A Young Teen’s View of Earthaven
by Aidan O’Hare
Earthaven has 330 acres. About 40 are devoted to farmland, and 50 to neighborhoods and their gardens. So there are more than 200 acres in forest! I like living there because it feels like a world inside of the world. When I was little I thought it was normal to live in the middle of a forest with lots of friendly people. One time I was exploring the woods with my friends and we got lost. Don’t worry, we found our way! I think it’s really cool we had the opportunity to get lost, as well as woods to get lost in!
I was homeschooled most of my life. It was really fun. There were barely any rules, and we went on plant walks almost every day. Our lunch was an hour long and, in addition to that, there was an hour-long free time. Some of us were in second grade in reading and fifth grade in math. Or the opposite. We were all different and we learned at our own pace
right: Aidan’s first year in homeschool.
Our parents taught in turn each day of the week, one subject the whole day. We learned things in fourth grade people learn in high school or college, like anatomy. We were way ahead in some places and way behind in others.
We had chores at the end of the day. Each person had their own job and everyone knew what to do. There were only four of us in our homeschool then, but nowadays, there’s 13 toddlers running around!
Sometimes I close my eyes and Earthaven feels like a dream. There are farm animals to hang out with, and berries straight off the bush, but it’s the people that sum it all up! So many people have to be willing to live together in a successful way. Working together to create a community, we’re like cells working to make a body, to make a better world.
Aidan O’Hare, almost 13, is one of several teens to start attending local charter schools this year. Excited to meet more of their peer groups and have access to a wider range of educational possibilities, their reports are upbeat and reassuring. A longer version of Aidan’s essay was written for a recent 7th grade assignment.