The Last Frontier

Monday, March 28, 2011

Resourceful Little Bushrats

My sons always amaze me with their resourcefulness. Earlier in the winter, long before they'd ever even seen or heard of snowboards, they began trying to stand up in their sleds to zoom down hills. After our trip to town, during which we took a drive through one of the passes and saw some snowboarders and skiers, Zeke and Jed got a few ideas.

This morning after we finished homeschool, they went outside. Within minutes they were back inside announcing that they had some snowboards. I had just started another batch of homemade soap and wasn't really giving them my full attention, but that made me stop and wonder what they were up to this time. They're always inventing toys and games, and I was really curious about this. They found an old stump from a blowdown, pulled off a few long chunks of wood, and then used another piece of wood to scrape them down to suit their desire for snowboards.

Actually, only Jed had a snowboard. Zeke said that he did have one, until Jed broke it. Now he has a set of skis, which pleases him greatly! They kept slipping off their new "inventions", so they found their daddy and asked him to drill a few holes and give them some rope. In no time they had foot straps and some pretty neat homemade equipment.

While Zeke tied on his skis,  Jed gave his "new" snowboard a whirl. Here he is trying to stand up again --- seconds before wiping out!
Jed on his homemade snowboard

Zeke broke off a couple of half-dead tree limbs to use as ski poles before trying out his new skis. He did better than I did my first time on skis!
Zeke on his homemade skis


  1. How Fun! I bet your boys are so proud of themselves. I love their creativity.

  2. This is exactly how play allows children to develop problem solving skills. The boys obviously wanted some sort of snowboard or ski apparatus... so they made them themselves! Homeschooling/learning is not just comprised of books and lessons. Solving problems and navigating everyday life is all part of learning. The world is their classroom. Bravo! (PS - I am very interested in what soap you were making *smile*)

  3. Thank you both for visiting this morning. Yes, they are very proud. But to them, this is just the way life is. If you want or need something that you don't have, you find it or make it yourself. They've lived in the bush all their lives, so they've never been in a position like most children to see something on TV and to say "I want _ _ _ " (fill in the blank), and then have Mommy or Daddy say, "OK, let's go to the store and buy it".
    Thank you, Judy, for that great reminder! A few years ago, a family member who has never visited us or even met our boys, and who is extremely critical of homeschooling blasted me in an email, saying that my husband and I were ruining our children. She said we were "raising uneducated, unsocialized, rude little brats who would never amount to anything!". Remember, she has never met them. People who have, however, including their pediatrician, friends in town who are teachers, school principals, college professors, a retired military officer, business owners, etc. say they are very polite, creative, bright, and two of the most interesting children they've ever met. In part, that makes me feel very proud. But mostly, I know that it is the lifestyle. Everyday life is teaching them very important lessons in life that will serve them well in the future. I am incredibly thankful, and feel so blessed!
    BTW, Judy, on the soap, I'll give you a hint . . . I have just about finished an article on the many uses of Usnea. I hope to get it posted tonight.

  4. The best thing about kids growing up in the BUSH is, challenges, this is something they learn and are given a way to accept and overcome. They will have skills that the majority of kids in this country don't have today. They learn to see, hear and notice things out of the ordinary. Know the tracks of many animals, their habits. I think you get the idea. BUSH kids learn an education that can never be compromised. Good on your kids.

  5. They are very lucky to be living where they are, and lucky to have parents who allow them to take risks & play the way they do.

  6. Very cool! It's awesome to see kids figuring stuff out themselves outdoors and having a great time doing so. The internet is great, but it can prevent kids from experiencing the real world. I like that they made snowboards out of wood - check out this wooden snowboard, it's pretty great for beginners and definitely encourages kids to play outside :)


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