Emma starts 5th grade Monday. In preparation, she had a summer homework assignment that we finally wrapped up today. She had to do these things:
1. read “My Side of the Mountain” by Jean Craighead George
2. make a map of what her “side of the mountain” might look like
3. make a diorama of the tree that Sam lived in on the mountain
4. bake trail mix cookies by doubling the recipe (working with fractions)
I wasn’t that thrilled with assigned summer homework, preferring to let our reading, math, etc. flow out of whatever we’ve got going but we dived in and worked on this a little at a time while we were at home.
If you haven’t read My Side of the Mountain, then maybe you should. It’s about a boy who runs away from home to go spend time by himself in the mountains. It was written in 1959 and talks about how little people knew about living off the land–but this boy knew; he knew which plants to eat and how to build a shelter.
How many of us today would even know where to begin. That number of knowledgeable people has dwindled even more since 1959. Most of us have no clue how to make or do things within our homes, much less on the side of a mountain.
We do a lot from scratch around our house, like canning and bread baking and even some cheese-making but I’m not sure how I’d fair if I was thrown into the wilderness and had to fend for myself. How about you? What do you know that would help you to survive?