Homesteading with Children

Homesteading with children has always been a given for me.  Raising 9 children and choosing the homestead lifestyle has meant that I’ve needed to find joy in working together toward this common purpose of sustainability and self-sufficiency.

But why would anyone choose the homestead lifestyle, with all of the animals, dirt and work that comes along with it?  Much less, attempt to homestead with small children at their feet?

I believe life should be lived intentionally.

Growing up in the 70’s, my sister and I were raised on PopTarts and Froot Loops.  We ate candy whenever we wanted and rarely ate vegetables…if ever.

There came a point in my life when I wanted to live in a more healthy way.  That point was the day I brought my first baby girl home from the hospital.

Suddenly, our food became very important to me!  Where did this food come from?  Who raised it?  How were the animals treated?

I knew that I wanted to raise my children to not only know where food came from, but how to grow it themselves!

Homesteading with kiddos is definitely the path less traveled, but it’s a very high calling and totally worth it!

 

Homesteading with Children

planting a garden

Homesteading with Children Teaches them Where Food Comes From

One of the main benefits of homesteading with small children is that it provides them with an opportunity to learn about where food comes from.

Did you know that a study in the UK showed that 41% of children didn’t know that eggs came from chickens?  6 out of 10 children thought that it took 10 years to grow a carrot!  Further, almost 25% of the kids surveyed thought that chicken wings and sirloin steak came from pigs!

In today’s world, many children (and parents!) are disconnected from the source of their food. They may never have seen a farm or even met a farmer.

Homesteading gives children a chance to see where their food comes from and how it is grown or raised. This can be a valuable, lifelong lesson for them!

 

children in garden

Homesteading with Children Builds a Strong Bond with Nature

Another benefit of homesteading with small children is that it builds a strong bond with nature.

When I was growing up, I don’t remember noticing the things that I notice now about the world around me.  However, my children do.

They notice the moon at night and often mention what phase it’s in.  My kids notice bird calls and butterflies.  They comment on how good our food tastes, how many kids do that?

I know I didn’t.

Children who spend time on a homestead are more likely to appreciate the natural world and be stewards of the environment when they grow up.

They learn to respect animals, care for them and treat them humanely. 

They also learn how to care for plants and the land.

Raising Backyard Chickens

a child holding a baby chick

Homesteading Develops a Sense of Responsibility in Children

Children learn that they have to take care of the animals and the land if they want their homestead to be successful.

This can be a valuable lesson for them as they grow up and enter the workforce.  Experiencing the “cause and effect” of dealing with animals and plants every day helps children to understand that their actions have consequences.

One of the benefits of homesteading that is often overlooked is that it can help to develop a sense of responsibility in children. When children are involved in the homesteading process, they are given tasks and chores that they are responsible for.  It can also help to teach them the value of hard work and perseverance.

Easy Vegetable Container Gardening

children showing chicken in 4H

Instills a Sense of Self-Sufficiency

One of the main goals of homesteading is to instill self-sufficiency in those who participate in it.

This is especially true for children.

Homesteading gives children the opportunity to learn how to do things for themselves. They learn how to grow food, care for animals, and fix things around the homestead. This can help to instill a sense of self-sufficiency in them that will serve them well throughout their lives.

family with children

Homesteading Creates a Unique Family Experience

One of the best things about homesteading with small children is that it creates a unique family experience.

The children get to experience all aspects of homesteading, from the hard work to the fun.

They also get to spend a lot of time with their parents and siblings. This can help to create a strong family bond that will last a lifetime!

 

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