Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Revival of the Old Ways

It seems that with each generation, we are losing more of the knowledge and teachings of the old ways. With that loss of knowledge comes a dependence on the stores to provide for our family's needs. But does it really need to be this way?

There was a time when young boys and girls were taught by working along side their parents how to do the basic skills that they would need later in life. Sons were taught how to farm, tend livestock, or to work in the trade of their fathers. Daughters were taught how to properly keep the home, meal preparation, gardening & food preservation, sewing, quilting and other needle arts, soap and candle making, along with the other skills that a homemaker needed. Today, very few children are brought up learning these skills. I remember as a youth having friends who had no idea how to prepare a meal. If it were not for the Home Ec classes at school, they would never have learned. What a sad thing it is to see so many families struggling so hard today when if they had learned & put into practice the skills of frugal and self reliant living, their lives could be made easier.

It seems that many people feel as I do that the knowledge of the old ways need to be kept alive. There is a small revival happening across our nation. People are taking a second look and interest in the ways of the earlier generations. They are wanting to learn how the pioneers and others managed in hard economic times and in the days before all the conveniences were so readily available.

I have been surprized to find that there are instructional videos on sites like YouTube that teach how to do the old handcrafts such as preparing wool for spinning, spinning both on a wheel and using drop spindles, cheese making, soap making, and many other skills that were a necessary knowledge to have in the old days. For those starting out in homesteading, you can learn how to garden, tend animals, butchering various types of livestock, hunting skills, and much more.

Whether you have dreams of homesteading or simply want to ease your family's financial burdens, look into the old skills. Take a hard look at your spending and see what areas you can make changes. Changes don't have to come all at once. Make them gradually, choosing the one change that is most needed first. Once you are comfortable with that change, make another one. Involve your family in this. Let your children, if they are old enough, to make changes also that would benefit them and the family. Every new skill that your children learn will be a blessing to them later in life. One of the blessings that you can give your children as they grow is the ability to do for themselves as much as possible. Whether they use the skills to save money or use them to earn a little extra income, the knowledge will benefit them.