Homeschooling on the Homestead: Tips to Help You Get Started


Homeschooling on the homestead is the new normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some tips to help you incorporate homeschooling into your daily routine on the homestead. #homesteadhomeschooling #homeschoolingonthehomesteadHomeschooling has, traditionally, gone hand-in-hand with homesteading. Families whose lives are centered around their homes have often chosen to homeschool their children too, blending curriculum seamlessly with domestic life.

Not to mention, many homesteaders value self-sufficiency and independence, which can include choosing to educate their children at home, on their own terms.

Nowadays, many homesteading families still choose to homeschool their children. 

Full disclosure: I am not a homeschooling mama.

Not that I have anything against homeschooling. In fact, I used to be a teacher and have often romanticized the idea of keeping my daughter at home, sitting around the kitchen table with her doing read-alouds and math problems and science experiments together.

But for me, I really need space and silence to get my work done. And, being a (seemingly) extroverted only child, she needs the social atmosphere that her school provides.

That being said, I can certainly see the value and appeal of educating children at home, and I like to incorporate aspects of home-based education with my daughter during the many hours she is at home with us.

I also happen to know many other homesteaders who do homeschool their kids, so I invited one of them here to share her experiences so that others can glean wisdom and ideas from someone with first-hand experience as a full-time homeschooling family.

 

Homeschooling: The ‘New Normal’

With the past couple years being what they’ve been with the pandemic and all, many, many people –both homesteaders and non-homesteaders alike– have suddenly found themselves having to incorporate homeschooling into their schedules for the first time.

Whether by choice or necessity, it’s not easy to add homeschooling to our already very full plates. Especially as homesteaders, we’ve got the extra work of gardening, cooking and preserving, plus all sorts of other domestic tasks that take our time and attention. For anyone who’s new to it, homeschooling can just feel like one more weight on our already tense shoulders, especially during a year when stress and anxiety is at an all-time high as we all try to adapt to the “new normal.”

And so, for this reason, I’m excited to introduce you to someone who does know what she’s talking about when it comes to balancing homeschooling on the homestead!

Ginny Aaron is a homeschooling mom of three. She’s also a full-time homesteader and keeper of around 60 chickens, three rabbits, six goats, five bottle calves, and about a “bzzilion” bees (blame Ginny for that pun;).

Needless to say, she’s a very busy woman at the best of times, and today she’s here sharing her best tips for incorporating homesteading and homeschooling with your daily routine so that educating your children at home doesn’t just feel like “one more thing” on your to-do list.

If you’re one of the many mothers and fathers faced with homeschooling your kids for the first time this year, whether you’ve got 50 acres in the country and a herd of cattle to tend to or a small house and backyard garden in the suburbs, you’re sure to glean wisdom, ideas and inspiration from Ginny’s approach to homeschooling.

But don’t take my word for it. Read on, and be sure to leave a comment below to let us know what you think, or tell us how you’re approaching your child’s education this year!

 

Related: How to Prepare Your Kids For An Emergency At School

 

Tips From A Homesteading, Homeschooling Mom of Three

We’ve been a homeschooling family for the past three years. I’ve researched extensively, read books, joined groups, asked questions and have had people give me many opinions *ahem* on our decision.

We combine a wonderful curriculum with real life experience. Because life does not require you to just know your reading, math, and language arts.  It requires life skills, discipline, routine, planning and the ability to follow instructions.

My name is Ginny Lynn Aaron and I am so excited to be sharing a part of our family story with you!

I’m originally from a town near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I met my husband while he was working in Ohio. I was a single mother at the time and never thought that I would be ready to meet the man of my dreams, but that is exactly what happened. After some time, his job ended in Ohio and it was time for him to come back home to Texas.

We had a hard decision in front of us. We were still under a year of being in a relationship. But I knew that it was time to take the biggest chance of my life.

I said our goodbyes to family and friends, loaded the car and we hit the road. This city girl, who loved the nightlife in the city, the convenience of close shopping, and the everyday hustle that it brings was moved onto a red dirt road and tucked back into the woods of East Texas. It’s been an adventure to say the least.

My husband Robert is a hard-working man who has been in the oilfield industry for close to two decades. Triple 13 Livestock, our family farm, has been a dream of his. However, his adventurous life of being an oilfield man has kept him steadily traveling.

He has traveled all over the United States and worked in more states than I have ever dreamed of visiting. But after 17 years of that life, I am glad that he has decided that coming back to the dirt road home was the right thing to do. I am so blessed that he chose me to be his partner in achieving his dreams, and how fun the journey has been.

Izzy, our daughter, is 11 years old. She loves to cook and bake, and she loves to bottle feed our calves. She’s a terrific helper when it comes to helping with her brothers or cooking supper. There is not a challenge that she will not conquer, head on. She’s a strong young lady and I could not be more pleased with how well she’s growing up.

Maddox is our 9-year-old son. He’s more laid back, but he loves to get outside and all but roll in the mud. He is his daddy’s helper and loves to make him proud. Though he may not always remember to wash his hands, he can tell you exactly how to mend a hole in the fence!

Our youngest son, Axyl, is seven years old and is as spirited as they come. He will talk your ear off, run circles around the yard, and climb the fence posts to hang upside down. Axyl isn’t always the most eager to help tend to animals, pick weeds from the garden, or complete his chore of straightening the bathroom, but if you need a good laugh, a great big hug, someone to read you a story, or someone to snuggle with, he’s all in!

We use a terrific curriculum, but we know that education is much more than just opening books and writing answers on the lines.

Here’s how we incorporate homeschooling with daily life on our homestead, broken down by subject…

 

Language Arts/Reading

Along with following our curriculum, we apply language arts skills into our daily routine.

The children all share the responsibility of writing our shopping lists. We work on their proper grammar, punctuation, and handwriting by writing letters to family members and friends. They love to use this time to practice their art skills and draw and paint pictures to send along with their letters. I also have them keep journals.

They keep a Bible journal to write their daily verse in and they put into their own words how that verse is useful in their lives. Izzy loves to do her weekly lesson plans and fill out her planner.

For reading, we love to visit our local library. Axyl goes straight for the computers, Maddox heads directly to the comic books and Izzy goes straight for the chapter books! They get to choose one book that they want to read, and I have them each get a book on a subject they’d like to learn. It could be a book about woodworking, lightning, plants, the Periodic Table of Elements, the options are never-ending!

Homeschooling is becoming the new normal thanks to COVID-19. Here are some tips to help you incorporate homeschooling into your daily homesteading routine. #homesteadhomeschooling #homeschoolingonthehomestead

The point is, you don’t need to read specific texts or only write essays, stories and poems in order to teach Language Arts. Instead, incorporate Language Arts into your existing daily routine and let your kids choose what interests them. This makes it much easier and more enjoyable for both the teacher and the students!

 

Math

Math can be monotonous, frustrating, and bring the whole vibe of the day down! It isn’t their favorite subject to sit drill (and who could blame them). But math can be incorporated into all sorts of tasks, from cooking and baking to gardening and finances…

First, we spice things up in the kitchen! We get to work on mental math skills, fractions, weight conversions, temperature, and the dreaded “telling of time” while we work on cooking and baking projects.The kitchen is such a great place to practice these useful math skills, plus it shows how to apply them in real life!

In the garden, we keep simple math skills sharp, such as grouping and counting by 5’s or 10’s by counting out seeds for our new gardens. The kids learn record-keeping and a little about accounting. Izzy is even practicing calculating area and perimeter as we plan our new square-foot garden!

Homeschooling on the homestead is the new normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some tips to help you incorporate homeschooling into your daily routine on the homestead. #homesteadhomeschooling #homeschoolingonthehomestead

She’s a planner by nature, so she gets to draw up ‘blueprints’ for the garden. She will calculate the area, research how far plants need to be spaced out, and draw out the plans so we know what is to be planted where. It’s a well-honed system…usually;)

They help figure out how much the grocery bill will be. We practice math in the car when we go for drives (ie. How many songs can we listen to before we reach our destination? We are driving 65 mph and our destination is 60 miles away, when will we get there? Etc.)

Every moment in life can be used as a learning moment, for you and your children. Education doesn’t have to be separate from daily life. And truly, it shouldn’t be.

 

Science

Science is a favorite subject for all of the kids (and the teacher, too!). We tend to bounce around in science and incorporate their lessons with whatever we’re doing that day.

If we’re planting a new garden bed, we go over how plants grow. How do they reproduce? What’s the life cycle of a plant? What do plants need to survive?

Digging in the soil and observing natural life is a great way to get kids interested in science and asking questions about the world around them!

If we’re making changes to our calves’ bottles, we go over the life cycle of a cow and how their stomachs work. That works well with the goats, too. Collecting and packaging eggs to sell? That’s a perfect day to talk about the life cycle of chickens!! Why do hens lay eggs and what is needed to fertilize them?

Homeschooling is becoming the new normal thanks to COVID-19. Here are some tips to help you incorporate homeschooling into your daily homesteading routine. #homesteadhomeschooling #homeschoolingonthehomestead

We get to hunt for bugs and look at them closely. We really love to learn about honeybees! We’ll go to our hive and watch the new baby bees doing their orientation flights, watch the worker bees bringing back pollen and open the hive up and go on a search for the “torpedo butt” queen! It’s all just so exciting! Science is the subject that makes me forget that I’m the teacher because we get so caught up in the learning.

Homeschooling is becoming the new normal thanks to COVID-19. Here are some tips to help you incorporate homeschooling into your daily homesteading routine. #homesteadhomeschooling #homeschoolingonthehomestead

We incorporate science into cooking and baking as well!

Why does a cake rise? What ingredient do we put in it to make it rise? What happens if we use baking soda instead of baking powder? Sometimes we will mess up a recipe JUST to see what happens and how it is affected! Don’t worry, we will still make it edible!

 

Social Studies

We love to visit local museums and learn about how our great state was founded and established. While Robert traveled for work, we used that as an opportunity to visit many museums and learn about each area.

If you ever get to come to Texas, it comes HIGHLY recommended that you visit the Washington on the Brazos State Park. The park is absolutely beautiful, the museum is educational, interactive and it is so fun that you forget that you’re learning.

When it comes to learning about history, the library is a great place to start. But there are tons of great videos for kids on YouTube that make learning about the past both fun and entertaining. You could also have your kids act out historical events and perform them for you, which incorporates art and drama into your homeschool curriculum too!

 

Find teachable moments in the everyday

One of the greatest misconceptions about homeschooling is that we need to do it just like public school. But what if you are homeschooling because your child didn’t thrive in public school? If you mimic the routines and lessons that you took your child away from, what’s the point of homeschooling?

Homeschooling is becoming the new normal thanks to COVID-19. Here are some tips to help you incorporate homeschooling into your daily homesteading routine. #homesteadhomeschooling #homeschoolingonthehomestead

Throughout history, until very recently, education has happened at home.

The truth is, there are teachable moments to be found all throughout our days so long as we take a little time to stop and recognize them and capitalize on the lessons to be learned in everyday tasks.

You don’t have to sit at a desk for 6-7 hours a day drilling kids’ minds full of memorization, repetition, and bookwork. Not to mention, what takes a public-school teacher 45 minutes to teach to 25+ children, you can teach your child in 15 minutes! You have the added advantage of knowing your children and their passions well. And if you don’t know their passions well, homeschooling gives you a fantastic opportunity to learn more about them as people and bond more as a family.

The bottom line is that homeschooling is exactly what YOU make it, and my family has decided to make it fun and captivating while still being very educational. It’s an adventure, and in these uncertain times, nothing makes me happier than being on this adventure every day with my family.

 

* If you’re interested in learning more about homeschooling, the Fall 2021 issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine breaks down the many different educational methods and models available to new and seasoned homeschoolers alike, and features an inspiring and enlightening interview with Allyson Speake, homeschooling mom of two, trained professional educator and creator of the popular nature-based education site Tanglewood Hollow. Subscribe here to read it for free or become a member and get unlimited access to this issue and to our entire library of past issues!

Plus, whether you’re a homeschooler or not, if you’re looking for some well-rounded, fact-based learning materials to help enrich your children’s education at home, our affiliate partner, Britannica Kids offers a wide range of age-appropriate educational resources for kids from Pre-K all the way to high school. Their subscription program gives kids access to more than 100,000 articles, images and videos, as well as lessons and projects on the Activities Corner, a dictionary powered by Merriam-Webster, and interactive country data. You can check out everything they have to offer right here.


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
You Might Also Like
My Favourite Things – 2022 Edition (aka. The Modern Homesteader’s Christmas Wish List)

My Favourite Things – 2022 Edition (aka. The Modern Homesteader’s Christmas Wish List)

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.   Every year around this time, I compile a list of my favourite things: Things that I love, use or covet for my own homestead, and things that I know other modern...

read more

Homemade Beef Jerky Recipe (Dehydrator + Oven Instructions)

Homemade Beef Jerky Recipe (Dehydrator + Oven Instructions)

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.   Homemade beef jerky is a delicious way to preserve meat for food storage and for easy transport to take on hikes, camping trips, road trips and to pack in a...

read more

“Not eating mushrooms is like not eating an entire food group… And a healthy one.”

Mushrooms have had a bit of a bad rap in the west for a long time. Depending on the type of mushroom in question, they’ve either been regarded as something to turn your nose up at or even something to be afraid of.

But in recent years mushrooms have started gaining momentum as both medicine and superfoods, and with more and more people looking for natural alternatives to conventional (and often harmful) prescription drugs, psychedelic mushrooms are even being legalized and used in small (micro) doses to treat mental health issues with promising results.

The story of mushrooms and the entire fungi kingdom is as complex and captivating as the mycelium networks they fruit from, and the potential health and wellness benefits of adding more mushrooms into our diets and lives are only just beginning to be understood.

I sat down with Louis Giller of @northsporemushrooms for the winter issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine to talk all about the wonderful world of fabulous fungi, how to get started foraging or growing mushrooms at home (even if you live in an apartment!), and why mushrooms of all kinds (edible, medicinal and psychedelic) are rightfully having a moment right now.

If becoming more self-sufficient and optimizing your overall health and wellness is part of your master plan for 2023, mushrooms should definitely be a part of your approach.

Start by checking out my full interview with Louis in the winter issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine - Link in bio to sign in or subscribe.

And while you’re there, be sure to check out our feature on medicinal mushrooms, as well as our elevated mushroom recipes, all of which make perfect winter meals for your family table.

Link in bio @anna.sakawsky or head to https://modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

#mushrooms #medicinalmushrooms #eatyourshrooms #fantasticfungi #homesteading #modernhomesteading
...

12 0

When I first started growing my own food at home, the gardening world seemed pretty black and white to me: plants grow in the dirt, outdoors, in the spring and summer. That’s what us city kids always learned in school anyway.⁣

And obviously that’s not wrong, but once you get into gardening and growing food, a world full of endless possibilities starts to open up, including growing food indoors year-round.⁣

Sprouts are considered to be a superfood because of how nutrient dense they are and when we eat them, we get the health benefits of all of those nutrients in our own bodies.⁣

If you live in a climate that remains colder half the year or more, sprouts can be an excellent way to get the benefits of gardening even when it's not "gardening season". ⁣

I've got a full list of tips & tricks on growing sprouts indoors all year round that includes: ⁣

-How to grow sprouts⁣
-Different ways to use them ⁣
-Where to buy seeds and more! ⁣

Visit this link https://thehouseandhomestead.com/grow-sprouts-indoors/ or check the link in my bio to see all the details.
...

16 4

Living a slow, simple life isn’t easy in this fast-paced world.

No matter how much I preach it to everyone else, I still struggle with the guilt, shame and “not enough-ness” that I feel every time I choose rest, relaxation, stillness, disconnectedness or being “unproductive” when I feel I SHOULD be working, hustling, moving, checking emails and being “productive” (which is almost always).

We all know that our culture praises productivity and busy-ness, and most of us know it’s a scam that keeps us stressed, burnt out and focused on the wrong things in life. Ultimately many of us end up feeling unfulfilled even though we’re spinning our wheels every day working to keep up with the demands of the world and our never-ending to-do list. Most of us would rather be resting, relaxing, spending quality time with our loved ones and doing things that light us up rather than simply keep us busy. But it’s hard to break free from the societal pressure to do more, produce more, earn more, acquire more and ultimately BE more.

So while I still struggle with this daily, and I don’t have any easy answers for how to overcome this, I wanted to share that today I’m choosing slow; Today I’m choosing to be present in the here and now rather than worrying about yesterday or tomorrow; Today I’m choosing snuggles with my baby boy over emails and deadlines, and while I still feel that guilt rising up inside me, I’m making a conscious effort to remind myself that the world won’t end because I chose to slow down today, and at the end of my life I won’t regret taking this time with my son, but I might regret NOT slowing down to enjoy it.

I encourage you to apply the same thought process to your own life and give yourself permission to slow down and enjoy the gift of time you’ve been given today. After all, you never know when it might be your last day. And if it were your last, how would you wish you’d spent it?
...

146 20

In the dark, bitter cold days of midwinter when we’ve been deprived of quality time in the sunshine and the trees are all bare, it can be easy for almost anyone to feel depressed and to overlook the tiny miracles that are happening all around us.⁣

Signs of life abound, even in the dead of winter! ⁣

Connect with nature and enjoy the little things to help beat the winter blues. Go for a walk in the woods or the park and really pay attention to the natural world around you. Watch the songbirds flitting back and forth, gathering winter berries. Look for signs of greenery and new growth; Maybe even some snowdrops or crocuses have begun to emerge from the ground where you live. ⁣

If you're feeling the effects of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) right now, please check out my full list of Natural Ways to Combat SAD and additional resources to seek out help from various care providers here https://thehouseandhomestead.com/natural-ways-treat-seasonal-affective-disorder/ or visit the link my bio. ⁣

Spring is coming!
...

69 2

While most people run to the store every time they need something, you and I are not most people. Oh no friend… We are modern homesteaders.⁣

We’re a special breed, and one thing that sets us apart is that we are always thinking about preparing for the future and about stocking up when the things are abundant (and cheap!) which they aren't so much right now. ⁣

When it comes to citrus fruits, if you live in a place where you can grow them yourself, then you’ll probably have more than you can handle fresh when they’re in season. Knowing how to preserve them will help ensure nothing gets wasted.⁣

Whether you're a seasoned homesteader or this is your first season preserving, I've got a hearty list of ideas of how to get the most out of your citrus fruits for the year to come! Visit the full list here https://thehouseandhomestead.com/12-ways-use-preserve-citrus-fruits/ or check out the link in my bio. ⁣

What do you usually do with your extra citrus fruits? Have you tried any of these preservation methods?⁣

Let me know in the comments below!
...

18 1

Checking in on all my #homesteadpantrychallenge participants today :) ⁣

During the pantry challenge I always find it pretty easy to make my way through the canned items. A side dish here, a breakfast there, but what about bulk items that we have on hand like bags of sugar and flour?⁣

Well have no fear, this bread recipe is a game-changer! Not only does it only require 3 simple ingredients (plus water), it can be whipped up in a bowl using an ordinary kitchen spoon and it comes out perfect every time. It will help you make your way through that 5lb bag of flour just sitting on the shelf, and it only takes a couple minutes to prepare. ⁣

This is a really nice bread to dip in olive oil and balsamic vinegar or as part of a spread or cheese board. For the full recipe click here https://thehouseandhomestead.com/easy-no-knead-homemade-bread/ or visit the link in my bio. ⁣

Let me know how it turns out and if you decide to add any herbs or other toppings to spice it up, I want to hear about it!
...

14 0

I’ve tried my hand at many skills and tackled my share of adventurous projects over the years. Along my homesteading and journey I’ve tried everything from candle-making to cheesemaking, sourdough bread to fermented vegetables, canning and dehydrating to rendering lard and more. When it comes to home medicine, I’ve learned how to make may useful concoctions, from herbal teas, tinctures and syrups to poultices, salves, ciders and more. But encapsulating my own placenta after the birth of our son was definitely a first, and by far my most adventurous “kitchen project” and foray into home medicine so far.

I have to admit, I was a bit squeamish at first, but I’m fascinated by this kind of stuff and love learning skills that allow me to take my health and well-being into my own hands. I also love challenging myself to try new things and pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

A few of the possible benefits of consuming placenta after birth include:

• Hormones in the placenta can improve mood and lessen symptoms of postpartum depression
• Can reduce postpartum bleeding
• Provides a natural source of iron and other micronutrients
• Can help boost milk production

And did you know, around 99% of mammals are know to consume their placenta after birth? Only humans and marine mammals do not typically consume their placenta.

But more and more humans are opting to consume their placentas after birth to reap the potential health benefits. The most popular way to do so is through encapsulation.

First the placenta is steamed, then it is sliced thin and dehydrated before being ground up into a fine powder. The you add that powder into some capsules using an encapsulator and you’re done!

I’ve been taking 2 capsules 4x/day for the past week. Any real results are yet to be seen but I didn’t want to pass up the only chance I’ll probably get to try my hand at this home medicine project! I mean, you just never know when this skill might come in handy;)

So tell me, what’s the most adventurous thing YOU’VE tried in the name of homesteading and/or natural health? Comment below and let me know!
...

136 16

Since the weather is often cold, dark and gloomy, there aren’t as many fun, free things to do outdoors, so it’s easy to blow your budget on other things that will help you beat cabin fever like eating out, going to the movies and even going shopping just for something to do.⁣

But the flip side to this is that, once January hits, many people are motivated by the fresh start the new year brings and are ready to hunker down for a while and get their finances on track after the holidays. So in many ways that makes winter the perfect time of year to adopt some frugal habits. ⁣

Visit this link https://thehouseandhomestead.com/12-frugal-living-tips-for-winter/ or the link in my bio for the full list of Frugal Winter Living tips, and if you're already looking and planning towards Spring you'll also find more frugal living tips for every season linked at the bottom of the list!
...

19 1

Our#homesteadpantrychallenge is in full-swing and now that our little one has arrived, simple and frugal pantry meals are a necessity to ensure we are getting adequate rest and not overdoing it during these newborn days. ⁣

When I'm staring at the pantry wondering what to make, I love referring back to this list for a little bit of inspiration for either bringing back an old recipe, or creating a new one. ⁣

𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁'𝘀 𝗜𝗻𝗰𝗹𝘂𝗱𝗲𝗱: ⁣
Breakfasts⁣
Soups⁣
Homemade Breads⁣
Main Dishes⁣
Snacks & Sides⁣
Sweets & Treats⁣

So whether you’re trying to save a little extra money on your grocery bill, or prioritizing rest this season these 35 frugal recipes will help you get good, wholesome, delicious homemade food on the table every day, which means you have one less thing to stress about. ⁣

Check out the full list at https://thehouseandhomestead.com/frugal-recipes-roundup/ or visit the link in my bio. ⁣

Eat well friends:)
...

22 1

I hope you had a wonderful and restful end of holidays, and are also feeling ready to get back on track with your daily schedule here in the new year. It can sometimes feel like a lot to get going, but those "regular days" help us to regulate our rhythms, and in turn help us slowly, gear up for the Spring season ahead. ⁣

In our Winter Issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, my friend and fellow homesteader, Ashley Constance of @alittleselfreliant wrote "Breaking Your Cabin Fever" a list of ideas for staying productive over the winter months. ⁣

If you're feeling a bit restless and up to it, this list of ideas is a perfect way to get back into a daily routine. ⁣

From making and creating, to preparing, planning and organizing you'll be feeling ready for Spring in no time. ⁣

To see the full list, subscribe to Modern Homesteading Magazine here at https://modernhomesteadingmagazine.com/subscribe/ or visit the link in my bio.
...

37 0

© The House & Homestead | All Rights Reserved | Legal