A Day in the Life of a Young Amish Mom

Rachel: It is not recommended, but some do. My husband sees school as an opportunity for our kids to be with friends. There are about ten to fourteen families per school, and the families become close. We get together at Christmas and at the end of the year for a picnic. We really like the community that happens through school.

 Liz: Interestingly, your school community reminds me of the homeschooling community! It sounds so similar to our homeschooling co-ops that we were a part of for years. We had a similar number of families, maybe a few more, but we appreciated each other, and the families valued the community, shared values, shared vision, and support we found with one another.

When do your children get home from school?

Rachel: My kids get home around 3:15 p.m. and they usually do not have homework.

Liz: What do they enjoy doing for fun?

Rachel: Swimming, baseball, basketball, crafts, playing with dolls, card games, reading, and horseback riding.

Liz: Do your children have chores? What is your philosophy on allowances?

Rachel: Yes, our children have chores. They take care of our horse, pony, and dog. They wash and dry dishes once a day, clean up their own bedrooms, clean up the playroom, and fold laundry. In the summertime, the boys mow the yard. We do not give daily allowances, but when we’re training them in a new chore, we usually reward them with money or books.

I lived on the farm until I was 16 years old. Every day I had to gather eggs. Sometimes it was really hot and sometimes it was so cold that my hands would get stiff. My kids live in luxury because they do not live on a farm with farm chores! My sister-in-law says, “My kids have chores, but no one’s going to starve if they don’t do them.” When we were young, animals would starve if you didn’t get out there and feed them. Not living on a farm does give me more time to nurture my kids.

Liz: How do you help your children learn discipline and self-control in their lives?

Rachel: I don’t know that I can answer that. I think it’s a daily thing we grow in together. Some days are hard!

Liz: Yes! I agree. Do you have any tips on training children and helping them learn to obey? (Rachel’s children were polite, helpful, kind to one another, and cheerfully obedient while we talked for hours!)

Rachel: When they disobey, make it their problem, not yours. It took me a long time to figure this out! Don’t let them see that it’s getting you down! Sometimes that means a little quiet time for myself to think of a way to deal with the situation. Also, when our oldest learned to obey, the others wanted to be like him. He is such a good example. The other kids look up to him. And our kids are more protected from some influences. We do not have a television. We do watch movies on vacation, but I choose them. We do not have a DVD player at home.

Liz: What are your hopes and dreams for your children?

Rachel: I hope that they will live for Jesus.

Liz: What are your hopes and dreams?

Rachel: I hope to train up our children in the way they should go, so that they would not depart from it.

Liz: What is a typical afternoon like for you?

Rachel: I love to work in my flowerbeds or veggie garden. Sometimes I’ll sew or create something in the kitchen.

Liz: Is dinner always a sit-down family dinner? What does a typical evening look like in your home?

Rachel: Yes, nine times out of ten we sit down for a family dinner. We usually eat around 6:00–7:00 p.m., do dishes, and do something fun with the kids, and sometimes Daddy has office work.

Liz: What does your family enjoy doing together?

Rachel: Our one-week vacation in the summer is the ultimate family bonding time. I love seeing my hubby spend one-on-one time with each son or daughter. I would say another time that includes everyone is when my hubby gets home from work. Dinner is usually nothing all that fancy. I make a lot of one-dish meals such as soups, salads, and sometimes a dessert. Dinner is a time we all treasure and when we can catch up on everyone’s day.

Liz: Do you have a network of good friends, and do you get to see them often?

Rachel: Yes. We’ve been blessed with friends, many of whom we’ve known since our teen years. We get to see them more during the summer, when the weather is nice and we can all hang out outdoors.

Liz: I understand that you go to church on Sundays and rotate between houses. How long is a typical service, and what do you usually do after church?

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