This past Saturday was the celebration of one of the few things that my side of the family celebrates – opening day of deer season. I was raised in a faith that did not allow the celebration of traditional holidays, so our family was pretty creative about finding other things to celebrate. Weddings and anniversaries were always big. Graduation parties and first/last day of school rated high on our list, too. My mom always put together some kind of summertime fun party for us too, but the one that we all sort of looked forward to was the first day of deer season – and Camp Breakfast.
The tradition is that all the men hunt and all the women cook. Being the somewhat progressive (and possibly very, very redneck) family that we are, a lot of the women hunt, too. My mom and grandmother (who do not hunt) and great-aunts (who do) usually cook. My sisters and I (who also do not hunt) are usually the pitchers-in of supplies, but this year I actually got to cook. Traditionally, it was bacon and eggs with deer sausage and biscuits or toast, but in the last few years, they’ve branched out into different recipes. This year, it was breakfast burritos, biscuits and gravy and muffins. No one leaves hungry!
(Yes, they had coke with breakfast… don’t judge; it was a special occasion). Afterwards, the kids spent the afternoon performing bike stunts with their cousins.
To go along with this ‘family holiday’, we’ve also completed a lapbook on deer. We also incorporated a couple of the mini books from the Yearling lapbook and may grab it at the library later on and do the lapbook for it as well. This is a small lapbook, but it was a very rich unit. When we were looking up predators, we ended up looking more deeply into the mythology that surrounds them (like wolves and Native American culture, and jaguars and South American culture). The art work and mythology is so interesting; I’m sure we’ll go back to those areas again.
We also got to talk about conservation and endangered animals and how it affects us when animals go extinct. We talked about how our state’s Parks and Wildlife department is reintroducing some of the larger predators to our area and the role they play in population control. I was honestly surprised by how much there was to be learned on such a seemingly simple topic. As for age-range, this lapbook was right on-target. My boys are 7 and 8, they really enjoyed working on this one. Gold Star to HomeschoolShare.com for putting together such a great book!