Jarrett and I never thought we would homeschool our children. I had big plans to be room mother and bring cupcakes up to their classrooms every Friday. But it never happened (at least not yet). Homeschooling is just something that has evolved, for many different reasons, into our lives. One of the things that is important to us is that the boys (and soon to be girl!) will know and live life skills including survival and outdoor ones on a daily basis.

I have taught the boys how to can strawberry jelly, make bread from scratch, make and use our own sourdough, sew basic stitches, and grow and tend to plants, herbs, and vegetables.

My learning list for them and myself in the future is long, especially now that they are older. I want to learn and teach them to make candles, sew more complicated items, kill and skin their own meat (including fish), forage for food (we have a class coming up for this!), take art classes from a real artist, and many other things that I am so excited about!!

Some things I will read up on and learn myself, some things we will find someone else to teach us. (I have shot and killed a squirrel before, but not skinned it-totally farming that teaching lesson out!)

I wanted to find a wilderness survival expert to teach the boys a class on how to build a fire, what to pack when you go hiking in case you get lost, and how to make a shelter using nature. I was beyond excited when I found Bruce who lives and teaches classes in the next town over. He has weekend courses, but they are aimed at older children and adults, so I asked him to do a private class for our family tailored to the boys’ ages.

Just to add in, this is my favorite book on letting kids be free in nature and teaching them basic wilderness skills. Its a really fun read and has some great ideas.

So anyways, after weeks of looking forward to this, I was unable to go:( I had just gotten out of the hospital and not feeling well at all, so the boys and Jarrett had a guy’s day and went surviving without me. They had such a great time!

Bruce showing the boys what they should bring on a hike or camping-its amazing what comes out of that little bag!

Bruce’s sons also came. One reason I asked Bruce to do this class was because he had sons. I thought he would know a little about holding 2 active boys’ attentions for a couple hours:)

going through different items for making a fire

Conner calls this moss “beard papa”-hehe

This was such cool and special day for the boys (and Jarrett!)-thank you so much Bruce!

Bruce’s Wilderness Survival School 

This is not the first time the boys have made fire. When we lived on Maui, we built a few fires with flint and an “almost” fire rubbing sticks (we got it smoking:).

and look who was chilling near by….


on another day-our attempt to make a bow-drill (it did not go so well:)

while the boys made fire, Trek and I enjoyed the sunset (do you recognize this shot? its from the set that I used to make Jarrett’s book cover:)

that was such a happy day, I remember every part of it. It was nice to use a picture for the book from a timeless, happy moment before we knew

And now, I give you Peyton making fire!