Much has changed since we posted Homemaking Skills for Our Girls (Part I). We are now living overseas once again. We are expecting baby #5 (in one more month!). We are still living through lots of transition in our family. Having invested the time and energy into building character and homemaking skills in our daughters is paying off every single day!Not too long ago, someone asked me how we could have "so many kids" and still have the energy for the pregnancy and all the "to-do's" of keeping up the home. The answer is simple. I don't keep it all running. I don't even try to keep everything running. I guess I should say, the answer is: SIMPLICITY. Yes, simplifying life and expectations is a starting point. Simplifying life not only involves de-cluttering your heart's expectations but also your home. It involves de-cluttering the homeschool. It involves investing where it really matters - in your husband and in your children. Taking the time to teach our girls to cook, clean, wash the laundry, hang out the clothes, take care of their personal grooming, to sew, bake, and so forth are essential skills they will need for life. When life gets complicated (expecting another baby and moving overseas), the girls are able to really put into practice what they have been learning. They can step up to the plate, so to speak, and use their skills to bless others. They know how much they're needed and valued. This builds them up and gives them confidence.
OK, so maybe you aren't expecting a baby. You haven't moved overseas. Perhaps life is going pretty smoothly for you right now. You have decided you want to invest in your daughter(s) and teach them some of these skills. Where do you begin? If you homeschool, you can purchase the books we mentioned in Part I and start there. Another thing you can do is to sit down and write out some goals for your daughters. What are some essential areas they need to grow in as they learn what it takes to be keepers of home? Start small. Give lots of encouragement. Model. Walk alongside to assist. Create opportunities for them to put into practice what they are learning. Invite some friends or family over for a meal and allow your daughter to help cook the dinner. Ask your daughter to prepare a meal or dessert or bread for a family who is going through a hard time or who just had a baby. Of course, all of this will depend on your daughter's age, her abilities, etc. You will have to ask the Lord for guidance and wisdom in this.
Do a lot of praising (even when it doesn't get done just right) and keep that focus! You will be tempted to criticize, re-arrange, re-do, and even to re-think your strategy when things aren't going as smoothly as you thought they should. Allow your daughter room for mistakes, growth, and for improvement. Just don't forget to pray for her and encourage her during these vital years!