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What does homesteading teach our children?

Part of the reason we started homesteading is to create a healthy life for our children. I am sure if you ask many homesteaders why they started homesteading, then one of the reasons is their children. We want the most for our children, and feel like we can give them this by homesteading. Children can learn so much from homesteading (as can we). What exactly does homesteading teach our children?

Appreciation

Our children know the amount of work that goes into producing our own food and cooking from scratch. They know food doesn’t come out of a box in the store. They know what meat is before it becomes meat, an animal. They experience animals being born, raised and then slaughtered to feed us. Because they know how much time and work goes into the food that ends up on their plates they learn to appreciate it.

Responsibility

We give our children (small) chores to do around the homestead. Our daughter is only 2 so she basically “helps” me with my chores. Our son is 8 and is in charge of feeding the rabbits and keeping their cages clean. This teaches them that they are responsible and that you can’t just say: I don’t feel like it. They do need some motivation sometimes, but don’t we all? Overall children feel important when they are responsible for certain tasks or get to help the adults with chores.

Respect

Homesteading teaches children respect for many different things. Respect for nature because it provides us with our food. Respect for animals because they feed us and keep us company. Respect for what we have and the lifestyle we live. It also teaches them respect for hard work and the rewards we receive by working hard.

Time management

Homesteading requires planning and time management. By helping us with chores the children will understand that planning and setting priorities is important. However, it also teaches them flexibility, because even though you have plans things might not go the way you want. On the homestead we depend on the weather, we may have a task planned, but when it is raining we may have to shift our priorities.

Skills

Homesteading teaches children skills that will benefit them in the future. They may not become homesteaders when they grow up, and that is fine. But we know that they will never go hungry because they can grow their own food. There are so many skills they can learn on the homestead, from cooking from scratch to repairing lawnmowers. Even entrepreneurial skills can be learned on the homestead, they could start their own little business selling eggs or raising meat rabbits.

What else do you think homesteading teaches our children?

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