My Kids Eat Snails

By Shannon Hayes

…Witnessing this spectacle, my mind travels to the homeschool report that I will have to write up in a few weeks, detailing to school officials the lessons my girls have learned this quarter. My job will be to categorize their development within the pre-defined subjects of math, social studies, language arts, science, phys ed, art and music.

I don’t have an aversion to these basic subjects, per se, but as I wipe garlic cream sauce from snails off 3-year-old Ula’s chin, it grates on me how none of the pre-defined categories for education ask us to consider the most important lessons we must impart to our children. As far as the curriculum standards are concerned, I should be worried about whether or not my 7-year old can read, count and write up to 1000; if she understands decimals; and if she can write a book report. But what I want my children to learn first and foremost is how to take good care of themselves, their families, their community, and their planet. And at their age, I’ve discovered that the most effective means of teaching this is through their palate. It is not so important to me that my kids can explain the significance of a locavore diet at their age. But I do want them to know what food is supposed to taste like when it is a product of a healthy ecosystem. I want them to experience what their bodies feel like when they are nourished in a way that is in harmony with the Earth….

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