There  is not a "typical" example of life in the Amish home except for what is not present.  No television, computers, video games or automobiles.  Phones are either out in the workshop or in a communal phone booth in a field or near the road.  Radios are generally forbidden, but sometimes their presence is ignored in the case of unbaptized youth of running around age.

What is present is family.  Most Amish families produce a lot of children.  Then there are always grandparents, aunt and uncles, cousins, in laws and neighbors.    Many activities such as quilting, canning, gardening, construction work, threshing and butchering are group oriented.  Many hands make light work seems to be a guiding principle in Amish families.

Children are taught by example from parents and other family members.  They are not excluded from family chores.  They are cared for as the family works, until they are old enough to contribute themselves.  Learning the skills they will need as adults comes naturally to children exposed to those skills from an early age.  All children learn to handle horses from a young age as well as those things they need to learn to be safe in a rural area.

Life is not all work in the Amish family.  Recreation takes many forms.  Hunting and fishing are universally enjoyed as is camping and picnics.  Toys may be frequently homemade or hand me downs from older siblings.  Bishops in each church district decide what activities will be allowed.  In some of the more conservative districts card playing may not be allowed, but it is perfectly fine in most others.  Yachtzee and other board games are enjoyed and are frequent gifts for birthdays and Christmas.  Puzzles abound as do dolls and toy animals.

Team sports like softball, kickball and tag are very popular.  Children learn many games at school and all of these are played at home.  Trampolines are becoming very popular and horseshoes have always been a favorite of all age groups.

Reading is both a group and a solo activity.  Parents and older siblings read to the younger kids.  The Amish\Mennonite newspaper the Budget is found in many homes.  Letters from 'scribes' from around the world keep communities in touch with the happenings in other community.  Newly weds are given a discount on the Budget for the first 6 months of marriage.

Bible stories, biographies, agricultural bulletins and cookbooks are all well liked.  The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries remain in demand among younger readers.


 Saturdays before Church Sunday,  the buggy gets a good scrubbibg

All photos and content copyright 2009 Brad Humble 

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