I'm Tonia and this is my family. There's Hubs, my wonderful partner; Bug, my darling daughter; and Boo, my charming son. We are the Collins clan. We are a homeschooling family who try our best to live out God's will for our lives every day. There are lots of stumbles along the way, but we love each other and this little life we're carving out for ourselves. Recently we found ourselves called to make some big changes in our lives so we're packing up the McMansion and moving out to a little farm in need of a lot of TLC. We have tons to learn and tons to do and we invite you to share the journey as we turn our not-so-new heap into a home.

Friday, September 13, 2013

School at the Heap

Forget about reading, writing, and arithmetic....today we touched on subjects some kids will never get a chance to learn. I'm crazy proud of the kids, they worked so hard and had great attitudes about it. What in the world did we do today? We dug a trench. Yep, we did....and I bet you had no idea what kind of things you could learn from that!

Physical Education:

Yeah, this one is kind of obvious.....digging is hard work. Our trench needed to be about a foot deep and about a foot wide. No biggie, right? Well, not until you add in the giant rocks and the tree roots that plagued our every move. Like I said....hard work. I was responsible for the initial breaking of the ground and the kids took turns with the other two jobs: scooping out the big stuff and cleaning the trench out of all the remaining dirt. We worked on this for probably about 4 hours today, though not in consecutive hours.

We talked about splitting big, hard jobs into smaller chunks. We talked about setting goals (like, let's get done to this spot and then we can take a break and share a Coke). We talked about perseverance. We talked about how hard Daddy works and how we can help him by doing some of the jobs that we can do, giving him more time to do the jobs only he can do. We used our muscles and broke a good sweat.

Real, useful P.E.

When's the last time you used a rolling scooter and a playground ball to get something done? That's what I thought.....


This place is covered with trash. Seriously, you cannot even begin to fathom it. It is thrown, buried, and piled everywhere. So, digging a trench means finding all sorts of interesting things. The kids like to look at the different "treasures" they find and try to figure out what the people who lived here before us did. It's just a guess, but it looks like the area where we were digging today was used as a junkyard for old cars and equipment. We found giant screws, and big metal chunks, and some rubber things that might be old belts for motors.

Suddenly the history lessons about this ruin or that artifact make a lot more sense. So that's what the people who dig up stuff are doing, huh, Mom?

Animal Husbandry:

The trench is part of our chicken coop/run project. So we talked a lot about why we need to have a trench and how having the fence below ground will help keep predators out. We also talked about our responsibility to the chickens we keep, especially when Boo asked, "So, a fox gets a chicken...who cares? It's only one chicken!"

In addition, we talked about PH when we talked about concrete and why you don't want to mix it with your hands. We found some cool caterpillars and talked about how to figure out what they want to eat and how to keep one alive (for an AHG project). We did home ec when we hung out laundry and then folded it later, and when we cleaned up the kitchen.

And when it was time for a break the kids both sat down to devour the library books we picked up yesterday.

Of course, Monday we'll be right back to the books. It's time to start our new curriculum and we're all excited about that, but I refuse to be fooled into believing that today was a wasted day because we didn't do school as our culture defines it.

They learned. They are happy. That sounds like a successful school day to me.



  1. This is such an inspiration to me. We moved and are doing the exact same thing. Lately I have been feeling pretty overwhelmed with everything. You guys are doing a great job!

    1. Thank you! Lately, I've been feeling pretty overwhelmed with everything too!! Which is why there has been no new post for over a week......sometimes life just runs over you. We'll get there and so will you. Praying for your family as you adjust!