Earth Building - Preschool and Homeschool
Zak Kozlowski, May 21, 2017
Welcome Back Summer!
Ithaca Forest Preschool
At the Preschool this week, happiness ruled. The creek was open, and I don't see it closing anytime soon, so bring your water shoes, sun hat, and come on down to Trillium camp.
Monday, we started the day by taking rides on a deer hide. Marc was stretching one tanned hide out, so kids helped by pulling and holding each other up on the magically-strong deer carpet. We used the teachable moment to hide our own skin with charcoal, and blend in deep in the hemlocks, sitting perfectly still behind stumps. Tuesday and Wednesday were more "plant-based" days as we learned how to make Leaf Bracelets! With leaf bracelets on, we quizzed our students knowledge of plant ID with a game of Plant Go-Fish. Funny Name, Right!?
Finally, on Thursday the homeschool group was building an oven, which you can read more about below. The Forest Preschoolers visited the construction site on Thursday and pitched in to help make this creation. There are also some nice renovations at Trillium Camp: after two work parties, there is fresh sand in the sand box, new gravel is laid around the pavilion, trails have been weeded and trimmed, and leaves have been raked away. Thanks to Melissa for her ongoing hard work at this!
Thursday Homeschool at East Hill
Thursday was my birthday, and it was the most wonderful birthday I can remember! Spending the day with your amazing children had a great deal to do with that.
The day took on the look of a village. Everyone was present in our Village Camp, learning together, building something for the greater good of all Primitive Pursuits' participants. There were no barriers based on age, skill, or ability. We were building a COB OVEN!
To prepare for this distinguished day, clay and sand was harvested weeks ago by homeschoolers, and then dried and pounded out. Lots of work went into getting the materials to our site.
Futhermore, we needed outside guidance from a cob teacher. We found that guidance in volunteer Miwa Oseki Robbins! She gave us the logistical information needed to have everything. When she showed up Thursday, we were ready to rock and roll. Well, clay and roll. She taught us how to sift the clay into powder, make the proper mixtures of clay, sand, and water, and oversee the construction.
There were so many tasks for us all to get our hands dirty. We finished up the actual building, and we are now awaiting the carving of the door, the drying of the cob, and creating of a roof for the cob oven. We hope to fire it up later this Spring Session, and have it for years of baking ahead!