It is Farm Animal Week …. lots of animal sounds will be heard during class this week.  Growing up my boys spent three weeks each summer at my grandfather’s farm in Ohio.  Grandpa was actually an educator (teacher, principal and a Dean of Education) but he had what he called a “gentleman’s farm”.   A big garden, geese, chickens and a goat.  He had a tractor and a big barn to play in with hay and a rope swing. He enjoyed farming but loved being an educator and this was the best of both worlds for him — and for us!  There was a big pond to paddle around on and spend time fishing or just watching the geese as they landed on the water several times a day.  My uncle had the real farm with pigs, cows and a huge combine and tractor.  He had the big tree with the rope and wood seat swing that you see in classic midwest farm pictures.  You could swing so high on that swing!I can still see the clothes blowing in the wind on the line behind the garden and my aunt picking beans and putting them in her apron to carry into the kitchen for our dinner.  So many memories that we share with each other from those visits to the small town of Laura Ohio.
A trip to the farm was not complete until we visited the hardware store in West Milton.  Squeaky door and creaky wooden floors.  You could find anything and everything in that store and if it wasn’t in the hardware store you could find it in the Variety Store!  From canning jars to children’s toys and tools to mops … if you needed it you could find it in these two amazing stores.   We still have the tractors Joel and Nick bought at Wertze’s Hardware store.  All of the children in the small towns had tractors.  They kind of tractor you had depended on the owner of the hardware store.  They were either red Internationals or green John Deere tractors and trailers.  They had so many peices of farm equipment and accessories our sons were in farm heaven when they went down that aisle.  If you look on the bookshelf behind me during class you will be able to see what Mr. Wertze considered the proper type of farm equipment.I have to admit I googled Wertze’s this evening … still the same and I bet it still smells the same inside!
We will talk about farms, animals and what different kinds of food we can find on a farm.  During the week you can ask your child what animals live on a farm, what they eat and what they say.  It is also a time to talk about pets, wild animals and domesticated animals.  You can ask them where their food comes from and how food grows.  We will have conversations about animals, food and family for the next few weeks as we lead up to Thanksgiving.
Hope you have fun on the farm this week.  I know I will.