Monday, January 9, 2012

Answering Questions ~ Continued

Did or do you ever wish you could have had a higher education?

Right after I graduated from eighth grade I wished I could continue going to school. The Somerset County Amish do require students to attend their vocational classes until they are fifteen. Those were usually held every Wednesday forenoon.

Having those classes effectively weaned me from school and I soon viewed them as much more of a nuisance than anything else.

I didn't dream of becoming anything except being the best wife and mother possible and to receive that type of education I was much better equipped to learn to do all the mundane things cheerfully at home with my mother where I learned efficient housekeeping skills, the love of cooking and baking, childcare, gardening and preserving a year or more worth of food, and sewing among other life skills.

I do not regret that I spent my time like that rather than sitting in some kind of school. Having been given the choice I would probably have chosen to continue my education but I can honestly say I'm glad that choice wasn't mine.

I'm in no way trying to insinuate that having a higher education makes less than capable wives and mothers. I'm simply glad I got to spend as much time as possible at home with my mother who was also my best friend.


  1. Beautiful share, Mary Ann. My Mother I loved beyond all ...

    Have a beautiful week ~
    TTFN ~

  2. I was given the choice, more like forced into a higher education. Except that I met my husband there, I look back and wish that I had never had the choice either. Or shall we say, I wish I had been raised with an appreciation for the honored position of wife and mother the Bible portrays for us, and could have chosen intentionally to pursue that rather than a higher education which I credit with diluting what Biblical faith I had at the time. Thankfully God can work through all past circumstances, as long as we commit to letting Him mold us in the future. I'm glad to hear you look back on the way you were raised in this area as a blessing, even if strict regulations regarding education level aren't the way to win hearts. Retrospect often shows us the benefit of things we once didn't understand or even disliked.

  3. I'm glad you had the chance to perfect your homemaking skills as a girl/young adult. I took all the Home Economics courses I could in high school, and still felt woefully under prepared when I set up my own home. It's one thing to read about how to go about keeping up a home and quite another tackling it first hand.

  4. My grandpa only went to school through the 8th grade, and then learned carpentry with his dad and brothers. He was running the farm by age 12 while his dad and older brothers built houses. He has been very successful in life as both a farmer and carpenter. People seem to underestimate the value of learning a trade nowadays.

    Education is a wonderful thing, but our society needs to realize that it comes in all shapes and sizes. Not everything is best learned inside the four walls of a school or university. I did well in college and I have a degree, but the practical skills my mother taught me at home are the ones that I use every day.

    Apprenticeships are one of life's greatest educational opportunities, and I fear that their worth is greatly under-estimated by this generation.

  5. I so appreciate your point of view! I was raised to believe women could aspire to do anything they wanted (as long as it wasn't something as mundane as staying home to care for your husband and family). I too had to learn many of those homemaking skills "on the job".

    My grandfather (nearly 102 yrs, bless his soul)has only a 4th grade education, but he was on a first name basis with big city mayors and admirals.

  6. My parents divorced when I was very young and my mom was left with six children to provide for. She then put herself through nursing school and more which made me home with babysitters and her gone a lot. College is a choice for my girls, but I would much rather they do it now while they're not married and have the time to put towards it. Family comes first, but if something unplanned should happen (as it did for my mom), I don't think it's a bad thing for them to have an education. That won't take away from them being good wives and mothers. Education doesn't guarantee a job though either, I do know that, but I've never thought of learning anything as a waste of time ~ including homemaking skills!

  7. You've given me a great deal of thought -- which will probably end up in a blog. Our society, which blares diversity, scorns homemaking. How I wish I had the training, the pleasure, of canning, gardening, cooking what we had grown. Instead, I used a good education to achieve goals set by corporate structure. I appreciate those who have retained to skills, and passed them on.

  8. My mother taught me very well in managing a house and I am very thankful. I have passed on these skills to my sons. I went to University and pleased I did, no regrets at all. It was part of life's learning - if a girl wishes to extend her studies I don't think she should be denied it because her parents have other plans for her.

  9. I don't think our society scorns homemaking so much as it doesn't attach any economic value to it.

    (Of course, if you're an entirely unskilled homemaker, there likely isn't much economic value to it.)

    I wish all high school students, male and female, had to take Home Economics; and I wish all high school students had to take a basic home maintenance course (minor plumbing and carpentry - maybe leave the electrical system to the licensed guys). Regardless of whether my son and daughter go to college, pursue a trade, or become homemakers, I hope they don't marry early, and so I hope they'll each have a period of living on their own. If they do, being able to change a faucet washer or cook a pot of soup will come in handy for either one.

  10. I majored in Home Economics in High School. Guess because I loved anything to do with the home, thanks to my parents. Sad to say, Home Economics is no longer offered in most High Schools anymore. If you have good training at home you really don't need it. I am and have always been a Home Maker and love it.

  11. You would think parents would teach these things, but I've been shocked to find out:

    1) How many people, male and female, don't know how to cook. I don't mean they don't know how to cook gourmet meals - I mean they literally do not know how to scan what's in the pantry/refrigerator/freezer and come up with an edible meal. In my family, both boys and girls were expected to be able to produce a basic meal somewhere around age 12-14.

    2) How many girls/women don't know how to change a flat tire. OK, if you're Amish and you don't have a car, that's different - but my father wouldn't allow me to drive a car until I knew how to change a tire by myself. I promise you - it came in handy a whole bunch of times.

    3) How many people, male and female, don't know how to do basic sewing. Again, I don't mean making a quilt or a whole article of clothing - I mean sewing on a button, or hemming a pair of pants, or repairing a small rip in a seam.

    I won't even get into people who don't know how to check the circuit breaker box when the electricity goes out.

  12. I'm glad you're happy with how things worked out for you! :)

  13. Having a mother as your best friend is something that always "intrigued" mother and I were as as night and day, summer and winter...I am not Amish, and know very little actually about their faith and ways...but what I have learned is that among all people we all need and desire love and fellowship..I wish I had a mom that would have taught me sewing, canning, guilting ...oh I think it would be grand to even still I may have been rebellious...for I was all TomBoy...climbing trees, running the creeks, never never in the house! I always enjoy visiting your blog is also very pretty...good job

  14. Your posts are always so insightful, intellectual, well-written, and worldly, that I never would call you an "uneducated" person. I wholeheartedly agree with a previous comment that apprenticeships and trades are undervalued today and can educate a person as well as a formal institution. I have a PhD in Chemistry, which I really enjoyed doing. But I also highly value the cooking/sewing/auto repair/carpentry skills my parents drilled into me.

  15. I can really identify with your feelings of just wanting to be the best wife and mother that you can be. That was my only real "career" goal, something that my teachers found frustrating. While I found college interesting, giving me the chance to pick and choose things to learn that interested me while I waited for the Mister to show up, the last years of my public education were a horrible waste of time.

  16. I never finished college, but enjoyed my time there. I really needed a job so I could afford to finish my education ... so I put the last two years on hold. However, in the meantime, my friend from college became my husband for life and I decided that I would much rather be a housewife and a mother to 3 boys than a teacher or nurse. Good thing! When my boys were all in school, I had the opportunity to work there as an aide and am now retired (but subbing) still enjoying my home and family.

    I took home ec in high school but it was my mom who taught me so much more! It's still offered around here, called: Home and Careers, now. The best class they offered a few years back was one called "Kitchen Survival" and it had mostly boys in it!

  17. I've been curious about this as well, thank you for making the time to answer questions in this mannor. We are home schooling using a curriculum from a company called Rod and Staff which is set up to go through eighth grade but have been adding grades and work with a private school for those who choose to get a high school diploma. I like the program and am very thankful they are available for me to use. Have a blessed day and thanks for sharing your perspective on this matter. Sincerely, Mommy of two little blessings & so much more!


Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.