Living a simple country life is often looked down upon. Farmers, though they literally grow the food on our tables, are often frowned upon for their dirt and rough edges. You always here those in a small country town dreaming of one day living and moving to the big city but you seldom hear of someone dreaming of moving to the farm. There are some lessons, though, that ca only be learned on the homestead.

  1. Working hard is a gift, not a curse.

Some look at the story of the man being tossed from the Garden of Eden and say that’s when man started to work. However, if you truly look at it, man already had work to do; Adam named the animals and had to tend to the garden. It wasn’t until they were tossed from the Garden that God cursed the ground, making it harder for man to work it. Man has always had to work.

So many adults, today, treat work like a four-letter word that should never be uttered. However, you’ve never known a peaceful night’s rest until you lay down your head after an honest day’s work. To know that you worked hard for what you have and have been in God’s will makes for the best sleep ever.

Yes, work can be hard, tough, and dirty, especially on a homestead, but in that moment when you are finally able to see the fruits of your labor, no medicine can make you feel better. Kids growing up on a homestead learn the work is not a curse, but a gift the God has allowed us to have such an awesome responsibility.

2.You don’t need electronics for entertainment.

Living in a small town, you often hear complaints about the lack of “things to do.” While I understand the sentiment, when I was being raised, we found things to do, they didn’t find us. Whenever we would tell mom or dad we were board, they wouldn’t stick an iPad in our face (or wouldn’t if they were invented back then.) They would tell us to go outside and play.

We would use our imagination and skills to dream, create, and build whatever we wanted, within reason. Kids on a homestead learn quickly that it’s not about the iPad or televisions, but about putting your mind to use.

3. How to care for those that need help

There’s nothing that will put a tear in your eye quicker than when a child jumps in to help an animal that can’t help itself. You see that a lot on a homestead, especially when you have several different farm animals. Kids have the tenderest of hearts; even the wildest of boys will quickly jump in to help. The desire to help is not only taught on the homestead; it’s a way of life.

I remember growing up, mom and dad would always be the first to jump when they heard of someone in need. Growing up in a small rural town, you quickly learn everybody’s name and family. Regrettably, it’s hard to keep secrets in such a small town. Many times, I witnessed my father spring in to action, never once asking for anything in return. You don’t see that as often in the city.

4. Girls can be girls, even with dirty hands.

As a little girl growing up in the country, it’s not uncommon to be pushing dirt or manure one minute and then going out on the town the next. A girl that was raised in this way of life has no trouble dealing with an unruly 1,200 lb horse or put a rude chicken in its place. The amount of confidence gained when living this way is incredible.

 

5. Boys can be boys

Today’s world tells boys to sit down and be quiet. So much pressure is put on boys to act calmly that doctors prescribe medicine used to remove symptoms that are essentially taking the boy out of the boy. While there are still times in which boys must learn to be reserved and quiet, living on a homestead allows the boy to let the boy inside of him out. They can be loud, dirt-covered balls of energy, as long as it’s done outside.

6. Just because something is hard doesn’t me it’s impossible

Today, even adults often give up long before something is complete simply because it gets hard. Confidence is lost and projects get left undone. This all starts from the childhood; children who are raised in this lifestyle learn that they CAN do hard things. The pony won’t always go where you want them to, the hay bales are heavy but still need to be stacked, and running the chickens back to the coup is indeed harder than herding cats. In the end, homestead children learn to not give up but to finish strong.

7. Appreciate your food because you grew it.

I remember the first time I started making my own money and buying my own things; I learned the true value of a dollar. Children can be some of the most wasteful when it comes to the food they eat. However, when they have helped to raise, harvest, and prepare the food, it’s not so way to waste when you know the work that goes in to bringing it to the table. Vegetables have to be grown; meat has to come from a living animal. They learn that each deserves respect in its own way.

Life on the homestead isn’t always a bed of roses and there may be times, though rare, when you wonder what life in the city would be like. Know this, the hard work pays off and, in the end, you will see that the benefits far out way the sacrifices.