Monday, May 25, 2009

Home School book review: Training Our Daughters to be Keepers at Home

As a homeschooling mother of ten, four of whom are daughters, I was very eager to teach homemaking skills to my girls. I had struggled in my early married years with knowing how to do many things. It wasn’t that my mother hadn’t taught me some things, but she had also spoiled me by doing most of the work herself. I wanted to avoid doing that, and yet at the same time, there were many things that I still wasn’t overly good at, such as sewing, gardening, and baking.

At a homeschool book fair, I came across a large book called Training Our Daughters to be Keepers at Home by Ann Ward. This huge book is 601 pages long, and covers skills such as sewing, baking, gardening, knitting, home management, child care, elderly care, soap making, and many other things. I was so excited about it; I went ahead and bought it, even though the oldest daughter still living in my home was far from being old enough for it yet. I thought that I myself could learn from it!

The fly page of the book says: “The purpose of this curriculum is to glorify God by enabling girls, over a period of seven years work, to develop and practice Godly character and practical homemaking skills, so they will be able to serve God as keepers at home, whether single or married.”

The curriculum is designed to be used five days a week for about an hour and a half, over a 36 week school year. It should be started when the girl is around ten years old. An older girl might want to complete the courses in less time. A year by year schedule is included. For example, the sewing course would have a young girl learn basic sewing the first year, sewing for herself the second year, quilting the third year, sewing for home and family the fourth year, sewing for babies and children the fifth year, sewing for men the sixth, and rug braiding the seventh.
There are also lessons in making greeting cards, cleaning the house, flower arranging, and basketry, caring for the sick and family celebrations, along with many more things.

You will need to purchase several books to complete this curriculum, but they are good books to add to your homeschooling library anyway. The books don’t need to be purchased all at once, but over the seven years the courses cover. Many of these can be found at the library and used books sales, too. This curriculum isn’t consumable, so you can use it with all your daughters, and keep it as a reference for yourself once your homeschooling years are finished. You are also encouraged to have your daughter keep a notebook of the things she has learned, to use as a reference guide once she is responsible for her own home.

This is a well laid out curriculum and easy to use. It’s an invaluable book, as it contains so much good information about so many things. I would highly encourage adding it to your homeschooling curriculum! Check the link at the left for viewing and buying information!

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