need homesteaders advice....

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by dinahmoe, May 17, 2010.

  1. dinahmoe

    dinahmoe Songster

    Sep 19, 2009
    central georgia
    i live in georgia on 71 acres.i am a stay at home mom.we raise horses,chickens and heelers.we would love to do more but how?my husband still works but soon hopes to partially retire.we have a garden and i can't even find time to go look at it much less work in it.we do have 2 small kids that are 19mo and 4yo that i never let go anywhere without me so if i can't do it with them i just forget it.i thought of homeschooling but don't know for sure yet i could even do that.
    i have read some of the other BYC members stories and i am in awe of what they do.if anyone has any advice or links to other sites that would be great.
    i have written down a to do list but it doesn't even seem to help because once something gets thrown off schedule there goes the whole day and then the next day is double and so forth.i am the most unorganized person on the they make a pill for this?
    please share with me your daily schedules so i can remember i don't even need to complain and maybe i can use them to make a better schedule for myself.
    i would love to be more self sufficient,but.......good grief!!
    Last edited: May 17, 2010

  2. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Songster

    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    In the homeschooling program I use, I had a 2 year period to complete the kindergarden program, so considering the age of your oldest, order it now and take your time with it. You don't even have to put the child in school until he/she is 6, so you will be a few steps ahead of the game and have the peace of mind to know that you have time on your side. Don't let the child have his/her way with the books until you first read the parent books and have a game plan ready.

    Now about how I do it....I wake up before anyone else and make some coffee and sit in the dark drinking it and planning what I will do and when I will do it. I try to have all the animals fed and watered before the small children get up.

    I have lunch started before 9am.

    I issue chores to the kids.

    I keep records of when I put eggs in the incubator, when something hatches, when I bought feed, when I planted seeds or plants on a calendar. I might also use it to schedule my chores.

    When I think it is time to study, I put myself down at the table and bring out the books. Once we are on a roll, we can move pretty fast and then I do some dishes or pick up something and let the little one do some coloring or math she can work on alone.

    I don't allow the garden to get too far out of shape. The weeds go in the goat/chicken pens. When its not growing season, the chickens are allowed in the clean up for me.

    My suggestion is don't look at the big picture......its too big. Take a little piece at a time and tackle it and step back to see how it worked and then start on something else. Goodluck.
  3. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    Make lots of lists. I have lists for my lists. I have 4 kids and am homeschooling the oldest two for now. My advise get a program that has everything set up for you. It takes massive amounts of time to try to plan and print off everything yourself. A good program is worth the extra money. We are in the process of moving completely to our farm and building a new house once or old one sells so we are not far down the self sufficiency path. Hubby does work full time but I find if I have everything ready for him and he has to do no running to get stuff he can get a project knocked out in no time.

    The garden is harder to manage but think simplicity. I gave up on the fancy egg plants for now. Skip the artichokes. Simple simple simple. Lots of potatoes. They are easy to grow and do not take a ton of man hours to get a good crop plus the chickens love the bugs. Cucumbers, zuccinni, summer and winter squashes, and beans. Its a good starting place. Plant easy to manage plants and lots of them. In smaller raised beds or even pots you can raise smaller portions of things like your lettuce, beets, radishes, carrots, and tomatoes. Tomatoes can do really really well in a nice large pot.

    The key is simplicity.
  4. SillyChicken

    SillyChicken Crowing

    Jan 12, 2010
    Use a dailey or weekly calendar structure out your day and follow it. Modify what works and what doesn't.

    I don't have any kids, but I do have a full time job (50 hrs a week, not including almost 2 hrs in drive time daily, and on call 24/7) the critters to care for and a house and yard and DH to deal with. I get up @ 4:30am, to care of all the critters I follow a set pattern everymorning, this way I don't forget anything, get home to do chores and dinner....been going to DSIL's house to help them out as well.... I get to bed by 10:30pm. Also, try to set things up so that everything has it's place. Keys go here, purse goes there. Grocery list here.... that way you don't have to waste time looking for things. (wish I could get my DH to follow my lead on this one).

    On the weekends, we decide on the project that we need to work on and we save some time for fun too!

    The bulk of what we plant in the garden are foods we plan to preserve. There are a few things like lettus, and radishes that we just want to eat fresh. Use a mulch, plastic or landscaping cloth to cover isles. This will keep weeds down and save you time from weeding. I have an auto timer ($3.00 at hardware store) on my hose, I know how long the hose has run in one spot and this will remind me to move it when the waters not running, and you can leave for work in the am, and let the hose run after you leave. (also helpful when you go to bed and forget to turn the hose off). Anything that you can do that will make things work for you is a pretty good time saver.

    I also have alot of flower gardens, but because of the mulch, I don't have to spend any time weeding, only watering and deadheading flowers. Any weeds that do pop up pull out easy in the deep mulch. Use whats natural in your area, pine needles works good even.

    I do all my own home maintenance and carpentry work. I still have time to play with the critters, and sit n have a cup of tea or wine in the evening to wind down.

    I am also unorganized, so I use my cell phone calendar alot to plan my day.
  5. biddybird

    biddybird Songster

    May 5, 2010
    Salado Texas
    We have 4 kids, ages 18-25. They have all been very active in showing animals(mainly pigs and steers),sports and school activities. We found that we were constantly going in at least two directions, sometimes more. It was very important to us to be very involved in all their activities. We've coached, raised animals, volunteered at school events, just to name a few things. In doing this we have always known all our kids friends. Big Big help!! To keep up with the gardening and canning, I have actually been known to plant and harvest by headlights, (just because I want to![​IMG]) up again at 5:30am, off to work, home after 5pm to start all over again.
    It's never been easy, but the kids are all turning out to be productive college students and hard working citizens. Our busy schedule didn't leave too much time to get bored, watch much TV, or play computers games. But we did have to pick and choose what was most important. I have a class A personality, so I have had to learn to "not sweat the small stuff"[​IMG]. You have to ask yourself "what is the most important thing for my family?" I used to worry over the kids rooms being "Southern Living Perfect" Does that really matter? Our house and yard may not always be perfect, but my family has learnt to prioritize, we get what has to be done first, and then work on all other projects next. We all work together on projects, even the olders ones still come home and pitch-in. They all support each other in all their endeavors. [​IMG]
    Just do the best you can, don't try to be the perfect family, and stay active with and overall enjoy your children. Before you know it they will be grown up. [​IMG][​IMG]
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
  6. briana1975

    briana1975 Songster

    Feb 23, 2009
    Carleton Mi.
    It's the 2 small kids. It can be hard when they are little. Don't plan so much. I couldn't ever get much done when my 2 boys were about that age. We had gardens, rabbits and flower beds. Even that was a lot sometimes. Now that our boys are 10 and 7 it is all alot easier. They can help out now or play together in the yard while I weed or do animal chores. They love to help can and pick veggies. I do not home school. My oldest and me butt heads to much when it comes to school work.
  7. tobin123

    tobin123 Songster

    Mar 4, 2009
    Well First,Breathe,Okay now?????He there my name is Jamie,I homestead and homeschool my only child(9)WE also have lots and lota of chickens plus 3 dogs rabbits and we are always hatching eggs as well.I would agree with others it is all about lists and more lists.Please don't be scared about homeschooling.We started in K and that is so easy,its all about basic learning~numbers,letters,writing,and if they are able and ready to start reading.Every child is different and that is what I Love about homeschooling plus the freedom of everyday we get to enjoy with our family and animals.I still make time to do the flower beds and garden and mowing,and don't forget cleaning the barn and coops.
    A typical day here: Get up at 6:15 everybody helps [email protected]
    Hubby leaves for work @7:35
    Laundry,cleaning and breakfest
    Zachary is allowed TV or to play til school starts
    School is 8 or 10 depending on the day,we are usually done in 2 hours
    After lunch we head out to do what needs done and usually he stays out to play
    Just remember to Pray for what is best for your family,you will know what is BEST.We have another topic about only homeschooling just look for it.Remember we are all here for help.[​IMG]

  8. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    It's totally your childrens' ages. Just go easy on yourself, focus on their needs and in a year or two you will be able to start adding new things into your schedule (garden, etc.). I recommend doing some potted veggies close to the house, so that you can step outside for a second to grab this or that. Also, if your children have given up napping (mine did early), think about instituting "quiet time". Work your way up to an hour or so a day, make sure that the kids are in a safe place and occupied. Many times they will fall asleep. My sons were both very busy children, constantly needing supervision or interaction. I had to make the choice to focus on them and not on my house at that time. But, now that they are older, balancing needs is much easier (even though we homeschool).

    Also, ask for help from your DH, even though he's working you need a break too. Caring for small children all day is one of the toughest jobs there is, you need a break now and then to stay effective at it.
  9. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

    Jun 8, 2008
    NE Michigan
    My daughter is 5, we started 'steading 3 yrs ago. Designate a "dig" spot in the garden, section it off with rocks, for your kids to "dig" and play while you work in the garden. It'll keep them occupied for hours, better than a sandbox.

    Typical day:

    6:30am, get up, chill & breakfast, let dog out

    7:15am go out check chicken water & feed, toss scratch

    7:40am get daughter on bus

    7:50 am, come back in, do stuff around the house and/or garden

    9:00 am check coop, gather eggs, double check feed & water
    If I'm going horseback riding, I leave about 9:30, leaves me an hour of riding time

    11:20 leave for work

    4:30 come home from work and get daughter off bus or run errands on the way home since I'm already in town and husband gets daughter off bus.

    4:45 Begin preparing dinner

    6:00 and later Odds & ends stuff, clean coop, gather eggs again, clean up, garden stuff if needed

    8:00-9:00pm bathe, dessert, relax & watch TV, daughter goes to bed afterward.

    9:00-11:00 DH and I get "our time", generally watch TV and relax

    Hope this helps

    Daughter also helps gather eggs, lets dog out, can feed dog if asked (although she still hasn't learned to eyeball "half cup" yet so she has to ask me). She's also old enough to help water plants and weed. DH also has a workbench set up for her in the garage with scrap wood and plastic tools so he can work in the garage with her and she's occupied.
  10. dinahmoe

    dinahmoe Songster

    Sep 19, 2009
    central georgia
    thanks everyone for the advice.i really like to see everyone different schedules.
    "ok breathe" might help since i feel stressed all the time becuase i can't get enough done during the day.i have really got to get a better schedule and more lists.i think maybe if i put just one big thing on the list with a few small ones it would help.DH does look after the kids some evenings when he gets home and i get a little more done but its stuff that needs to be done everyday really so you know it all builds back up till next time.the small garden closer to the house is a neat idea i'll have to try that.i really try to just enjoy the kids and somedays just play all day because i know it will not be long before they will not won't to play with me anymore:(.i have always worked till i had kids and now i stay home and it seems like i got more done when i worked(but then again i didn't have kids)i think i will start today with making new schedules and making a list for everything.thanks

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