There’s just something about simple living and homesteading that chimes in especially well with home education. When a lot of your time is spent doing down-to-earth things which people have been doing for millennia, it’s so much easier for a child to jump in and participate, than if one’s life is segregated and chopped into many little high-techy cubicles. People of all ages enjoy doing fun and productive things such as planting seeds, gathering food, digging in the earth or taking care of animals.
Read more in my latest Mother Earth News post:
Some home economics is still taught in kindergartens and schools, though it went out of fashion – but even if there were a lot of home economics classes, the best place to learn things like that would still be at home, where cooking, sweeping the floors, sewing, mending, knitting and working in the garden occur as part of our day-to-day lives. A little child learns a lot simply by observing an apron-clad mother, and later by participating in simple tasks.
4 thoughts on “Simple Living With Children”
I really don’t understand the idea that a child who goes to a traditional school doesn’t also learn the basics of home economics at home. My dad taught me to cook exactly as you describe here: by me helping at his elbow. I learned how to clean a house exactly the same way. As with bill paying, etc, etc, etc.
You seem to be under the assumption that children will only learn these things IF they are homeschooled, but if you expect all these “ignorant” parents (as I’m sure you’d assume I would be given my background of going to public school) to drop everything and homeschool their kids, how are they supposed to know all this stuff that you expect them to teach their kids? Unless, gasp! They too were able to learn home economics in addition to getting a public school education.
I have never said that people who went to public school are ignorant, or that it’s impossible to go to school AND learn at home. I do believe that, by its nature, home education is more conductive to learning those useful and practical things that are often overlooked in school.
It is good to get an education from home especially from the ages of 0-8 years of age. Natural learning is the best. Things do get tricky when the child is 9 years old if he or she doesn’t know how to handle a book, spelling and so forth. Sometimes a school can help with motivation for the child. Sometimes a simple on-line learning program can help the child do better in school work. The best basic schools achieve a full basic education by the time the child can “graduate” from basics by the age of 12 or 13. That way the teenage years can focus on moral condition and skills for self-sustainability rather than assuming every child will get fast-paced career.
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Laura, teaching a child reading, writing and basic math shouldn’t be too difficult. We do lessons, but these only take a small portion of our day – more isn’t needed in an efficient setting of one on one learning. As soon as a child is a fluent, voluntary reader, half of the education is complete.