Prepare and Pray Lesson 13: Preparing for Winter

Prepare and Pray, is a family preparedness study based off the book Swiss Family Robinson, by Johann Wyss. SFR is a delightful "living" book that is rich in natural science, vocabulary, geographical details, history and physical science. It is a timeless classic with strong moral and spiritual content. We read the original version and love the rich language. The subjects we cover in our curriculum include Bible memory, Handi-work/Crafts, Life skills, Clothing, Shelter, Health, Safety and Nutrition, Natural and Physical Science, Geography and History. The discussion questions provided provoke deep discussions. And I love the Toddler Tales for the little ones.

In chapter 13 of the Swiss Family Robinson, the Robinson's make preparations for cold weather. They make fur lined hats and raise angora rabits for warm wool yarn. So we spent some time making warm weather clothing this lesson. First, we made mittens and hats out of 100% wool sweaters that we bought from Goodwill.
We traced our hands on the sweater, cut around and sewed (right sides together)! So simple! I also made the cutest 100% wool sweater dress and leg warmers for Eliana.
I used a ladies small sweater, cut off the arms midway to make the leggings and used single fold bias tape to install elastic to gather at the neck, waist line and arms.

At the time of this picture, I had not yet completed the other sleeve and will caution you that if you try this, use a heavy duty needle, and sew carefully to make sure your fabric does not bunch up underneath the presser foot! I love the bright colors, matching leggings and how snugly warm this will be this winter! {And she is being very good to model this for me considering this is a winter outfit!}

I buy fisherman's wool in large skeins to store for future use. The skeins only come in 3 colors, off white, beige and brown. So, we experimented with beet juice to make a pretty color.

First, we wrapped the wool and tied it in two places so it would not tangle and then prepared the juice by scrubbing the beets and running them through the juicer. I read that beet juice is not colorfast (meaning it will wash out) so we used vinegar to try to fix the color. We boiled vinegar and fresh beet juice and placed the yarn in the pan and "cooked" it for an hour (adding water as necessary so that it did not boil out). It came out so pretty! We rinsed it several times to see if it was colorfast and it is!

We discussed the teachings of Scripture concerning clothing:
  1. Modesty - Is the shape of your form revealed?
  2. Simplicity - Are you calling attention to Jesus-Yeshua or self?
  3. Practicality - Are you dressed for the weather and work?
  4. Role Distinction - Can all clearly see that you are thankful to be feminine or masculine? Does you clothing express love of God's governmental order?
{See Timothy 2:7-10, 1 Peter 3:1-7, Deut. 22:5, 1 Cor 11, Ezekiel 23:40, Jeremiah 4:30}
We read through some "tried and true suggestions" on how to dress in hot weather and extremely cold weather while still reflecting the above qualities.

We learned and practiced first aid for frost bite and how to make emergency snow blinders, talked about the character qualities of the Robinson's, learned a plethora of new vocabulary from the chapter, and covered some great discussion questions. We also bought ingredients to make a super big batch of homemade hot cocoa for this winter! {And we are already into the next lesson!}
See other lessons we have done here!


  1. Oh Michelle, you and our God are amazing! I am overjoyed when I consider the excellence of your efforts as a mother and teacher. Your writing makes me want to go and pray over my lesson plans and enjoy the journey all the more. I am thrilled to walk beside you even though it's from a distance. : )Blessings!-Kathy

  2. I will be back to comment on this unbelievable post!!

    I just gave you an award:

  3. Chel -
    Wonderful post and it looks like such a fun lesson, we had a great time with dying wool and making sweater items too!.

  4. Could you please tell me, Michelle, which version of the SFR book you have? There are so many! And, do you read one chapter a week or every other week? I purchased the curriculum and am still unsure how to organize the chapter reading and activities. I LOVE your blog and am so excited about getting into the P&P curriculum. You are such a blessing to all who read your posts!

  5. Ooops...forgot to leave my e-mail
    Blessings, Angie