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Future Christian Homemakers' Handbook Review by Holly Cameron

Laurie Latour
Future Christian Homemakers
PO Box 50674
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32240

"This course was designed specifically to train girls as they will be the mothers and homemakers of tomorrow." - The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

Future Christian Homemakers' Handbook is just what the name implies: a handbook to help us get our daughters off on the right footing to become homemakers. In today's society, there is so much emphasis put on getting the right education, getting a degree, getting a job, and then a career... where are our grandchildren going to learn how to bake cookies and cook a turkey? How about sew on a button? In this handbook, which is written from first-hand experience of Mrs. Latour's years of teaching, we can pass on to our daughters how to sew and cook and even clean a house properly! Mrs. Latour teaches this course like a club; it would work absolutely wonderfully for co-op situations (weekly, monthly or whatever best suits your group). Even if you wanted to do it with just your daughter, the book is set up so nicely that it is very easy to follow. The whole concept is based on mentoring, the older teaching the younger, and as such multi-age groups are encouraged. The average age is up to you. Mrs. Latour starts the girls in her groups at about age 9 or 10, but if you provide the extra help many younger girls need, then even six year olds can do the lessons!!

I especially like that Mrs. Latour encourages you to make this just for girls. There are so many things out there that encourage both boys and girls, but this is something that you can do just with your daughter, and maybe some of her friends and their mothers. This course was designed specifically to train girls as they will be the mothers and homemakers of tomorrow. The typical class setting goes as follows: First, there is prayer and a short devotional. Mrs. Latour includes devotionals in this book that you can use, but you are not limited to them. Use what you feel comfortable with. After the devotional, then share a brief overview of the day's activities and hand out the student pages if there are any for that lesson. Read and discuss the lesson and then get started!

Mrs. Latour stops at least half an hour before it's time to go home so there is plenty of time to clean up and review the day's activities. Most lessons include one homemaking skill as well as a cooking or sewing skill. You can demonstrate a kitchen cleaning skill while you are cooking, and some other homemaking skill while you are sewing. Each cooking chapter contains an "Extending the Lesson" section with additional related activities. With about 70 recipes plus directions for dozens of homemaking skills, girls can complete the book over the course of a school year, or more quickly if desired. The program is flexible!

The bulk of the book is dedicated to cooking. There are lessons on egg cookery, muffins, both quick and yeast breads, cakes and cake decorating, ground beef, and poultry cooking, fruit, vegetables, microwave cooking, menu planning, table setting and manners, etc. For the sewing section, Mrs. Latour recommends the Stitches & Pins book to use alongside hers to teach the basics. There is an extensive resource list at the end of the book where you will find sources for free sewing projects, recipes and nutrition information, homemaking helps and more. Most of the necessary supplies you will already have on hand. There is a great section on basic homemaking, including laundry lessons, dusting and vacuuming, how to clean the kitchen, and bathroom. This is an awesome book to use to teach your daughter, and it will be a wonderful bonding time together as well.

If you love co-opping but don't feel like you have anything to contribute, then this book will save you! It is easy to follow, even if you aren't comfortable in the kitchen or at the sewing machine. You can follow Mrs. Latour's guidelines and you will feel like you have always been a homemaker! Throughout the course, Mrs. Latour keeps her eyes firmly planted on God, and keeps our daughter's eyes turning there also with her wonderful devotionals and Godly wisdom.

Enjoy being home with your daughter, and enjoy this book, as I am very confident that you will - it is a Godsend in today's modern world!

Mrs. Latour also publishes some very handy mini-books that are very practical to follow and contain wonderful, color photos. The ones I saw were called: Fun with Gingerbread; Foolproof, 3 Ingredient Pie Crust; and Perfect Roast Turkey and Gravy every time. With the holidays coming up, these handy little booklets will be perfect to use with your family to continue the program into every day life! The booklets are available separately from Mrs. Latour.

-- Product Review by: Holly Cameron, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine