In this chapter of the Swiss Family Robinson, the Robinson's are held captive in Rockburg, their cave, by a giant boa constrictor! So we, of course, studied snakes.
For our Toddler Time, we made a snake craft and read Toddler Tales.
Then, we read and discussed Acts 28:3-6, Mark 16:18, Luke 10:19-20, Numbers 21:5-9 and 1 Corinthians 10:9-11 and each boy picked a snake to research and answered the snake questions (link below). They picked rattlesnakes, boa constrictors, and cobras.
We also researched snakes of Montana and made a fold up poster with the name, description and picture of each.
We have one poisonous snake, the Rattlesnake, so we studied first aid procedures for venomous snakes, talked about snake safety and took a hike to point out typical snake habitats.
Rattlesnakes will sun themselves on the rocks in the morning and evening and cool off underground during the day. We learned to: wear high top leather boots for safety, avoid brush, and other places they might hide, be careful going over logs, not place our hands on rocky ledges above us and never stick our hand in a hole! We went on several hikes over the last month and I kept reminding the children to only walk where they can see their feet!
We also talked about the importance of identifying snakes before destroying them. Some good snakes kill bad snakes and help control rodent population.
Another assignment was to catch a turtle. We have a local pond teaming with turtle life, so that was not hard to do!
The boys had fun connecting with some old friends as they explored the pond life.
We also studied basketmaking and learned what local vines, grasses, etc. could be used to make a basket. We found cattail leaves, willow branches . . . and yucca leaves and gathered some materials.
And practiced weaving a pattern of diagonals for a hexagon-shaped bottom.
I was determined to make a basket, but for the sake of moving on, we decided to pick this project up another time and instead found some good basket-weaving videos on YouTube.
We also found one for making cord from yucca.
We pounded the yucca leaves with a rock to loosen the inner fibers. They are then pulled out and twisted to make rope. We thought we would try this again with fresh leaves.
We learned how to make Yucca Root Shampoo (survival style for sure) by mashing the yucca root and
steeping it in hot water.
steeping it in hot water.
We learned 20 new vocabulary words and discussed the character traits the Robinsons displayed. We picked two additional traits, read verses from the Bible about them and talked about practical ways we can demonstrate these traits.
We are working to build a homestead and someday we would like to live more off the land, so these skills are important to us. If you are interested in reading more about our journey, or to see some of the hikes we went on, you can read about it here!