Emily has been participating in the Living Earth School's Homeschool Nature Studies program for the last 9 weeks. (That's Emily with Kate and her daughter, Violet, above.) Next week is the last class, and it's an overnight stay in the woods. Emily is bringing cookies and 2 dozen eggs; other kids have been assigned different foods to bring as well.
Over the course of the program, Emily and the other kids have learned an amazing number of things about nature.
- They've learned to make fires with bow drills and with flint and steel.
- They can make tinder from cedar bark.
- They know how to make rope from both yucca and dogbane. (They could also use milkweed. And here's another source of rope-making info.)
- They tried three kinds of teas, made from spicebush, black birch, and mint.
- They've played some games that have taught them greater observation skills, as well as how to blend in: the ovenbirds and blue jays game to learn to find small "nests" on the ground, and the camouflage game to learn to hide themselves.
- Just yesterday they were tracking a bear (that was long gone).
- They also found a dead deer. Hub cut it open and the kids were able to examine it. I was told all four stomachs were full of grass/greens, and that the intestines looked like sausages. So happy I wasn't there for that one!
I'm so glad this program is available in our area. The school also offers summer camps and classes for adults. Much of what they teach is based on things they've learned from Tom Brown, Jr's tracking and wilderness training.