Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sod Houses on the Great Plains by Glen Rounds

 Sod Houses on the Great Plains by Glen Rounds

Rating: 4 stars

Yes, that's right.  I checked out a book on sod houses for my 4- and 5- year old kids.  I believe in encouraging nerdiness at a very young age.

Okay, a little background:  Ben is interested in building, so I called a friend who builds houses and we're going to visit his newest house as it is being constructed.  We're lucky to have this connection, and I feel comfortable exploiting the friendship just a little to open Ben's eyes to one of the zillion possibilities he could do with his life.

Another bit of background: About two years ago I read Worst Hard Times (and then reread the wonderful Grapes of Wrath) and became a little obsessed with the Dust Bowl era of our nation's history.  I started it while still in the hospital after having Kiefer; reading the part about the mom crying because her newborn didn't have clean air to breathe deeply affected my appreciation for how easy I have it in this parenting life of mine.  I want to pass along this appreciation to my trio, and teaching them about this era is one of a zillion ways I plan on doing that.
Uninvited wildlife was another housekeeping problem.

So here's Appreciation 101.  Check out this sod house, Ben!  Aren't we lucky to live in a house that has more than one room, doesn't leak when it rains, and rarely has a cow come through the roof?!  With the help of this neat little book, that was today's lesson over lunch.

This book is geared towards elementary school students--it really does teach a lot in its pages and with its sketches.  The pioneers arrived on the Great Plains and realized they couldn't build houses as they were used to due to the lack of trees and, therefore, wood.

Here was a snippet of our conversation:

Ben: Why couldn't they use trees for wood for the house?
Me:  Look at the picture here.  Do you see any trees?
Ben: No.
Me:  But they need a house, right?  And their temporary houses--the wagons--didn't work so well.  So they had to look around them and improvise.
Ben: And all they could find was dirt?
Me:  Yup.  The dirt could be cut into big rectangles and stacked.  Look at this picture--what does it look like to you?
Ben: Bricks.
Me:  And Duplos, too, don't you think?

You get the idea.  He was all over it, totally into it.  But in case you're wondering, we're not going to build a sod house in our yard anytime soon.  I have to draw the line somewhere...

Anyway, this book is a bit random but very neat--a great way to teach so many lessons.  Shelter is necessary.  Use what you have.  Be creative.  Appreciate what you've got.  Housekeeping stinks in a sod house.

No comments:

Post a Comment