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The students at The Muddy Schoolhouse have big ideas and our mission is to artfully enable our students to pursue these ideas successfully. This means that the students at The Muddy Schoolhouse are active participants in helping to fund the projects they want to work on. What better way to learn to be successful and productive global citizens than to participate in the real world economics of the school and their own life.
An important part of this as parents and facilitators is to be willing to share our own skills, hobbies and interests in non-coercive ways. This means that our students are witness to us modeling what it means to be more than just educators and parents. Our aim is to be our authentic selves, we are life long learners, artists, scientists, explorers, farmers, entrepreneurs…leaders of our own life.In witnessing the adults around them pursuing their own personal creative projects which bring them happiness, the idea that doing something productive that brings you joy is worth doing well. They become empowered to pursue their own curiosities and projects more fully.
Currently, The Muddy Schoolhouse and Be Life Farm work together to help our students develop the skills to be independent, creative, and responsible members of the global community. We want our students to be the movers, the shakers, the “doers” of the world. This requires us to go beyond traditional academics…this is about learning to create and execute plans, problem solve, and to work collaboratively. Our facilitators help students to design and execute every step of their entrepreneurial projects. We help them through the processes of conceptualizing and making, designing logos, creating budgets, and selling. Through this the students learn about real life economic issues of resources, scarcity, cost, barter, and more. We hope to empower our students to be independent and environmentally conscious producers and consumers.
There are beautiful stories of inspiration and ingenuity behind all of the products that we sell with the children. There are lessons learned in all of these ventures for the children and the adults who support them along the way. Some of the products are solely the work of an individual student with the funds going directly towards a goal that particular student has in mind. Some of our products are collaborations among students, facilitators and the community meant to help fund and sustain the school itself. Some of our products are made by our facilitators or students parents and help contribute to their personal financial stability… after all this is real world economics we are modeling. Others are a combination of those and are meant to raise funds for a community effort or charity. Each product has it’s own story and purpose. Please take the time to read about what our community of learners is making and why.
‘Even if you are born different, you can still be a superstar in your own way.’
This is the message of the little goat, Delilah, as she journeys from a tiny goat that was born different from the rest, to a Goat Yoga Superstar. As told by her friend, Zarina.
A story about a real life girl and her real life goat. Written and Illustrated together by 6 year old, Filleigh Kay Jordan (aka Zarina) and her mother, Mary Miller-Jordan.
I recently had someone ask me if my children went to school. The question brought up a great conversation about the way that I home-school my girls and I wanted to share with you … because, well you know I love to share our life with you!
I replied – Yes my kids do go to school. But it is not in the traditional way that many are familiar with. I told her that we home-school and I went on to explain to her, my personal style of home-schooling, as it can mean many things.
My approach to our home-schooling is both child-led and with the bigger picture of a lifetime love of learning at heart.
Here is an example …
Together, we imagine up a goal and then create steps to reach that goal. The ‘imagining’ part is led by the child. Just like when Zarina came to me and said – “I want to write a book about Delilah.” That was a lofty goal that she imagined up, and then we dissected it down into steps. We started with the first step and worked our way back. When we arrived back at the goal, it was no longer just a goal – but a reality!
Some of the steps were lots of fun. Some of the steps were not fun at all, some steps got repetitive and boring after a while and some were even scary (for me anyway ). But, we were able to maintain dedication to each step – because we knew there was purpose. There was a clear purpose driven by something that we were inspired to bring into form. Not only did we manifest this goal into reality, but we picked up valuable tools along the way that will make future goals more attainable.
This example of the Delilah book is one of many. I use this same style all the time. The bigger picture, is not only how I home-school, but also how I strive to navigate life. It is to look for the bigger lessons beyond the actual ‘lesson’ that stands in front of my face. The smaller lessons that stand in front of us, like learning to read a new word or explaining how I home-school can seems daunting. But, it is merely one ‘step’ in the process of bringing to life yet another lofty goal. Being able to step outside of my current reality to see the bigger picture, and recognizing the little lessons for what they are – Little. That is the ultimate lesson in it all.
School is not just for kids. I still learn all the time. I am constantly exploring how to do new things, learning new tools that enable me to manifest all sorts of lofty goals. For this lifetime, this process ends only when I die, not when I ‘graduate’ from any step in the learning process of life.
So, yes our kids go to school and I am so honored to be their teacher (although they teach me more than I could ever hope to teach them)
– Mary Miller Jordan, Mike Jordan and our amazing all mighty women children.
The kids had SO much fun learning about wool fibers as they created hand made dreadlocks to wear and to sell to support the growth of their school!
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