Fire Season

firebreaks toddler fire season parenting leilazamoramoreno

Cesar decided to hitchhike along in the Bakkie while many were busy doing firebreaks in what we dub “the big field”. Every year during winter time which is our dry, and so also our fire season – we burn the edges of the farm in the case of fire breakouts, so that the fires can’t travel from field to field, farm to farm – which can happen quick when it’s dry and windy. The whole process took a bit more than two hours, which we observed mostly from inside the bakkie, watching what everyone is doing, explaining what each person’s role is. Oh, and fitting on sunglasses he found in the bakkie, insisting that ‘upside down’ is really the right way one should wear sunglasses.

#toddler #farmlife #farmliving #southafrica #firebreaks #winter #fireseason #unschooling #livingislearning #parenting #motherhood


The Unknown Possibilities

toddler deck south africa tools boys parenting leilazamoramoreno

Cesar enjoys being around when Gian is working on the little viewing/picnick deck that’s in the process of creation. He’ll try and put nails into the slats, or find a rock to imitate the work being done on the structure. Cesar enjoys putting things together, seeing what he can create from different elements, seeing how they can fit together. In a way, the structure being built is of a similar nature, and when you hear the men on the farm discuss these type of projects, can see that childlike expression bubble up as they discuss and explore the possibilities and take pride in the progression and creation of whatever they are working on. In those moments where Cesar is intently focused on putting something together and seeing those moments where Gian is intently focused on a project, can see that this drive to create, to explore, to expand is naturally inherent in us all. Exploring the yet unknown “possibilities”. It would be great to have this natural drive nurtured and fostered, instead of beaten out of us in the quest to survive and comply to some narrow and limited view of “how things are done”. How things have been done and are done = we have the result before us today, a bleak picture. Let’s explore the possibilities!

#toddler #building #creating #farmlife #farmliving #parenting #Toddlerhood #motherhood #fatherhood #possibilities #drive #curiosity #unschooling #couragetolive #teamlife #equality

A Moment of Connection

bird feeder seed rolls craft young old parenting leilazamoramoreno

When we were done with the seed rolls, Cesar excitedly ran to give them to Francois, who was just as excited to receive them – and placed them on the birdfeeder. It was such a cute moment – seeing Cesar the youngest on the farm – run to, and connect with Francois, the elder on the farm – over a shared passion, a common interest as the birds on the farm. We’ve been seeing a lot more bird activity around the main house garden, most noticed by the trampoline as it’s next to a big tree for shade, which is also the station for birds to gather and go to and fro the birdfeeder, with the result of quite a bit of birdpoo on the trampoline. On the otherhand, Cesar enjoys laying on the trampoline and seeing the birds fly around the tree and spotting them in-between the many leaves.

#birds #birdfeeder #toddler #nature #passion #connect #community #relationships #custodians #life

Considering the Birds

bird seeds craft toilet roll toddler parenting unschooling leilazamoramoreno

Making seedrolls for the birds using toilet rolls, peanut butter and wild bird seed. These will go to the birdfeeder in front of the mainhouse. Earlier he picked berries from our bush and went to place them for the birds. When he is eating fruit and doesn’t finish it, he’ll ask to give it to the birds or chickens. I enjoy doing these little activities with him where he can practice different skills and have an outcome that has application to our living environment. In school we learn so much knowledge and information that has little to no relevance to our every day, all of which is soon forgotten once we’ve passed our tests. Education and learning, should be a natural extension of living, a source of enhancement for our personal development and mastering the art of living a life that is best for self and all.

#craft #birds #unschooling #knowledge #information #practicalapplication #farmlife #farmliving


Animated Story Book

laptop movie good dinosaur vocabulary screen time leilazamoramoreno

When we watch a movie, we treat it like an animated story book. As each scene passes by, I describe to him what’s happening and place things into context/perspective. This gives us an opportunity to expand his vocabulary as we can show him things he hasn’t seen before, and when we do eventually get to see them, we can reference it back to the movie, so that a link gets created to physical reality (or show him it doesn’t work that way in reality!).

Through speaking and interacting with the movie, we assist each other in remaining grounded in our bodies and remain aware of our environment, instead of slowly slipping into a ‘zoning out’ mode.

#movies #storybook #vocabulary #speaking #learning #screentime #unschooling #toddler #parenting

Learning Happens Everywhere


toddler tractor farm learning unschooling parenting leilazamoramoreno

Cesar totally loves the tractor. He has a few tractor toys of his own he likes to play with – but nothing beats the real deal. Whenever we go about walking around on the farm, he keeps his eyes open for any bakkie or tractor action he can get into. When he was more of a baby, he didn’t like car rides, now he can’t get enough going places by car and pointing out every single truck and bakkie. We make a game out of it to catch and count the trucks and to name the colours. Learning happens everywhere!

#tractor #toddler #farmlife #farmliving #lifeislearning #naturallearningability #parenting #unschooling #wheels #cars

Together yet Alone

selfie movies cinema parenting mother leilazamoramoreno

This is me at the movies for the first time in about three years, Gian’s treat. Becoming a mother definitely turned my life upside down, Gian’s assisting in reminding me to not take motherhood too serious, to remind myself that it’s okay to relax and let go. With babies/young toddlers who require a lot of care and attention – you are initially forced to give up much of your individual self, and stand as a humble servant to another. But as time goes by and they grow up and develop their independence, so can you grow in your individuality once more.

#motherhood #relax #movies #cinema #parentingjourney #babies #toddlers

Connecting with your Natural Drive

community work farm life toddler zamoramoreno

Sometimes Cesar will do as we do when working together outside, other times he does what we’d also like to do – like being pushed around in a wheelbarrow. Whenever we can, we attend our little social-work-outside-get-together. We never force him to participate but do ask him to stick around. With house cleaning we do the same. Initially he didn’t participate, but the more he saw us do it and the more capable he grew, the more he started pitching in and start cleaning on his own.
When I first came to live on the farm, all I had known was all the things I HAD to do, what I had been told I MUST do. For the first time I didn’t have to do anything. Yet, soon enough I found myself getting involved in projects, help out, start new things. In the end no-one wants to just sit around or play all day. We all have a natural drive to explore and to create. Unfortunately, most of us live in a ‘one size fits all’ system, where only some types of ‘doing’ are rewarded and anything else it throttled. We then lose our connection to our natural drive and only move ourselves if there’s a carrot or stick involved.

I would want everyone to grow up and live in an environment that fosters this natural drive, that allows people to contribute and create real added value because they can and it’s common sense to do so.
The world would be a different place. Yet, we don’t have to wait for this to happen,we can each in our individual lives, our personal relationships – push to bring the best version out of ourselves, to investigate our motives and what drives us – start making little changes in what we do, how we do it and why we do things, and let these changes ripple outwards.

#toddler #work #household #chores #task #motivation #selfdirectedlearning #continuumconcept #unschooling #consciousparenting #naturaldrive #parenting #betterworld #explore #freedom #curiosity

The Only Constant is Change

toddler sleeping parenting change

Cesar started skipping naps the last few days, being up from early morning and going to sleep early evening. He’s becoming less and less baby, more and more a boy.

When he was a small baby, it took a great deal to let go of myself to be able stand absolutely in meeting all his needs, which were many and frequent.
Now that he is growing up and moving to independence, I have to once more let go of the role I took on and adjust to a different set of needs.

The moment you settle in a particular routine/way of interacting with one another – new developments take place and you have to recalibrate your approach all over again.

As much as you raise a child, you constantly erase and raise yourself along.

#toddler #baby #parenting #motherhood #journey #sleeping

Redefining Fashion

toddler blanket poncho dog leilazamoramoreno

Winter’s coming…. Yet Cesar still prefers to spend most of his days going about naked. When it gets cold, he likes to wrap a towel around himself, though it’s not so practical to play around in. Then, one night he saw Maite put on her hooded blanket, which is basically an oversized poncho. Seeing it, Cesar’s eyes grew wide with amazement and wiggled himself into it to wear it with her. Didn’t really work out because of minimal headspace and couldn’t get his arms free. So I went to fetch one of his blankets and cut a hole in the middle for his head. He’s been enjoying the alternative where he can move around in comfort and yet keep warm. Over time, it has been more and more difficult to find comfortable clothes for him, as they’re being more and more fashion geared with less and less consideration for comfort and durability.

#redefinefashion #toddler #poncho #diy #clothes #comfort