# Best homemaking tips 2020 # Farmer Boy

20 Life-Changing Homemaking Secrets in FARMER BOY... Part 1

My homemaking series continues today as we do a deep-dive into Laura Ingalls Wilder's Farmer Boy. Last time, we explored the homemaking secrets found in the Little House series and the subject matter resonated with so many people who loved reading the books.

Today, we continue with part one of our exploration into Farmer Boy. I actually have 20 life-changing homemaking secrets from Farmer Boy, so in part one, we will discuss the first ten.

πŸ‚ 1. Homemaking traditions anchored their week

On page 84, we read that Almanzo's mother was making pancakes “because this was Sunday”. It is clear that they could look forward to this mouth-watering breakfast every Sunday. Creating traditions centered around food is a wonderful idea to incorporate into family life. A lot of people do this with “Taco Tuesday” or other meal traditions.

πŸ‚ 2. Everyone in the family kept busy. They worked really hard and had a strong work ethic.
In chapter 8, Sunday, Almanzo’s mother is described as someone who “never sat down in the daytime, except on her spinning-wheel or loom.”
But not just, Almanzo’s mother, the entire family kept busy...

πŸ‚ 3. They took off an entire day to do the house cleaning. All of them. Men, women, boys, and girls
In chapter 10, The Turn of the Wheel, Mrs. Wilder says, “We’ll start house-cleaning tomorrow, bright and early.” Page 118 describes the list of what Almanzo had to do on house-cleaning day. “Everything in the house was moved, everything was scrubbed and scoured and polished.” It's clear that this is referring to an annual or bi-annual house cleaning ritual as it is so involved. They seemed to all stop everything and take part.

πŸ‚ 4. Sometimes the housecleaning ritual went on for days
“Days and days he spent in the cellar." This indicates that the housecleaning wasn't just one day, but could potentially last for several days. This shows the priority that house cleaning took in their lives when work and school and all other agenda items are dropped in order to get the house in top shape.

πŸ‚ 5. When you wear an apron, that means some serious work is about to happen
In chapter 21, County Fair, they dressed up to go to the county fair. Almanzo’s mother wore her 2nd best dress. “And took an apron, for she was going to help with the church dinner.” Page 261 describes the exact work the ladies were doing and it was some serious cooking. Clearly an apron was worn to not only preserve their dress, but also as an indication of the magnitude of work taking place.

πŸ‚ 6. Parents held a high standard for cleanliness
Yes, it's true that bath time took place once a week, which doesn't sound very clean by today's standards, but we aren't taking into account the ordeal they had to go through just to pour a bath without running water... especially in the winter. Almanzo enjoyed his "Saturday night feeling" even if he didn't like taking a bath in the cold house. His mother would inspect his ears and face to make sure he kept up good grooming habits, which were probably life-long habits the children took with them.

πŸ‚ 7. Sometimes homemaking required them to work into the evenings
Chapter 23, Cobbler, describes how Almanzo’s mother stayed up late sewing them socks and clothes. Sometimes our homemaking requires us to stay up late into the evening and work "overtime", just like any other job would.

πŸ‚ 8. They monetized their homemaking
Farmer Boy describes how proud the family were of their mother as her butter was the best in New York and she secured such an excellent price for it. I looked it up, and $250 in 1866 is the equivalent to $7,804.25 today. Wow!

πŸ‚ 9. They were good, shrewd traders… a.k.a. Haggling is an art!
In the chapter titled, Tin-Peddler, Almanzo's mother was described as a "good, shrewd trader". She always got what she wanted, but it was all in good fun. Being a good, shrewd trader, is an excellent skill to have as life brings many negotiations our way. Being frugal and haggling for the best price would benefit any family's budget.

πŸ‚ 10. They turned their homemaking into healthy competitions
In the chapter on Sheep Shearing, Almanzo and his family engage in a little healthy competition. This is an excellent technique to get you through an unpleasant task. It had me thinking of ways we could turn our homemaking into healthy competitions with the kids. It could bring belly laughs and important lessons on sportsmanship and the satisfaction of a job well done.

⚜️ The Little House 9-volume set
Little House 9-volume set from Scholastic

⚜️ Time Stamps
0:00 Introduction
1:01 Homemaking traditions anchored the week
3:00 Everyone kept busy (strong work ethic)
4:34 They took off an entire day to do house-cleaning
6:46 House-cleaning could go on for days and days
8:43 When you wear an apron, serious work is about to occur
9:57 Parents held their children to high standards of cleanliness
14:40 Sometimes homemaking required them to work overtime
16:02 They monetized their homemaking
18:39 They were good, shrewd traders
20:45 They enjoyed healthy competition with their homemaking

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I hope you enjoyed the homemaking tips in today's video. Make sure you are subscribed to my YouTube channel and click the bell for notifications so you don't miss part 2.

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Comment of the week
GreenEyed Susan writes... "Oh my goodness, I was so shocked to see you making macaroni and tomatoes! My Mom used to make that all the time. I thought it was something she made up as I never heard of anybody else that made it, or knew about it. My Mom passed away a few years ago, so this instantly threw my back into my childhood and wonderful memories of my Mom. Thank you!"

GreenEyed Susan, I think macaroni and tomatoes is a nostalgic childhood treat for so many. I'm happy it brought back good memories for you. I will have another meals video coming out soon. I hope you will enjoy it!

Thank you for watching! I would love to know your thoughts on the homemaking secrets from Farmer Boy. Please leave them below and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week.

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Unknown said...

I love these Little House videos. I shared them with my mom and she got the book set to read, I'm going to read them too, again.

Helfoo said...

Very nice post :)

Julie said...

Love your commentary on homemaking life. #goals