One of the most important reasons we changed our lives so drastically was that we felt living off grid out in the woods would be better for our children than living in town. One of the ways it is better is that it provides opportunities for children to learn hands on skills that you may never have a chance to learn in a different setting. Hands on skills like building you own house.
The type of house we are going to build provides many opportunities for even our young children to help build their own house. How cool a kid are you when you helped build your own house at age 5? There are plenty of aspects of the house that are entirely kid friendly through lack of chemicals or dangerous tools. It will be safe and it doesn’t need to be perfect. How much better could it get for a kid?
Building this houe will take up a lot of our time that the kids might normally be getting. This doesn’t usually work out well for anyone. However, if I can figure out how to incorporate the children into the building process, there is much less of the boredom time that often leads to ugliness and would stop the building process for the adults. I also don’t want my kids to hate the house because they got ignored all summer.
So how is it that I intend to entertain the kids by letting them build a house? Everything is a game, really. If I give the kids a pile of rocks and some toy trucks, the rubble trench will get filled. I don’t expect miracles, it does slow things up, and kids won’t likely fill the whole trench, but every litle bit helps. Kids can help sift rocks and clay. They can carry small buckets of rock or small logs. They can help us mix the cob by dancing in it. They can help us stack the logs in the walls, even build the walls to their own room. They can help gather rocks to make the floor. They can hammer crazy nails for door frames and window frames (the nails need to be going all different directions in order to help adhere to the cob). They can design patterns for bottle wall windows. There are so many possibilities, I think I may even have a fighting chance at keeping them busy.
Wish me luck!