Friday, July 15, 2011

"Schooling" with the Hippies

This year our family decided to opt out of the the LED through our local board of education as our homeschooling registration option. Instead, we went ahead and registered through The Farm school. Now, you may not know what that means. Let me explain.

The Farm is a hippie commune in Summertown, TN. They offer a secular "church related" satellite program for homeschoolers through their campus school.

Years ago I decided that from what I could tell I did NOT want to register with a "Christian" homeschool umbrella. Basically I understood that they embrace some rules and guidelines that are not, in my opinion, very Christ-like. And that ain't gonna fly with me. So I just said NO and moved on. The LED with which I have registered for the past two years has been fine. Really it has. I knew that once fifth grade rolled around, I'd need to do something else because I'm not down with mandatory standardized testing. But with me and the husband both having degrees from a university, we found that the LED was a perfect fit for us.

Until this year. I started to squirm. I don't like the idea that we are such public unschoolers and that there are as many people out there who hate me as who love me and ONE DAY someone was going to turn me in to DHS for unschooling. I felt like, if we registered through the Farm school, an unschool-friendly organization, they would be able to represent me legally if that ever became an issue. And that is enough reason right there. Right?

Well, the truth is that there is another reason that I wanted to register with the Farm school and that reason stems back to my preteen years. To the days when I was learning everything I could about a woman named Kate Pierson. I learned that she was a vegetarian and that she had lived on hippie communes.

I became a vegetarian. As one attempt to be similar to her. Because I wanted to grow up to be like her. As different from my mom as I could be.

But speaking of my mom... she once bought me a vegetarian cookbook. It looked like this. She had found it at a thrift store. I devoured it. Didn't devour any actual food as I had no idea what any of the ingredients were at the time but I looked that book over and over again. I learned that it was published at a place called "The Farm" in Summertown, TN. There must have been a little blurb that told me it was commune. But I didn't know a lot about it. Just that it was in Tennessee and that it was a commune. And that one day I would go there. I couldn't believe that there were people LIKE ME right here in Tennessee. I thought I would have to one day move to New York or Athens, GA in order to find like minded folks. But NO! There was hope! I didn't have a driver's license but maybe one day when I did I might be able to drive to a place where people were nicer, healthier, weirder and therefore normal. Maybe. One day.

I befriended a guy in college who grew up on the Farm. He confirmed my suspicions. People at the Farm were different. In a good way.

I went through a few years where I lost track of this drive... the need to embrace my inner hippie. I tried and tried desperately to shake it off but I could not. Over the past several years, that hippie in me has come back. Full force. I love that part of myself now. I wouldn't try to change it for anything.

I've still not visited the Farm. But I will. Soon. I even have plans to one day in the not so distant future begin studying midwifery there. They have a great program.

So there you have it... the deep rooted reason as to why I want to be affiliated with the Farm School. Makes so much sense to me now. I'll let you know as soon as I make it there. I'm excited.

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  1. Woot. That sounds awesome. I wish there was something like that here. :(

  2. The Farm always reminds me of Ina May Gaskin & midwifery- I had never made the unschooling connection! Awesome, either way :)


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