Taking Class Outdoors

Homeschool herb Club  Kirsten Makin

Once a month, on a very special day, the Peter’s Gate Herbal Centre is visited by a group of rather extraordinary children.

Varying in age from eight months to sixteen years, the children visit Peter’s Gate Herb Farm as part of their home school group. Every month the children participate in two different activities, one focusing on gardening and one on craft. The abundance of soil, leaves, glue and glitter tends to transform the centre into a creatively chaotic classroom.

At the final home school gathering of the year, which took place on the 29 November, the children were asked, as part of their gardening activity, to make scarecrows to help keep the monkeys out of the Peter’s Gate veggie garden.

Armed with scissors, nails, a hammer and a parent to help keep all fingers in check the children split into groups of four.

And so began the bid to build the best scarecrow. ‘Pass the hammer” said the knee-high five year old “It still doesn’t have a head” said the group in the corner Before long the lawn was covered in straw hats, over-sized blue jeans (belonging to the fathers no doubt), scarves and gloves.

By the end of the morning the scarecrows were dressed to the nines (ignoring the fact that most of the items of clothing had been nailed to the scarecrows bodies.) The children proudly carried their scarecrows into the veggie garden and stood them in the ground.

Not yet tired of scarecrows the children’s craft activity was to make a slightly less scary scarecrow. Using fabric, dried flowers, glitter and (every parent’s nightmare) glue the children collaged their own scarecrow, this one to take home for their bedroom walls.

At R25 a child, which includes a snack (of homemade juice and cupcakes) the morning is one that offers children the chance to spend sometime in the outdoors. Be it making a scarecrow, planting a herb or (as they so often do) chasing a chicken.

If you are interested in joining the home school group please contact Karen Makin at petegate@mweb.co.za