Saturday, February 09, 2008

Adventurous Home Schooling in the Country

Well!! I have to say that we've been in the new home less than 10 days and we are already having adventures! David has fished almost every day, and earlier this week he went with our neighbor (and landlord) to put out a beaver trap. Apparently beavers are building a dam and messing with Mr. W's lakes. My thought was "cool! David will get to see a bit about being an outdoorsman."

Yesterday Mom and I left David and my dad fishing while we went to look for curtains. After a while we called Dad's cell to let him know we were on our way, and I asked him if they had caught any fish. He said yes, and that David had an otter!!! Now, lest you think I'm hardhearted and not an animal lover, I truly thought he was joking. I told Mom what he said; we laughed and came on home. As we drove into the driveway we saw Dad and David with a river otter hanging from wire in a tree!!!! ACK! I said to Mom- "oh, my gosh!! He DOES have an otter!!" and Mom said "oh, NO!!!"...

They had gone with Mr. W to check his trap, and the trap contained an otter rather than a beaver. So, Mr. W told David to take it home and skin it. He told Dad how (he probably already knew) and told him that he was not to do it- David was, with Dad's supervision. So, they began the process, and then Jon took over when he got home from work after Mom and Dad left for their home. They finished about dusk and put the skin in the freezer until they can begin the tanning process.

This morning David went with Mr. W again- this time they had a beaver!!! So,... today he and Jon skinned a beaver, and tonight we (or maybe THEY) are having beaver stew!!! Can you imagine?? I'm thinking of all sorts of ways to use this in school. I'm also very thankful that these animals are already dead by the time David sees them and that he's not responsible for their termination.

Please don't anybody get mad at me for posting about this completely unexpected adventure! I just felt it was too interesting not to share.


Gary G. said...


I mean, if it doesn't gross David out then it IS a great experience ... one most kids will only read about ... but, ICK!

Leslie said...

Truthfully, that was my thought!! Yikes. But anyway, it's a great learning experience for him, so I'm trying to keep my squeamishness to myself! :)

starrgirl's world said...

Aren't we just the "wussiest" things? Beavers and otters and skins and such are part of real life in the pioneer/trapping world. There is a difference between pets and livestock and wild game and we need to remember that. I say that David is learning valuable things!

Anita Davies said...

Valuable life lessons, these things are often mistaken as callous but I believe that, when the teacher is good, alot of respect, tradition and knowledge of nature can be gained.

"Philomere" said...

Time to buy "The Dangerous Book for Boys"... this may only be the beginning!

Anonymous said...

Cool post! Don't ever apologize. That's man stuff. David will thrive on it! Have you read the Pearl's outlook on woods, hunting, skinning, trapping and such? You are blessed and keep making us drool over what you see, hear, smell and do in the country. Blessings, Natalie
PS I couldn't remember my password (tell you how much time I invested into blogger) so I had to sign in as anonymous, sorry.

Alison said...

We always took these opportunities in our home ed days. Once we dissected a squirrel that we found - it had the most finely ground nutmeat in its stomach - we could almost have rolled it in chocolate and eaten it. And squirrels have the most beautiful pearly white testicles hidden in their bodies!

elm11598 said...


All I have to say is THANK GOODNESS I have a girly girl!!!

I am so proud of YOU through all of that, though. I'm already looking for a place for Masha to do her Biology labs next year!

Keep up the good work!!!