…and introducing new ones!Many women have not grown up {or are growing up} in a home with a mother who did not teach them basic life skills let alone basic skills for running a home. I feel blessed to have grown in a home with a mother who focused on the Lord, her husband, her children and her home.

I was taught specific things, but also many I just picked up on because that’s how Mom did it!

If you are like me, you don’t really want to return to the days where women boiled water to wash their clothes or we certainly don’t want to give up our self-cleaning oven or our auto-propelled vacuum cleaners.But, at the same time, our “microwave, throw away-buy new” culture is tossing out a number of skills that our great grandmothers so diligently wanted to pass down to us.

Some of these skills require a little bit of crock pot patience. But, as my family strives for simplicity I want to take the time to teach my little homemaker the lost arts of homemaking and what joy it is to know how to bake a cake from scratch, or to simply know how to sew on a button.
I would be a shame to see so many time-tested skills be buried away with our grandparents. It’s time to bring back to life and celebrate the honor, the tradition and the simple beauty of managing a home and cultivating a family and learning a few real “tricks of the trade” along the way.
As I’m teaching my little “homemaker in training”, I am trying to focus on skills that I’ve found helpful or essential in helping our home run smoothly. I’m also trying to introduce skills that my daughter may find useful or come in handy later on in her life. I also want to teach some traditional timeless skills that can truly be cherished. I want my little lady to know how to take care of things in her life and not have to depend on outside help all the time. I want to give her a little head start on life so to speak.
I believe strongly in being independent as much as possible. Yet, at the same time believe strongly in interdependence. No single person can take care of EVERYTHING on their own. Sometimes we need help from family, friends or our church family.
Here is a little checklist that I’ve put together of things I want to teach my daughter. {I’m sure I’ll be adding to it over time.} It is a simple list of the things I think are essential to know, and would truly give any little girl a great start in her life. Some are little, some are not so little. Many of them are things I already know how to do while there are several I am still working on.


How to balance a checkbook {Don’t always depend on your internet banking.}

How to monitor cash flow

How to create a budget

How to file paper work



How to cook basic meals from scratch

How to make homemade bread

How to bake pies, cakes and cookies and other goodies from scratch

How to make up a menu plan

How to make a proper grocery list that goes along with your menu

How to re-purpose leftovers {instead of wasting.}

How to buy items in a economical fashion {sale racks, second hand stores, online etc…}

Learn basic health food knowledge

How to properly can & freeze

How to decorate a cake

How to properly cook a turkey and a ham {and carve it!}



How to write up a cleaning schedule that fits families needs

How to make home cleaning solutions

How to efficiently clean

How to properly do laundry {sort, wash and fold etc…}



How to schedule, and have a daily routine {and also the importance of flexibility!}

How to use basic tools like a hammer, screwdriver etc…

How to use a plunger

How to change a vacuum belt

How to organize closets, cupboards, shelves etc…

How to prepare for emergencies and storms

How to juggle homeschooling and housework and other responsibilities at the same time

How to set a lovely table

How to flip on or off a breaker


How to properly wash and dry clothes

How to sew a hem, sew a button on or mend a tear

How to properly iron

How to properly remove stains

Sewing basics {how to follow a sewing pattern and maybe even how to be creative enough to NOT even use a pattern!}

Crochet, Embroider, Quilt, Knit, Cross Stitch {Not necessities, but great skills to learn that are slowly finding their way to the grave.}



Know basic exercises to keep body healthy

How to use herbs and natural remedies {not always depending on meds for things}

How to dress for body type

How to dress, and personalize it while being completely modest

How to do a breast exam

How to find the right bra for body type

How to properly put on make-up



How to mow a lawn

Basic flower care and planting

How to grow, and care for a basic garden

How to grow & preserve herbs

Basic to advanced plant knowledge

How to properly and carefully start a fire



How to add certain fluids

How to change a tire

How to follow directions and read a map {GPS isn’t always accurate!}

How to properly drive in different weather conditions {snow, rain, wind etc…}



How to study the Bible

The importance of verse memorization

How to be a blessing to husband and not a curse

How to be a good listener and encourager

How to practice hospitality

How to organize a small to large party or gathering

How to prepare a meal that travels {great for new mommies, elderly or the sick.}

First Aid & CPR {adult, child and infant}

How to make or prepare small frugal and meaningful gifts for others

How to be an encourager with cards

How to wrap a gift and personalize it

Herbal & Home Remedies

How to pack light

Know the essentials to keep in a purse or bag

How to edit and upload pictures

Know adult “stranger-danger” knowledge and techniques

How to properly load and shoot a gun

When and how to graciously say no, when you are truly unable to do something

How to shop for big ticket items {look around and compare prices, look for coupons etc…}

Know when you can potentially do something yourself, and when to source outside help.

And the most important one of all: Remember, we aren’t expected to be perfect. God only asks for our best. 

What’s on your essential list? Are there any domestic skills you’d like to tackle or teach? What would you add to your list?


Esther's Signature - GracedSimplicity.com