Sunday, November 17, 2013

Homesteading Kids

     Homesteading is a family commitment; a conviction that effects everyone in the house. I am often asked how we got our kids on board with our homesteading desires. This question usually leaves me rather stunned at first- get our kids on board? The answer may not be what you think.
     My husband and I both have backgrounds in family farming- our grandparents owned and maintained large, productive farming set ups. The life lessons we learned there are something we desperately wanted our children to have. From birth, our children were introduced to nature and gardening on small scales- visiting farms whenever we could. When talk of homesteading came up, they were eager to jump in. For me, the challenge was not to jump in recklessly- but to  use the opportunity to teach them planning, prepping, and discerning before implementing.
     Homestead responsibilities fall of each member of the family; anyone old enough to scoop feed will. For this reason, decisions to add new elements to a homestead require the entire family's input. Our plan for new additions was 1. discuss, 2. educate, 3. plan, 4. decide. Basically such topics were a mealtime discussion- we shared our idea and explained the purpose of the new addition. From here, we took time to research the habitat, needs, pros/cons, of the animal/garden/etc. Knowing the commitment a thing requires and how to handle it in an emergency are key elements. From there we have to know if there is room on our property, does housing already exist, and how the feed plan would be setup/paid for.
       After many years homesteading with my children I have to say it is the best decision we made. This life offered them a look at God's purpose, plan, and passion better than any lesson I could have taught them. Seeing birth, death, growth, harvest through abundance and times of failure are things learned best through experience. My children are moving forward, but the family homestead offers a place for them to return to- a haven to visit- a comfort and education they can keep.


Dicky Bird said...

Our children loved the animals and wanted them. It was easy to get them to help. Getting up on cold winter mornings - not so much!

Carla Bosteder said...

What a joy to read this.

Simply Scaife Family said...

Thank you, ladies. I do agree- chores on bad weather days is always a challenge, even for me! I am sure our weather days are nothing compared to yours:)