, and motivation to work together on this until a pandemic forced us out of our homeschool comfort zone. The girls have enjoyed studying about the herbs, writing in their journals, and doing all these fun projects with mom. I have enjoyed the extra help and inspiration. The Herb Fairies series of books can be purchased individually from Amazon. OR If you go to their website the books are part of a package deal that includes the full series, color pages, recipes, projects, support, and other on-line resources. A better deal but more than what we needed. The books work really well when also used with the board game Wildcraft, which is made by the same folks.
The stories are sweet, well thought out, diverse, and geared toward young kids. A bit repetitive and formulaic, but there are only 13. The herbs featured are common and well known. Each book is packed with a lot of very easy to remember information concerning the identification and uses of each herb. The kids like them and they have become the highlight of our day. We read them together as a family even though my daughters are 10 and 12. It takes at least 1/2 hour to read a full book and they may not hold the attention of children younger that 6. My kids have a background in basic botany, nature studies, scientific illustration, and plant medicine which allows them to appreciate and quickly absorb/remember what the series has to offer. Combined with other resources we have a really good curriculum to last us for the next six months.
The advantage of homeschooling two girls close in age is that they grow up slowly and are in the position be together most of the day. At times like these I am thankful they still do imaginary play on occasion. It serves as “therapy”. I hear them process all kinds of anxieties and events in the dialogues between them. After we started the Herb Fairies series, I got requests to dig out all the little fairies, houses, stones, and shells from past years so that they could make communities in the yard. I also pulled together the above craft project from things I had stored in the basement. When our studies spill over into other areas of life I know the kids are learning a lot and that the subject is very meaningful to them.
What new things have you decided to learn about during this unusual time?