Have you ever read to your children a book that explains an old fashioned way of doing things?
Maybe a book about a family that makes their own maple syrup, goats milk cheese, raises cows or sews quilts?
Have you ever wanted a resource book that will help you learn more about living a simple life?
Maybe you want to grow organic tomatoes or make bread without preservatives?
Back to Basics is a practical book I’ve used over and over again in our unit studies to help my children and I
experience and learn about skills and handicrafts our grand parents practiced.
I used Back to Basics with our February read aloud Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen.
On pages 242 –243 in Back to Basics, we learned about how three maple trees, the Sugar Maple, the Black Maple and the
Norway Maple tree produce the most syrup. We also read about the tools and techniques for tapping and how to turn sap into syrup.
Did you know goats milk makes a mild cheese and can develop an ammonia taste if stored to long?
Or that mozzarella cheese is made from the milk of the water buffalo?
Learn about how to make cream cheese, build a simple cheese press and make cheddar cheese on pp. 236-237.
Reader’s Digest Back to Basics How to Learn and Enjoy Traditional American Skills is
published by The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., Pleasantville, New York /Montreal.
It’s 450 pages and is divided into six parts.
Part One Land: Buying It- Building on It includes:
- Buying Country Property
- Planning Your Home
- Preparing the Site
- Converting Trees Into Lumber
- Building a Log Cabin
- Building with Adobe
- Building a Stone House
- Raising a Barn
- Developing a Water Supply
- Saunas and Hot Tubs
- Fireplace Construction and Design
- Stone Walls and Brick Pavements
Part Two: Energy From Wood, Water, Wind and Sun includes:
- Making Your House Energy Efficient
- Wood as a fuel
- Heating With Wood
- Water Power
- Wind Power
- Solar Energy
- Other Energy Sources
Part Three: Raising Your Own Vegetables, Fruit, And Livestock includes:
- The Kitchen Garden
- Gardening in Limited Space
- Herb Gardens
- Fruits and Nuts
- Pest Control
- Grains and Grasses
- Fish Farming
- Raising Livestock
Part Four: Enjoying Your Harvest The Year Round includes:
- Preserving Produce
- Preserving Meat and Fish
- Making Your Own Dairy Products
- Maple Sugaring
- Homemade Beverages
- Baking Bread
- Regional Cooking
- Cooking With Wood
Part Five: Skills and Crafts for House and Homestead includes:
- Natural Dyes
- Hooked Rugs
- Braided Rugs
- Patchwork Quilting
- Rope and Twine
- Tanning and Leatherwork
- Broom making
- Household Recipes
- Flower Drying and Pressed Flowers
- Gourd Craft
- Soap making
- Candle making
Part Six: Recreation at Home And in the Wild includes:
- Old-time Good Times
- Crafting a Mountain Dulcimer
- Celebrating Holidays
- Canoeing And Kayaking
- Wilderness Camping
- Outdoors in Winter
- Living With Nature
Also included is a Appendix that lists organized Assistance: The Extension Services and Other Groups and an Index.
I thought you would enjoy seeing the quilt pages from Back to Basics.
And these are the quilt blocks my nine year old daughter made.
Back to Basics can be purchased from a bookstore or borrowed from the library.
you have no idea how many memories seeing that book brought back for me..I used to sit and read and reread this book dreaming of how someday I could do everything in it..thankfully I was blessed with parents that were interested in this type of education for their kids, but I’m probably the one that it stuck with most..I still look at this book all the time! LOVE IT! Fantastic! 🙂
I actually have recently purchased that book from my favorite store…Goodwill!! It is wonderful and so much fun! I bought it to give to my husband for a present but we will all use it a lot, I’m sure!
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beth @ brew*crew adventure says
Wonderful review on a favorite book of ours. We have this book and LOVE it! My husband has actually read and referred to it more than I have over the years at this point, but we hope to make even more use of it in years to come. It’s such a wonderful reference, chock-full of inspiration and meaningful learning!
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Wow, my hubby had this book forever before it became mine too. We frequently look through it and fantasize about building our own little house in the woods and living off the land. I didn’t even know it was still in print! I really should use it more for school. What a great review!
Thank you for sharing this gem! I put it on my wish list.
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