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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am writing my Thesis paper on homesteading and would like some questions answer from adults and children about Homesteading. This would be a great help for my research if you would take the time to answer these questions. Thanks.

Adult questions:
1.) What made you decide to live this type of lifestyle?
2.) What was the most difficult change?
3.) What do you enjoy most about homesteading?
4.) What do you dislike most about homesteading?
5.) Do you think this type of lifestyle is good for children?
6.) Do you home school your children?
7.) If so what made you decide to home school your children?
8.) What do you miss from your previous lifestyle?
9.) What don't you miss from your previous lifestyle?
10.) What advise would you give someone that is considering this type of lifestyle?
11.) What do your family and friends think of your type of lifestyle?
12.) Do you work a regular job for income or have you created a business supported by this type of lifestyle or do you do both?

Children questions:
1.) Was this a difficult change of lifestyle for you?
2.) What do you enjoy most about homesteading?
3.) What do you dislike most about homesteading?
4.) If home schooled how does it differ from your experience with public school?
5.) What do you do for entertainment at home?
6.) Do you have friends that live similar lifestyles?
7.) What do your friends that don't live similar lifestyles think of your lifestyles?
8.) Do you keep in touch with friends from the past and do they ever visit you and what do they think of your lifestyle?
9.) Will you continue to live this type of lifestyle when you grow up?
10.) Do you think that you are gaining life experiences or losing experiences by living this type of lifestyle?

· We're gettin' there!
288 Posts
So many questions, so little space. You would be able to find the answers to most of your questions just by searching the threads in the different forums this site offers (don't forget to search the archives for an abundance of information). You could copy and paste them into a doc file for review and comparison, then come back and ask the questions you couldn't find the answers to :) . Just an idea....

Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree with you Heather and appreciate the info, but I thought if I could get at least 10 families to responed that it would be great material for my Thesis Paper and I would be able to use it as a survey.

· We're gettin' there!
288 Posts
I see. Well, this site is set up to post polls/survey's, but I'm not sure how you would go about doing one for each question. Maybe someone who actually knows how this software works would be able to help you. Perhaps you could post this "how to" question under the Computer Questions forum...I've always gotten excellent help from them when needed. Good luck!

· Premium Member
12,241 Posts
12 questions should be a painless enough request.

#1 I went to college to learn me a bankers education. Got it but didn't fancy 30 or 40 years of desk work. So I went home and kept on with the family farm/kennels.
#2 What change?
#3 and #4 I could easily like everything about the lifestyle and business, and on a bad day hate most everything. I consistantly like working with animals and meeting people. No boss has to be the best part and I suppose I dislike the paper work the most. Vacation time is hard to come by too.
#5 Over all yes it gives kids a better prespective on how the world is connected. I think city kids are raised with the skills they need to survive the city lifestyle but miss how things get the way they are alot of the time. For example my kids know animals are nothing like Walt Disney shows them, and that hot dry sunny weather can be a serious problem. They are learning to shoot, vet sick animals, build, garden, operate equipment and they'll get some basic mechanical edu too. You could write a thesis on this question alone.
#6 and 7 DNA, they do learn things at home they'll never see in school but the core education is public school in this house.
#8 and 9 Your probably not refering to my college days right?
#10 Start slowly ask questions accept failures and don't give up. You don't have to be born to country living just understand its alot harder than it looks.
#11 Who cares? Nah they think its great, envious at time I think.
#12 My wife does work a part time job but between the kennels and farming we make a living. I do pick up odd jobs now and then, like tractor painting, or running a corn drier, the odd snow removal job or welding job too. Oh and I sharpen clipper blades, not that it generates a lot of revenue.

· Registered
35 Posts
Before you ask questions concerning “Homesteading”, I think you need to better define what homesteading is to the people that are answering the questions. I have seen this subject broached before it can raise heated debates. Yes, the people that come to this, and other web pages like this all share commonalities, but to take responses from twelve basic questions to prepare a thesis would generalize something that has such a broad range of definitions and emotions to so many, would be a disservice.

I could tell you from what I have read over the years that homesteading is a dream for some, a lifestyle for others, and a state of mental being for others, and to some it is any combination thereof at any given moment. Yet, we all know that falls terribly short of the reality, but to someone that does not share an understanding of what these fine people think and feel you will never be able to express their true answers based on those few questions.

Personally, I do not think of anyone in this day and age as a “Homesteader”. I am a Land Surveyor, which grants me a rare and fantastic privilege to research our past, too touch and read the original Homestead Land Patents of our forefathers that moved west and truly homesteaded this nation. Those pioneers that came west to carve out an existence in a barren wilderness are what I truly consider “Homesteaders”. So, in my mind to consider myself a homesteader only serves to disparage the term and true honor that should rightfully be bestowed on those original settlers.

Now wait, before everyone accosts me for what I just said let me qualify my thoughts. I do however; understand how many people today associate a way of thinking, the self-sufficient stance, and the pioneering spirit with the term. Therefore, I do not begrudge anyone for using the term to describe his or hers or anyone else’s ways of life, I just choose not to.

I could go through and question each of your questions, like: 1.) What made you decide to live this type of lifestyle? Now this is somewhat presumptuous don’t you think? Everyone that will answer is someone that once lived a more urban or suburban lifestyle and decided to change? Some people maybe, but not all. Everyone that will answer is someone that made a preplanned conscious decision to uproot, move to the country and start homesteading? Wrong again, myself for example: I grew-up in a rural area, moved away ended up in some large urban/suburban areas, but never made plans as to moving out of it, it just happened, never made plans to raise livestock it just seemed like a good thing to try once we were out of the city. Before you take that carte blanche approach, you had better define what it is that you are truly looking for. Do not cause others to further prejudge and stereo-typify a group of people simply because you gather data without qualifying the true meanings behind the answers.

So, I’ll leave you to rethink your questioning, and I ask that when you do publish your thesis, please post it so that we may all read what you have discovered and written about.

· Super Moderator
13,526 Posts
I am single and chose the lifestyle to provide an overall balance to my environment comfortably suspended between technological and agronomic societies . While providing me wider lattitude to address economic and meteorlogical variations, I am better able to maintain my chosen comfort zone. I prefer being defined as "technologically assisted self relient" rather than "homesteader".

Discussion Starter · #8 ·
All right, I will take a bite at this,

Before I answer your survey questions, I have a few questions for Ircntryboy. Now, I am not the brightest bulb in the bunch but I have been through 2 “thesis papers” one for a masters and one for a doctoral degree. Neither were referred to as “thesis papers” but that aside, perhaps, Ircntryboy could give us a little information about him/herself.
Enlighten us as to which university, college, department, advisor and lab you are working under to do your “thesis paper”. Please inform us why you need the information you requested and why you seem so reluctant to look it up in the archives? What is the “ theory” behind you research? What new and novel things are you going to give society with the information you gather?
In my humble opinion, the pooled responses of “10 home-steading families” who have Internet access would never be a large enough sample to draw any definitive conclusion(s) (never mind survive the scrutiny of a real dissertation panel). Why other sources do you intend to survey? If you give us a little information about yourself, perhaps people on this board will give you what you the information you are requesting.

· Registered
349 Posts
This sounds fun....I'll bite. First of all, we started this journey a couple of years ago. In the past we have lived in a tent without electricity, washed our clothes by hand, gardened, bought grains in bulk and baked bread, cooked on a wood stove. We don't consider ourselves homesteaders, but we do feel that we are homesteaders in spirit because we are doing things that are what homesteading is all about.....working harder with a less convenient life so that we are debt free and working for that we have a sense of freedom. Life is such a rat-race. It gets to be that you have to go to work to pay the bills that you have because you work. We felt we couldn't be together as a family anymore because of our lifestyles. We are working to change that.

We lost everything in a house fire, and had to sortof start over. We don't yet have livestock because we are in the process of building our new house and are living with relatives. We have plans to live without electricity in our new house too, where we hope to have a large garden, chickens and goats. (We actually have chickens at my mom's in the country. They are waiting to come home with us in a couple of weeks when we move into our new house) Our goal is to do more for ourselves thereby depending less on cash. That means we'll have to pay down our debt, provide most of our own food, live without electricity, and learn how to either do it ourselves or go without it. If we can do this, my husband can quit his part time job and be home for good. We aren't there yet, but we are on the journey. So my answers will reflect where we are now.

Adult questions:
1.) What made you decide to live this type of lifestyle? For us there were two ways to go about 40 hours per week apart from one another as a family after which we'd all reconvene for dinner, chores and sleep....OR work even harder together as a family. We chose to be together.
2.) What was the most difficult change? Our lazy lifestyles
3.) What do you enjoy most about homesteading? The work and being able to remain together as a family.
4.) What do you dislike most about homesteading? The work. It's a love-hate relationship. I love the work because it keeps me healthy. I hate the work because it's overwhelming at times.
5.) Do you think this type of lifestyle is good for children? ABSOLUTELY!! My dad was a roofer. I spent the summers on the roof with my dad WORKING. Most people mistook me for a boy because I had my hair chopped off to keep cool and I was practically black from the tar and shingles. If it hadn't been for working hard like that, I wouldn't even consider this lifestyle I don't think. It builds confidence and most importantly character. Perseverance , discipline, and self-motivation are some of the obvious, but it also makes you a more thankful person, and more content.
6.) Do you home school your children? Yes.
7.) If so what made you decide to home school your children? We are Christian, and we believe what the Bible says....."Bad company corrupts good character"...and the instructions to teach your children all the you walk, as you sit, all through the day. We don't think it's possible to do that when the children are only at home 3 hours before bedtime and on the weekends. I don't believe children are equipped to deal with all the bad influences they are exposed to throughout the day. For that matter, most adults aren't either. There may be a few exceptions, but we weren't willing to take any chances.
8.) What do you miss from your previous lifestyle? Not so much now that we are living in luxury at my inlaws, but previously I missed having time to read.
9.) What don't you miss from your previous lifestyle? Less time together.
10.) What advise would you give someone that is considering this type of lifestyle? Listen to the advice of those who have lived this life for longer than me, but don't get so discouraged that you don't even try when they all say it's hard. There are lots of ways to "homestead" can find where you are most comfortable.
11.) What do your family and friends think of your type of lifestyle? Our friends think it's great, but most of our family think we are a little weird for wanting to go without electricity.
12.) Do you work a regular job for income or have you created a business supported by this type of lifestyle? My husband works part-time and will probably go full time soon. Our long term goal is for him to quit in 10 years when we are able to get our expenses down to about $4000-$5000/year. Then we'll work from home.
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