Homeschooling and Homesteading4 min read
Are you one of those families who homestead and homeschool together?
Or are you just beginning to enter this gig with your little children finally growing up and getting ready to be schooled?
Well, we’d like to warn you – it isn’t easy!
But at the same time, we’d also like to reassure you that it is extremely rewarding!
(And many families who are homeschooling and homesteading will definitely agree with us.)
Yes, there will be days where you wonder whether you have any sanity left, and other days when you question if it is even worth it.
After all, you do have like two cows, ten ducks, dozens of laying hens, eleven sheep, seven goats, a fruit orchard, a bunch of house pets, and a huge vegetable garden… oh and your three kids, and a partridge in a pear tree!
And with constant milking, weeding, planting, fencing, tending and so on, time is already very short.
And you’re probably wondering about when you will really get time to homeschool. And how?
But amidst all the chaos and confusion, we want to point out that homeschooling while homesteading is indeed gratifying in the long run.
Your children would have never learned half the things they do if they had to go to a mainstream school. When you include your kids in your homesteading activities, they learn so much!
If you’re worried about how you will homeschool when homesteading, we want to tell you that you are already homeschooling as you homestead!
Homeschooling while homesteading is super rich in lessons and rewards. Here are a few
1. Your kids learn how to work together as a family
When you’re on a farm with about a thousand things to do in a day, it can get physically and mentally exhausting after a point. Where do you begin and where do you end? This is when you teach your kids to help around with whatever they can do. Whether it is daily chores, or helping out on the homestead front, finding jobs and tasks that each family member is able, willing and happy to do will prove beneficial to everyone. You learn to work together and to pull together as a family. And you realize that one single person cannot possibly do everything that is needed to run a farm. Every member needs to pitch in and work hard and no job is insignificant!
2. Your kids now know where their food comes from! And they learn to value it.
When you basically live on a farm, your meals do come from right outside your doorstep. So, not only do your kids know exactly where their food comes from, but they also know that it wouldn’t be nice of them to waste this meal that everyone worked so hard to put together. They understand the true value of every meal and every bit of hard work that went not only into prepping the final meal, but also everything that came before it. You are also teaching your children how to grow and preserve their own food, which is so awesome! Would they really learn this in a traditional schooling environment?
3. You model self-directed learning for your children
When you are farming and taking care of a homestead environment, there is constant learning that is happening every day. Every day brings new lessons for your kids. As you model this hunger for knowledge to your kids daily, they grow a little more. Ask them questions and have them seek out the answers. If they ask you questions, help them to find the answers. Hands-on learning is one of the best ways a child can learn and grow.
4. Life and death are not mysteries to your kids anymore
Growing up on a farm, each and every day your kids are witnessing new life, sickness, death and decay. They are understanding what it means to be alive and how grim and inevitable death is. Your kids will grasp the importance of life and how beautiful and precious it is. They watch amazing and tragic transitions on your farm, and this greatly helps them to navigate such big transitions in their own lives too.
5. Your kids are learning things that are above and beyond what any workbook could teach
As we’ve mentioned, your children are learning important life skills and lessons that will help them in the long run. Homesteading helps you to teach your kids various skills and take them outdoors where they learn, play and grow. They get the right amount of physical and mental exercise that they require. Learning more of those roll-up-your-sleeves lessons helps to reinforce more formal homeschool lessons. Your children are definitely learning what their workbooks would have taught them in theory, but they’re also learning much above and beyond it!
Yes, homeschooling is tough. Yes, it’s even tougher when you’re homeschooling while homesteading!
And you could always opt for the easiest option and go with it.
But what if you make the habit of choosing paths that align with your hearts and make them easy?
Just like homesteading, homeschooling will also be one of the hardest things you do as parents.
But just know that for every little and big effort that you are constantly putting in, your children are reaping amazing and wonderful benefits from it.