We are a family of seven, living in a very small town (population: about 700) in Minnesota. We homeschool our five kids, ages 4 to 17, and enjoy learning and living a modern, old fashioned life together. We get by on very low income, in part because of practices like gardening, foraging, cooking from scratch and “putting things up” — and because we bought our house for $2,000 in back taxes (and just helped our oldest child get her first house for $4,000 cash) and we work hard at finding ways to live a good life on very little.
Part of our homeschooling our children is teaching them these skills, so that they are as free as possible from financial worries once they’re on their own. No matter what jobs or paths they take in life, it will serve them well to know how to make their own meals, service their own cars, balance a budget, grow a garden, cook from scratch, find good deals and take care of their own needs.
We also live a very natural lifestyle. While we know the importance of modern medicine and appropriate medical care, we also know the importance of a healthy diet, fresh air and exercise. Our kids know to reach for the lavender oil if they have a cut, the tea tree oil for bug bites and poison ivy, and warm garlic oil for an ear infection. We use elderberry syrup to prevent and treat the flu and raw garlic three times a day for other sicknesses. We eat mostly organic food (yes, even on a tight budget) and avoid GMOs, and clean our house with basics like vinegar, baking soda and elbow grease.
We love getting to spend time together as a family, and being able to teach our kids these skills that we had to teach ourselves.