Sure, it’s dirty. It’s sweaty. And sometimes, it’s downright unpleasant.
But homesteading is more than just a catchword – it’s a way of life.
If you have kids, there are lots of benefits to raising them in this lifestyle. Not only will homesteading help your child recognize the value of hard work, but it will educate them on the value of life.
Regardless of how large or small your homestead maybe – you could even be homesteading in the middle of the city! – there are lots of benefits to raising your children in this fashion.
Homesteading Guide 2020
1. The value of hard work
Too often in our society, we look for the easy way out. We try to find the quickest and simplest way to do something – and while that may save time and money, it rarely makes you feel good about yourself.
Teaching children to value hard work from a young age is one of the biggest benefits of modern homesteading. Sure, it can be a tough lifestyle – but there’s nothing quite as rewarding as being able to stand back and admire the results of all of your hard work, whether it’s a bountiful garden, a new fence, or anything else.
2. Boxed entertainment is overrated
When kids grow up on a farm or homestead of any size, they very quickly learn that they are surrounded by entertainment. Raise a child on a homestead, and you probably won’t even need a television. Your kids will be surrounded by things to do and places to explore.
3. How to create
As a corollary to the last point, homesteading teaches kids to create new things. We are a society of consumerism – far too often, it’s easier to buy something than it is to just make it. When you raise kids in a life of self-sufficiency, they learn how to bake, cook, garden, build – they learn how to harness their creativity to make something new and useful.
Whether it’s caring for a sick lamb or tending to a wounded chicken, the value of compassion can’t be overrated. It’s something that’s difficult to teach, especially to very young children. Knowing how to be compassionate is important to create healthy, well-adjusted adults.
Your ram might be stubborn and drag you around the yard as you attempt to shear him. The gate might constantly be getting stuck. You might have one heck of a time getting those seedlings to make it through the dry spell! But no matter what, when you have a homestead, you keep ongoing.
That’s one big benefit of homesteading that lots of people overlook. Your kids will not only learn how to work, but they’ll learn how to keep plugging when things don’t quite go their way.
6. How to appreciate where their food comes from
Homestead kids aren’t disconnected from their food supply like many children are. When you know where your food comes from, you appreciate it more. Homestead kids are more likely to try out new foods – and to appreciate the Brussels sprouts on their plates! – because they have seen firsthand how much hard work has gone into it.
7. The value of teamwork
It’s difficult to get by on your own when you have a homestead. It takes a village! Homestead kids know that they are relied upon not only by the animals they are feeding and the plants they are watering, but also by their family. This not only makes kids feel valued, but it helps build their self-esteem, too.
8. How to Be Disciplined
Feel like you need to pull teeth in order to get your kids to do your homework? That’s something that homestead kids are far less likely to struggle with. After all, they know that the cow needs to be milked every morning – whether or not they feel particularly like doing it. Homestead kids can’t grow up lazy because they understand intrinsically that other things depend upon them.
This is something that very few adults have even mastered – yet for homestead kids, it comes as a second nature. When you live on a homestead, you understand that nothing can happen overnight (and again, not without a lot of hard work!). It takes a long time to see results.
Whether you’re waiting several years for a beef cow to be old enough for slaughter or simply waiting a few months for your tomato harvest to mature, living on a homestead teaches you that a bit of patience now pays off later – even if the wait can be torturous!
10. Gender Roles Are Nonexistent
It doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or a girl on a homestead – you still need to work. HOmestead girls often do the same things boys do, and vice versa. Girls can wrangle pigs, and boys can make delicious pie crusts. When you grow up on a homestead, you quickly learn not to be defined by those labels.
Whether you already have kids and are thinking about starting a homestead – or perhaps vice versa! – know that there are so many short-term and long-term benefits to doing so. Growing up on a homestead is not the easiest way to live – but it’s definitely the best.