This month we are getting started on our Home Building Block/Unit study. We will cover social studies, math and science. The less obvious academic subject covered is language arts. It is important that he, my son, takes away from this project the ability to work together and respect others ideas. While the academic subjects are supporting these life values.
Through the year we have been casually talking about what types of houses people lived in. These have been pointed out while reading books, watching a movie, anytime the topic arises. Some great books are Robinson Crusoe, Swiss Family Robinson, Little House on the Prairie to name a few. I also may make up a story when a moment presents itself.
For this block/unit I have chosen 1 Kings 5 and Luke 6:48 to bring in biblical reference of character and weight and measurements, types of wood used and stone cutting. It will be read from the The Living Bible because of the contemporary language such as “gallons” verses “cors”. The story has detailed dimensions of the temple that Solomon built which will cover simple geometry.
After reading the story we talk about the details of how how the temple was built. I ask him open ended questions to encourage conversation. Depending on his mood I might have a great talk. If not that’s fine too. His father will ask him later on in the day about the story.
“How did you feel about the story?”
“What was your favorite part?”
Luke 6:48 is our backdrop for our drawings of a house standing on rocks and surviving the raging stream. He will have an opportunity to create his own depiction of the story. The verse makes for copy work and cursive writing practice.
Here are some words that are for your knowledge or you can use them as vocabulary for your child.
- bushel: a unit for measuring an amount of fruit and grain that equal to about 35.2 liters in the U.S. ad to about 36.4 liters in the U.K.
- gallon: a unit of liquid measurement
- cor: an ancient Hebrew and Phoenician unit of measure of capacity
- bath: ancient Hebrew liquid measure corresponding to the ephah of dry measure (ephah is also an ancient Hebrew unit if measure equal to 1/10 homer or a little over a bushel.)
- area: the surface included within a set of lines.
- square: a four sided shape that is made up of four straight sides that are the same length and that has four right angles.
He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock.
1 Kings 5:18
So Solomon’s builders, Hiram’s builders, and the Gebalites quarried them; and they prepared timber and stones to build the temple.
Now for Some FUN!
We move onto the more exciting part of this study, the fort building. I will bring out one of the books on tree houses for him to look at and a basic carpentry book. This is when we brainstorm ideas on how we are going to accomplish building the his fort.
- Write a list
- Create a Mind Map
- Draw pictures
- anything else you think of . . .
A suggestion I read is to visit Habitat for Humanity or a home building retailer. Assist him to cost out the fort project. It is also a challenge to find materials for free. My friend built a chicken coup with free materials from Freecyledotorg.
Basic List of Woodworking Hand Tools
A. Measuring Tape (12′) they make measuring tapes that have the fractions labeled on the tape to make it easier to read especially if your child is just learning about fractions.
B. Ruler (12″) wooden ones are easier to read than the clear or colored plastic ones.
C. Hammer (7 – 10oz for smaller children, 16oz for older children with better hand eye coordination)
D. Screwdrivers: flathead and Phillips
E. Nail set
F. Handsaw (western or Japanese style)
G. Coping saw
H. Block plane
I. Brace Drill (Hand drill)
K. Sandpaper (100, 120, 150, 180 grits)
L. Glue (white or yellow) water proof for outdoor projects
M. Screws and nails (a box each of 1 ¼” and 1 5/8″ drywall screws and a box each of 3d, 4d, and 6d finish nails will get you through most projects in this book).
N. Clamps (See the lesson on building the step stool for information on clamps).
O. Safety glasses (it may take some extra effort, but find a pair that fits your child. They will become frustrated quickly if every time they start to swing a hammer they have to push their glasses back up on their noses. Manufactures do make child size glasses it just might take some looking around to find them.)
P. Combination square
Q. Speed square
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Natureskills.com How to Build a Survival Shelter
How to Build Treehouses, Huts and Forts by David Stiles available on RainbowResource.com