Monday, September 24, 2012

The bungee jumping chicken of Huntington

The beauty of homeschooling is that it allows you the time and freedom to disengage from the public school rat race and consider other points of view or conclusions.

While living in Huntington, Vermont during the mid 1990's we raised our own chickens. If you've ever raised meat birds you'd know they are specifically bred for rapid growth. Unfortunately, a drawback for some chickens to that accelerated development is the inability to walk after several weeks.

We had one such bird whom we named Harriet. Being unable to walk made it impossible for Harriet to free range with the remainder of the flock. This was a problem, not only for poor Harriet but for us as well. She was too young for butchering and too disabled to forage on her own. We needed to find a solution to Harriet's dilemma.

After much thought we decided to outfit Harriet for mobility. We fashioned a harness for her using our young son's old pajama top. Harriet's legs fit neatly into the small sleeves and the shirt had several snaps in the back for fastening. The back of the pajama top was then attached to a bungee cord which hung from the barn ceiling. Harriet was lifted up, using this make-shift harness, relieving the weight from her legs and she was able to walk or jump a few steps in any direction. She was then able to peck at her food and water as she normally would have. With this contraption Harriet was able to maintain her growth and her dignity as a chicken.

Without the artificially hurried pace of a school-centered life, we have always had the time and freedom to find our own solutions or solve problems that arise in our day-to-day existence. Sometimes those problems have been minor (not to Harriet) and at times they have been monumental. With homeschooling we've always managed to overcome those many obstacles with our family and sanity intact.  Outside forces sometimes caused those problems but we own our decisions and actions in dealing with them. It made us stronger, wiser and closer as a homeschooling family.

As for Harriet, later that summer she served us well and joined her flock at our dinner table. Well nourished children, both physically and academically, was our happy ending to this tale of the bungee jumping chicken of Huntington.

Connect with Guerrilla Homeschooling on Facebook!

Quote: Napoleon Hill

"Education-let us not forget this-consists of the power with which to get everything one needs when he needs it, without violating the rights of his fellow men." 
Napoleon Hill

Connect with Guerrilla Homeschooling on Facebook!