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importance of life skills - Page 3

post #41 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by bczmama View Post
Isn't a bunch of farm work just repetitive tasks? Animals have to be fed, watered and mucked out, gardens have to be plowed, planted, weeded, etc. To be realistic, maybe the first three or four times your daughter is doing some of these things its "learning". The rest of the time its just chores.

Honestly -- unless your daughter wants to live your same lifestyle, many of these skills are not of much value. Of course, I'm over 30 and have never changed my own oil and feel not a whisker of guilt/angst/personal failure about it. The day I do, I'll google "how to change oil", and follow the instructions.
While I agree that you probably aren't learning much the 50th time you feed the chickens, I think there is a larger lesson to be learned from being part of something like this. Seeing a challenging task through to completion, learning how to deal with set-backs, learning how to juggle responsibilities and prioritize... These are all valuable skills. As an adult, I struggle with getting all the way through large projects, while my dh, who was involved in large projects as a teen knows to expect difficulties and setbacks, and has learned to keep going despite these things.

For the OP, I live in a farming area, and I think even the farmers would be uncomfortable with your first post here-- If I were you, I wouldn't bring up your need for more help around the homestead as a motivation for homeschooling (after all, most farmers send their kids to school and figure out how to run the farm without them). I'm still not sure how you intend to find time to homeschool your dd on top of everything else, but talking about needing her to do more chores gives the wrong impression, IMO.

ZM
post #42 of 49
I think homesteading is a fine reason to home school. My little family is far from self-sufficient at this point, but I think anything we can do to provide for ourselves is very valuable. It really irks me how little value people place on farm "chores". Those daily tasks of running a farm are important for children to learn about so that they at least will understand where their food comes from and their place in taking care of/preserving the earth for future generations. Do you you all honestly believe that we as a country are going to be able to consume at the same level indefinitely?? I think those of you who don't teach your children about sustainability on *some* level are doing your children and the whole planet a disservice. Having children participate in a self-sustaining enterprise is extremely valuable, regardless of how redundant the daily chores may be. There is a food and oil crisis going on right now! I think some people need to wake up and see the value in teaching all of the forgotten skills. I think that placing more value on farming and growing healthy, nutrient rich foods that aren't grown with toxic fertilizers and pesticides is going to be very important for our children and their children for generations to come. I wish that I had been raised on a farm or homestead, then I would know how to run one myself without all the trial and error and endless research! Having children observe and help with the family business and food production, preservation, etc. is teaching something that will never be taught in school and that absolutely needs to be taught to our children. No one here is advocating the children "running the household" or the whole family business. In many cultures children are expected to help the family by doing household chores and helping with food and business. I find those values sorely lacking in today's American culture. I think it is also valuable to pursue individual passions and interests, but don't forget that we as people are all connected and connected to the earth we live on as well. We need to learn how to take care of ourselves and the earth so that there will still be something left for our grandchildren and their children to inherit.

This is a natural living website! Living on a homestead and sustaining a family with your own food and making your own clothing is pretty much the epitome of that! I find it refreshing that so many are now considering this lifestyle, and I am positive that more good things will come when people realize that teaching sustainability and interdependence amongst people and the planet is where the future lies.
post #43 of 49
"It really irks me how little value people place on farm "chores". Those daily tasks of running a farm are important for children to learn about so that they at least will understand where their food comes from and their place in taking care of/preserving the earth for future generations. Do you you all honestly believe that we as a country are going to be able to consume at the same level indefinitely?? I think those of you who don't teach your children about sustainability on *some* level are doing your children and the whole planet a disservice."

Kids don't need to live on a farm to learn about where food comes from, the green movement or sustainability. In fact, I'm going to guess that the average "homesteaders" don't neccessarily have a smaller environmental footprint than your average urban or even suburban couple.

I asked my friend with a self-described "hobby farm" what the difference was between that and a "homestead" and she was at a loss. Since I assume you're not exactly undergoing the equivalent of Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Long Winter", I'm curious what makes a homestead a homestead?
post #44 of 49
RAF....I agree with you! But I do not see that as the essential question that needs to be addressed:

Does the child want to leave school - for whatever plsn the OP has mapped out?

IF she doesn't - who gets the final say in this situation?

I had my own (thankfully resolved - Ds has decided to HS on his own) situation fairly simialr to this:

I wanted to HS Ds for a variety of what I believe to be very good reasons, and DS wasn't so sure. Being in limbo about the whole thing was really hard on me. I do not know if you are struggling with this, OP, but I think in hindsight I should not have let the indefinateness go on in my head as long as it did. I think, with an 11 yr old, if you have really good reasons to HS - you can say "I am going to insist you give it a shot". If they really dislike it - they can return to school - and they might have learned some really valuable things during their stint of HS!

KAthy
post #45 of 49
To the OP... I don't see any problem w/ your reasons for wanting to hs. Farms need lots of work, and children should help out. I'm sure I'll get slack here from saying this...but...you are the parent. You get final say over whatever is planned as long as your dd is a child and lives at home.

fyrflymommy
post #46 of 49
I think life skills is an excellent consideration. These days mundane daily skills are considered to have little or no value. I believe there is joy to be found in doing them (granted I am often trying to find it, lol). I had a friend who told me once that when she finished tidying up her house in the mornings she looked forward to it getting messy again so she could do it over. I was floored! However, I thought--that's the attitude I want to have, (why? because messes do happen on a daily/hourly basis--why not have a good attitude about it!?!), and that's the feeling I want generated in my home.

I think anything that helps us be well-rounded is worth consideration. They aren't learning life skills at school--and if your house is anything like mine when mine were in school--there was almost non-existent time to teach the daily skills. Hats off to those of you who can do it when your kids are in school! I couldn't, and homeschooling has been a blessing to our family in that regard.

Anyway, good luck to you and your family in deciding what's best for all of you.

Dain
post #47 of 49
OP, I hope you're still reading this thread because I'd like to throw my 2 cents in too!

When I was 12 years old, my mom was expecting a baby. One of the reasons I regret that we didn't know about homeschooling back then was that I missed out on so much of that time with my little sis. Not only due to the time spent in school but also all the social problems of school that distracted and worried me. Although I did love my sister, I didn't see her much and when I did, I was sometimes crabby, both from lack of sleep and the stress of school (and I worked various jobs all through high school).

I do think I would have benefitted tremendously from having had so much more time to be with my mom and baby/toddler sister and to participate more in the running of the household (but not in a forced, do-your-chores-or-else way). I feel I would have had the time and space to follow some interests as well. I think that in my case those years were squandered.

You said your DD enjoys the homesteading lifestyle so it doesn't sound like it will be a drag for her, but I would be careful not to make her come home and stay home, with no say in the matter. Maybe you could persuade her to try it next year and see how it goes for a few months. She might enjoy sleeping in later and having more time to call her own so much that she won't want to go back.

And of course I agree with others who mentioned that she may develop other interests that take up a chunk of her time and energy and she should be able to follow those interests even if they conflict somewhat with the running of the homestead (though I imagine it's the rare interest that could take up as much time as 6-4 everyday plus an hour of homework).

Good luck!
post #48 of 49
To answer the original question, yes. I think that learning life skills can be a reason to homeschool. My mom was in the "free time after school" camp and when I started my own household, I had no idea of how to run things, what chores to do and how often, etc. To the point that even if my kids chose to go to school, they would have the same amount of chores. Their choice to attend school would cut into their playtime, not their work.
post #49 of 49
I didn't know how to do anyting when I got married. So, much of my early years was just learning the basics. I know my mom meant well, but she did little in the way of preparing me for the real world. I cannot express how much having these skills would have prevented sooo much stress. I was so overwhelmed and helpless my first few years, I was robbed of much of the joys of the early years with my first little ones.

I intend that none of my children are left without the tools they need when they need them.
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