Canadas Homeschool Alberta 8.2 Winter : Page 5

ON THE COVER A Heart for People THE STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO by Jill Hickling B.Ed This summer my family and I went on the trip of a Homeschool Parent life time. Many of you are thinking, “Where did they go? A Hawaiian adventure? An Australian outback walk about? An African Safari?” Nope! We went to a little town in northern Alberta and spent five days with my cousin’s family working on a farm. My kids had the opportunity to play and interact with their cousins. This spring I lost my dad. My dad loved to talk to people and get to know their lives. He also loved to farm. My cousin Randy has the same heart for people and farming as dad did. By visiting Randy, my children learned about farming and began developing a love and respect for it. My 39 year lifetime has been spent in the ever growing and changing city of Calgary. My kids and I are truly city people. I love the hustle and bustle of the city. I am used to watching my children like a hawk. There was no teasing or laughing. In the beginning, she would stand outside the pens, turning on and off water, opening and closing doors . . . By day five, she would go in the pens, fill buckets with food and do anything that was asked of her. This experience gave her confidence that I couldn’t. Pam, my children’s The freedom of farm life. oldest cousin, took my kids on the tractor and taught them about technology that goes beyond facebooking, playing games, skyping or texting. A computer moves the tractor and talks to the driver! Again, my children’s vision of the world was shifted. Computers are not just for entertaining but have reasons and purpose. The most treasured memory was after the day was done, work was over and we were all siting around the table. Seeing my son playing with Randy and the girls enjoying their cousins. On this trip, my husband and I learned the true value of family and how our children benefit from time spent with them. We may not have been raised together but this family made an impact on our lives that brought about amazing changes in our thinking and perception. Farm living versus city living is now a matter of debate. The city offers many cultural opportunities but rural living gives experiences that have lifelong application. Thank you Cannan’s for opening your home and sharing your love of the land with your city cousins. v Time with Dad On the farm, for the first time in their lives, they were able to go outside and play without me hovering... allowing them greater independence than ever before. Since we came home, my daughter Danika has so stepped up her game. She is holding her sister’s hand and looking both ways to cross the road, saying “I can do that momma,” setting the table and keeping her room clean. She is working hard to learn her number and letters so she can read stories to her youngest cousins. WOW! At the farm, my children helped with the chores. My little soft, emotional girl Tessa is usually scared of her own shadow. Yet cousins Melissa and Courtney took Tessa and showed her how to handle ducks, chickens, geese and pigs. They shared their knowledge of caring for the animals to a three-year-old in a way she understood. home country Take me roads! WINTER 2012 7

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