Homesteading kids learn many things through this life but I offer these 7 virtues that I see on a regular basis. You’ll notice the pictures are all of the youngest of my 4 kids; she loves this life and posing for pictures. 😉
Whether we are planting seeds, feeding rabbits are harvesting vegetables, we are together. I want my kids to understand the value of working with a team, being reliable and being ok with relying on others. It is a fine balance to know how team work benefits our lives and we learn this on our little micro farm.
I am not talking parental discipline, this is self-discipline. This is the discipline we enact in our own lives. There are days when when they don’t, and I don’t, want to do the work around the homestead to keep it going. But the garden and animals are not going to grow and thrive without our care. Hard work pays off and this is a virtue our society is devaluing more and more; I am happy to be instilling this in my kids.
Anyone who has grown a garden knows that you don’t harvest things the next day. Gardening teaches patience through the sowing of a tiny seed, tending to its growth and eventually enjoying the fruits (or veggies) of that labor. I don’t have to make this happen, it happens naturally during every season of planting, tending and harvesting. I love natural learning!
Kids learn through lives completely dependent on them for food, shelter and caring. They feel for a mother who loses a kit at birth or one that is not getting the nourishment it needs. We have watched our animals grow and we have been part of bringing them to the table as a food source. But in all this they learn to care of the lives that are entrusted to them.
Value of Food
In this country we throw a lot of food away. I know our family was guilty of this at one time. But through homesteading my kids are able to see what it takes to bring food to the table. They know the time and effort that a garden takes to bring delicious vegetables to their plate and the sacrifices made to have a chicken breast there as well. Food is more than just a package that we allow to spoil without thought.
Sharing the Bounty
We our garden overflows and eggs are stacking up, this gives us a chance to be generous with those around us. We can share from our abundance with neighbors, friends at church or a local food bank. This ties into that value of compassion in that we love others with the blessings that God has given us. There is nothing like watching your child share from her Swiss Chard garden box after she’s planted it, watered it, harvested, washed it and brought it out to share. There is such beauty in sharing.
We are but a micro “farm” in an HOA neighborhood. But since we started homesteading here we have also started to envision what we want for the future. The kids have dreams and goals for our future property but they know that it will take work, time and money to achieve this. We live in a world that is very much about instant gratification. Many of us have lost the ability to create a vision and a plan of action to achieve it; I believe homesteading changes that mindset.