Winter is a Great Time to Hit the Books and Learn Life Skills

Written January 2010 for Christian County Headliner News, MO

January and February are great months to get er’ done! We always hit the books hard and get as much school work done as possible. With all the cold weather and being stuck inside it makes getting this done easier. When the weather is nice we are more tempted to get involved in so many activities that we don’t always complete our “seatwork” for the day. If you are like us, we do all year schooling. Come January and February we work hard. March is gardening season so we try to have the bulk of our seat work done by then. April May, June, and July we just to do a couple of hours a day and spend the rest of the day planning in detail our garden and planting. We map, measure, and research.

I want my kids to have a good “book” education, but it is also my responsibility to teach them to live and survive. My kids will know how to plan, plant, maintain, and harvest a garden. They will learn how to cut wood, build a fire, run a generator, and process a squirrel and deer. These are life skills I feel they should have. With the cold weather do my older teens know how to wire a generator to their home to keep their family warm if the power goes out? Do they know what kind of wood to cut and how to make sure their fireplace is clean so they don’t burn down their house? Can they build a fire? There have been times in my life that I was so poor that if my family hadn’t known how to do these things we would have froze and starved. We used to trap beaver and ice fish all winter. We had a garden all summer and canned it in the fall. We killed as many deer as we could and had venison all winter. My dad would bring rabbits home for dinner. One year my mom even killed more pheasant with her car for us to eat than my dad did with his gun. When my sister and I heard the engine rev and felt the car swerve, we knew she was going for the pheasant for dinner!

If you don’t know these things yourself go to the farmer down the road. They’ll tell you everything they think you need to know! I do believe a good textbook education is important, but I also feel that all the book education does not guarantee success in life. An education coupled with good character, a work ethic, and life skills will make a well rounded adult. So, mom and dad, while you plan out your spring and summer, don’t forget to get out there and teach your kids how to work hard and survive.