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Growing up on a homestead provides an incredible childhood for children, it offers them a level of freedom which simply isn’t available to most American children. Many people who raise their children on a homestead, like to incorporate homeschooling into their lives too.
Homeschooling and homesteading complement each other really well, and while they are both time consuming endeavors, the rewards are well worth it! The reason they complement each other so well, is because there is already a wealth of hands on things for your children to learn about through simply living life on a homestead.
Most homeschoolers choose to include some element of curriculum in their days, such as a great math or English curriculum, but the vast majority of their time is spent doing hands on learning around the homestead.
Every Day Life is an Opportunity for Learning
Hands on activities provide a wealth of experience for children. They will learn simply through watching you go about your daily chores and copying! One example of this is keeping chickens, which is essential for any homestead.
When you keep chickens as a homeschooling family, it isn’t just for the purpose of getting delicious fresh eggs. This one simple activity can provide children with an abundance of learning opportunities.
If you include them in the process right from the beginning, they’ll be able to help design and build a chicken coop and run. They can also research the different breeds of chickens to help choose the ideal chickens. During this process, you can include a bit of geography as you look up where certain chickens originate from!
Once the chickens are in their home, there are so many opportunities to learn about animal care and building empathy for animals. Caring for the chickens also teaches children the importance of taking responsibility, and the value of daily chores within family life.
Young children learn about where our food comes from, and for older children, keeping chickens can instigate conversations about the importance of eating fresh and local food. Younger children can learn colors and counting through looking after their chickens, older children could set up a small egg business and learn how to calculate profit etc.
If you decide to have some of the eggs fertilized, there are many great lessons about the cycle of life, how new life is created and caring for baby chicks. Through this one aspect of homesteading, you can see just how much of an education you’d be providing for your children, simply through living everyday life!
One of the main reasons many people choose to homestead, is for the freedom which it offers in many different areas of life.
Financial freedom, the freedom to plan your own day, the freedom to live off the land. This works hand in hand with the freedom that homeschooling brings. As a homeschooling family, you can choose where, and when you want to homeschool, plan your own days and work around the different priorities that are necessary for running a homestead.
Many parents choose to homeschool their children because of religious beliefs, political reasons, or perhaps their needs weren’t being met in a public school. Whatever the reason, as parents we want to know what information is going into our children’s heads. This is similar to the reason that so many people choose to homestead – we want to know what food we are putting into our bodies.
Both homeschooling and homesteading allows us to ensure that everything going into our children’s bodies, both information and food is good and pure!
If you’ve ever been in the public schooling system, you’ll know that there isn’t a great deal of time left for families to spend time together after a full day at school, an hour or so of homework, and all the afterschool curricula activities. One of the main benefits of homeschooling and homesteading, is the quality time that it allows families to spend together.
Doing chores together can really strengthen bonds between children and parents. It gives you plenty of times to instill your family values into your children, to ensure they have a strong connection with you, and a deep knowledge of who they are. When you spend so much time together, it also requires plenty of teamwork and compromise, which are both fantastic lessons for children to learn.
A study from the Nature of Americans, found that 8-12 year old’s spend triple the amount of time inside, sat in front of a screen, than they do outdoors! When you raise your children on a homestead, you don’t need to worry about the amount of time they’ll be getting outdoors, because you can pretty much guarantee it’ll be more than they spend indoors!
There are so many opportunities for outdoor leaning, from growing plants, pulling weeds, and caring for all the animals! Physical activity just becomes an integral part of their lifestyle, rather than something that they have to make time! Homeschooling and homesteading complement each other really well. There are plenty of benefits to both ways of life, including more freedom to do the things you enjoy and spend quality together as a family!
David Woods is a carpenter, outdoorsman, and author with more than 30 years of professional woodworking experience. He is the author of best-seller How to Build a Log Home and has educated more than half a million people on how to build a log cabin via his blog, Log Cabin Hub. Read all of his MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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