How To Homestead With Kids in 2021: Schooling and Everything Else

If you plan to invite your children to come along to live on a homestead with you, there are a few things you need to know. 

If there is one thing better than merely having a homestead, it’s living on the homestead with your kids. It’s the ultimate long term bonding experience that will teach your kids numerous critical life roles.

Homesteading with Kids

Homesteads will inevitably have several fun activities for kids to have fun with, like livestock, crop growing, and more. However, fun isn’t the only important thing here.

There are a few facts that you need to know before you do this, but one, in particular, is schooling. This very topic can seem like a mountain to climb in itself, but it’s not that difficult.

There are various ways to make sure your children still learn, which we will cover shortly. Plus, there are a few other things to keep in mind, too.

It may seem challenging, but if you jump into it prepared and knowing what to do, it’ll be a breeze. Let’s go over a few critical aspects of homesteading with kids. 

Schooling Options

Homeschooling

This is a great option to consider if you plan to live on a homestead with your kids. I’ve had the chance to be homeschooled for a partial part of my life, and it’s not bad. 

I learned just as much by being homeschooled that I did in private and public school. There are several types and kinds of homeschools, each often having a unique approach to teaching kids. Many of them are online in the modern times we live in now. 

This would require an internet connection, which could be acquired through satellite internet

There are others, however, that allows the parents to teach their children either by using books or by doing the work on the computer and sending in the completed work and test each week, for example. 

This work could be sent in by taking a trip to town and connecting to the WiFi at a library if you did not have satellite internet. 

Nevertheless, it’s a perfect option, although you should make sure your children have an adequate amount of interaction with other kids since they will live and be schooled full-time at home, likely far out of town. 

Public School

This may be an unpopular option among some homesteaders for a couple of reasons. 

First, there are not many public schools out of town, which means you may have to travel, in some cases, quite a ways twice each day to take your kids to school and bring them back home. 

However, there are often public schools far out of town, specifically for children who do not have easy access to town. 

I’ve attended a few of these public schools out of town, and it was very similar to the ones in the city, for the most part. 

There are often school buses that will pick up the kids, as long as they live within ten miles away from school. 

If you do not currently live at a homestead, it may be a good idea to build your homestead near a public school if this option sounds appetizing to you. 

If you live farther than this, though, you’ll have to drive them back and forth to school, but the reason is much bigger and critical than the annoyance, so it’s worth it in the end. 

In some regions, you may find that there are transportation services, which could be used to transfer the kids to and from school. This will be costly. But again, the reason, not the problem.

Private School

I’ve attended two private schools; they were undoubtedly a good experience. If you’re considering transferring your child to private school, then there are a few things to be enlightened about. First, it costs money. 

This probably isn’t a surprise, but virtually all private schools cost hundreds to thousands or more each year. 

However, education is undoubtedly better taught in many cases, and it involves many significant aspects. 

They don’t typically have school buses like public schools do, though. Some of them have privately owned transportation services, which will transfer the children to and from school, but this will cost money. 

The pro to this, though, is that in many cases, even if you live 25 miles away from the school, they will still transport your kids, just for an extra fee. 

This may be included in the tuition, though, but this depends on the school. Some private schools allow both in-school and online learning, so part-time in-school and part-time at home. 

This could be an option to think about, since transportation may be an annoyance, and I don’t blame you. I spent an hour or more in a car every day just to get to and from school, and in some cases, two hours.


More Important Topics

Learning The Trade

A remarkable fact about having your kids live on the homestead is that they’ll learn many valuable skills to use for the rest of their life. 

Perhaps you start them out in the garden and instruct them to plant various crops like tomatoes or okra. 

Before you know it, they’ll be outside doing this all by themselves. Crop growing is undoubtedly a favorite among the kids of a homestead, that’s for sure. 

If you find yourself continually using power tools, let them try a few of them out on occasion. If you’re painting, hand over the brush. 

Bush hogging the field, readying it for tilling? Let your teen hop up on the tractor and teach them how to do this. 

It’s the big picture of it all; teach them now, let them prosper later. Start small, and before you know it, they’ll be up at 5 am getting the goats ready for processing. It is an addicting lifestyle once you learn the trade.

Health & Wellness

An essential aspect to consider if you plan to have your children live on a homestead is their health and wellness. You first need to factor in length between your homestead and a doctor. 

This is critical because if your child ever has an allergic reaction, snake bite, or other emergencies, if the doctor is over an hour away, this may be too far to settle an emergency allergic reaction or snake bite. 

This is true for those of any age, yes, but especially children. You should also factor in your child’s pre-existing conditions if they do have any.

If you have a child with an ailment such as asthma or any other conditions that could prove devastating if a doctor is not close by, you should speak to your doctor and build a bullet-proof plan for any emergencies that could ever occur; it’s essential to think outside of the box with this. 

Keeping Them Entertained

If one thing is for sure, children will get bored at a homestead, especially during winter time when everything has calmed down, such as animal and crop processing or homestead maintenance like grass or weed control, to name a few. 

This calls for a few ways to keep the little ones entertained during these times. 

You could, perhaps, give them a computer with parental controls, and allow them to watch movies, TV, or play games, and limit the time allowed, if you choose. 

You could also consider surprising them with a bicycle if you haven’t already done this. This will keep them active, even during slow times. 

Perhaps build a woodworking shop and teach them how to make cool accessories for their room, or even fun backyard swings or toys.

These will last a lifetime, and your kids will love it. Just because you see yourself and your kids living on a homestead doesn’t mean it’ll be boring at all times, but it is a good idea to look into a few things to keep them entertained.


Does Homeschooling Work?

If you’ve been contemplating the idea of homeschooling your children, then this is an entirely valid question to ask. As mentioned before, I’ve been homeschooled, and I’ve known many others who have been schooled this way, too. 

It’s certainly much different than the typical pattern of schooling, but it does work. 

The materials are the same as they are in a regular in-person school. The only significant difference is that homeschooling lacks a trained instructor. 

This is not a bad thing, though, as the material provided is often adjusted to accommodate this. 

Plus, many homeschools have tutors, and in almost all cases, a teacher is available via phone or video chat to assist the child, or if the child is too young, will explain the issue at hand to you so that you’re able to help your child better. 

If you take a look at SAT scores, those who were homeschooled averaged the same as those who were not, which further back up that homeschooling is just as reasonable as in-person schooling.


Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Find The Best Schools?

First and foremost, you should think hard of what type of school you’d like your child to attend. If you’d prefer a public school, then a quick google search for the public schools in your area will work.

This is when I’d recommend joining groups to talk to other parents whose kids attend the school. In a private school, these worries are less of a concern because no parent will pay for a bad school, but I’d still recommend researching the school before you go further. 

If you are weighing te idea of homeschooling your children, the possibilities are infinite. There are hundreds of homeschools available, each in several formats. You can check here, which will be an excellent starting point.

Is Homesteading A Danger To Kids?

This will vary upon each homestead. You should always assume anything could harm children, including snakes, just to play it safe.

This entails power tools, pesticides, equipment, or tools like saws and hammers. The critical thing to understand here, which is a good idea, is to teach your kids how to stay safe. 

Instead of telling them the hammer is dangerous, allow them to help you hammer in a few nails when you’re building a new chicken coop. It’s better for them to feel like they’re a part of it, rather than feeling the need to sneak and get into trouble.

What Can I Expect If I Pull My Kids Out Of School To Homeschool?

I’ve done this a few times, and although it is significantly life-changing, it’s not as bad as you think. However, there are several precautions that you must take to ensure the well being of your child. The most important thing is to socialize with them regularly. 

If possible, ask the school if your child can stay and still be a part of the junior football team. If this isn’t possible, perhaps sign them up for the YMCA or join online groups local to your area made for other homeschool moms and dads. 

This can give you the chance to let your kids meet other kids and play together. You and the other parents may even consider a visit to your homestead to pet the horses. The possibilities are endless; click here for a few more ideas.


Verdict

If you plan on homesteading, or you have already bitten the bullet and built one, but are expecting a newborn and want to know about the options, then I hope I’ve pointed you in the right direction. 

It’s an essential easy task when deciding a school for your child; after all, it’ll teach them the core of academics they’ll ever need to know. 

It’s not just schooling, though. You’ll need to keep them entertained, which should be easy. 

Homesteading isn’t precisely a child’s paradise, but it does offer endless potential. 

They’ll be able to use their creativity, and you may even consider the occasional project to build a swing, or even perhaps teach them to hunt or raise livestock. 



Written by Bryan Rucker

Brian Rucker has spent his entire life participating in essentially all things homestead. He grew up on a homestead and helped his parents do the day-to-day. Read more of Bryan's articles.