My boys built their original tree fort one summer. The next summer they added a room addition, a closet, and a few benches. More recently, they enclosed the space under the fort with walls. Whenever they work on that fort, it consumes them.
The idea for this booklet came to me while taking a picture of my boys’ tree fort for a blog post. My husband Tim encouraged me to turn that post into an e-booklet; author and tree house builder extraordinaire Pete Nelson inspired me to turn the booklet into a work of art; and all of the children who shared their opinions of tree houses make me wish every child could have one.
Lessons from the Tree House contains more than 50 lessons that you can do with your children in language, math, science, art, and more–while designing, building, and enjoying your tree house.
Here are a few examples of what you will find:
- Draw up your plans. (Use the grid paper on page 15.)
- Older children may want to use a computer aided drafting program.
- Younger children can draw their plans by hand.
- Plan a field trip to a tree nursery and learn everything you can about trees from the arborist there.
- Safety—for the youngest ages, or those with no experience with building, take the time for a unit on tool safety. You might start with this article from The Old House.
- Have a younger child write a story that centers on a tree house. If he is too young to write it out, have him dictate it into a recorder.
- Assemble a small first aid kit to keep in the tree house. Discuss the items put in the kit and their uses.
- Find and give reference for 5 trees in the Bible and what they were used for. Do you have the same trees in your area? Try to identify them either in nature or in a tree identification book.
Remember, this is just a sampling. In Lessons from the Tree House you will also find a list of resources, quotes from kids about the importance of tree houses in their lives, a list of 20 vocabulary words, and a host of links that lead you to related sources on the Web.
Here are a few quotes from those that have already enjoyed it.
I really loved your Lessons from the Tree House.My husband saw it and…noted that it is very professional. We talked about building a tree house for our grandchildren. I love the way you expand the project in so many ways in teaching safety and life skills. –Retta, Veteran Homeschool MomIt is simply amazing. I am totally in love. My oldest was particularly excited about the research that she encourages in the book. He wants to go to a garden center and check out the trees. –Jaime, Homeschooling Mom to 3
We do not have plans to build a tree fort or house, so you might think there isn’t much we could use. Well, let me tell you, we found much we can use. While we are not building the specific project, we are always working on other projects around the homestead. As I’m sure you know, homeschoolers and homesteaders are great at adapting! –Hillary, Homeschooling Momma to Many