Well said, thank you so much for the insight. Wow 160 acres in Alaska, a dream come true for me. I love the idea of children as apprentices. I guess a homesteaders dream is to one day pass the household on to their younger ones to prosper, no better way of getting a quality hand than to teach them from day one. Great advice. Church has many great advantages besides the obvious. A good church is an endless resource for friendships and advice.
Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
As far as 'socializing the children', as others have already said, that's best accomplished by loving parents, with judicious and supervised play time with other children once in a while. The most mature, well-balanced children are those who have spent most of their time with adults. If you are meeting two children for the first time, one of them homeschooled, the other one classroom educated, you will almost always be able to tell which is which simply because the homeschooled child will be comfortable having a conversation with adults, and the classroom educated child won't. I have strong opinions on what we have done to several generations in this country with classroom education, but that's another story for another day. Anyway, the point is, children, especially small ones, NEED time with their parents. They don't NEED time with other children until they are older. 4-H has been mentioned, and that's an excellent thing for children, and at about the right age -- they usually need to be nine to start that (although I think they do have programs for younger children). Same with Brownies and Cub Scouts, or church programs for children. But they DON'T need 'play-dates' or anything like that. Give your little ones a sled in the winter, their own little shovel, and in the summer a sand box and a few toy cars; a doll or some toy tools in the house, and SPEND TIME WITH THEM! Let them tag around with you learning all the time. Mentor them! Teach them! Don't toss them in and let them flounder on their own; consider them apprentices and help them grow! (Ditto for your wife.)
I expect that taking a school age kid and yanking them out of school/sports/whatever else and taking them to a farm and suddenly demanding a huge chore list when non were demanded before is going to have a profound and possibly very negative effect. Add to that some very negative social encounters in the new situation and they will have a strong opinion of the country life.