Moose Camp


When you homeschool your kids, you have the flexibility to provide them with learning experiences that are important to your family.  It’s moose hunting season here in the interior of Alaska, and my son Tony headed to moose camp a few weeks ago.

Let me warn you that there are photos of moose meat hanging and dead moose, so if that disturbs you, please stop here.moose-camps-tents

There are a few staples I brought everywhere we went, and of course, journals were on the top of the list.  This was followed by math and more writing materials.

In the case of Moose Camp, prep the kids with library research about the area.  The camp Tony went to happened to be near a mining operation, so we would have found out what they were mining and amining-near-moose-camp bit about the history of the mines.

The camp was also near a ski lodge, so plan on adding a side trip, and incorporate a brief history of that lodge.

While Tony was trekking around the mountains in search of a bull, he discovered a missile.  After a discussion at camp with one of the guys who missilehad been in the military, he learned that the planes sometimes dropped things accidentally, including missiles.

That was a frightening discovery!

But also a great learning opportunity.  I have one son who would have been very interested in everything involving weapons, so he would have written a journal entry on the discovery and made a note to look it up when we got back home.  There are also many ideas for creative writing ideas:

  • The reaction of the military group when they landed and realized they were missing something important
  • Imagine being on the ground and seeing a missile coming toward you
  • What may have happened if it had exploded
  • Imagine being the missile

Much of their learning at this time would involve hunting and butchering techniques.  It has always been important to me for my kids to be self-sufficient.  Moose camp has many opportunities for those interested in teaching their kids hunting skills.

One of my daughters was a vegetarian for several years.  She was protesting cruelty to animals, and this would have been a perfect opportunity to show her the difference between the treatment of domesticated animals tentand those hunted for meat in the wild.  Of course, if she had not wanted to go, arrangements would have been made.

There are three groups of people in moose camp: those hunting, those learning and doing the heavy work, and those at camp keeping it cleaned and preparing food.

There are many problem-solving and math opportunities at moose camp. moose-meat-hangingCooking includes many math skills, and the hunters need to be able to determine distance, in order to know how far they will have to shoot to get their bull moose.  Then they need to know how much the meat weighs, determine how to get it back to camp, and how to divide it between all members of the camp.

The skills being passed down to the younger generation are invaluable, and one of the many benefits of homeschooling.  In order for moose camp totony-with-moose-head-in-camp run successfully, lessons are taught by the elders that can’t be taught without the hands-on experiences.

In our current world of instant gratification, the virtue of patience is worth the hunting trip even if all other educational materials were forgotten at home.  Hunting requires time spent quietly searching, waiting, and then taking the time to get it right.

Most Activities of everyday life can be turned into learning experiences.

My goal as a homeschool parent was to get my kids interested in lifelong learning and to help them along the way by providing opportunities for them.

I have located a wonderful online resource for keeping your kids writing, and it would be perfect for activities where the family is on the go.  Check out this site on note booking and let me know what you think!

You can leave a comment or suggestion below.  And tell me about your favorite activities away from home and how you incorporated homeschooling.





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12 Replies to “Moose Camp”

  1. Irvie, this is so inspiring! My wife and I have been talking about homeschooling our kids. This just points out the added benefits of it. I love the writing ideas you came up with about the missile you guys found, and a math lesson could surely be learned by hunting a moose or cooking it. I’m also enjoying the whole idea of traveling while learning, or the fun and experience that could be learned by family field trips. Thank you so much for writing!


    Ps. Did you get the kids to write about the missile?
    Did you daughter learn the different perspective on hunting or meat eating?

    1. Jonathan, homeschooling is a fantastic experience for the entire family. I am thrilled that I made that choice. My kids are all grown now, and the picture with the moose head is my oldest son. He’s 36 now. I haven’t homeschooled for a bit now. However, my youngest daughter, who is 21, is no longer vegetarian. Since we moved to Alaska and can hunt and fish our own meat, she eats that. But she still doesn’t eat meat from the store. None of us do since we are able to hunt what we eat.

  2. This looks like a very unique experience – something my boys can greatly benefit from. Being self-sufficient is what I always try to teach them, try to make them understand how important it is.

    The missile encounter is awesome, btw! Dangerous and amazing at the same time. Although I wish you’d made the pictures expandable – it’s really difficult to make out the details on some of them, including the one with the missile.

    1. Thanks Dmitriy, I’ll look into making the pictures expandable. Hunting isn’t only for the boys! Here in Alaska, there are as many girls hunting as there are boys, lol.

  3. Hello Irvie
    so glad to read your post,so much info that one does not always come across.
    Home-schooling was never heard of in my day or l want to believe my parents or l never heard of it.Even today, home-schooling is still a very new thing here in Switzerland,to be honest, l don’t know any parents here who homeschool.
    I like the fact that homeschooling gives parents and kids a chance to explore much more than they will in a traditional classroom,with good planning,warm summer days can be spent in the wild camping or fishing.
    I think kids lucky enough to be homeschooled benefit much more than a traditional classroom,being able to learn at home is a chance that should be made possible to more kids,with the many online education materials,

    1. Roamy, I agree that it is a fantastic opportunity, and I feel very fortunate that I was able to homeschool my kids. I didn’t use online materials much, only as research or info resources. However, here in Alaska most of the homeschool families do a lot of their school online, though many of them in the bush are too far away to use internet at all. The cool thing about homeschool is that you can make it into whatever works best for your family!

  4. What a wonderfully interesting article. I love the way you are able to construct learning activities out of every aspect of the Mosse Camp.

    Having not considered home learning before I am drawn to the conclusion that it must actually be very rewarding for the parent as well as the children – is that right?

    On another note, Moose Camp looks like it could be a fanstic family holiday as well.

    Thanks for posting, this was fascinating.


    1. Al, Moose Camp is a terrific opportunity to be with your kids, and it’s only a holiday if your holidays include lots of hard work, lol. But yes, I agree that it is a fantastic family event. And I found homeschooling very rewarding as a parent.

  5. Lol I should translate the word ”moose” before I started reading 🙂
    However, we have no home schools in my country so that is for me very interesting topic. I like your way of doing it and taking kids in the nature to learn about things that they wouldn’t have a chance to learn in the school. I have never been to Alaska and I can only imagine the beauty. I will go one day for sure.
    So much fun you are having there! Wow! I wouldn’t go for hunting for sure but i believe that school in a camp is the best school ever 😀

    Wish you much success and best of luck!

    1. Sunny, moose camp is a terrific opportunity to open up your kids to nature and all the learning that can be gleaned for it. Come on up to Alaska, you’d love it! It really is beautiful. What country are you from?

  6. Very informative and interesting post! I have several friends that have chosen to homeschool their kiddos and both are very satisfied and content with the situation. One friend takes her kiddos to the State Fair for writing ideas, math, and art-based curriculum. Unique and diversified, she and her kids enjoy culture, being outside of a classroom setting, and applying lessons to REAL-LIFE situations. I love the idea of Moose Camp. My family enjoys hunting (quail, pheasant, dove, wild hogs, whitetail/mule deer, and vermin control) and the great outdoors as well. I do not homeschool, but I can see the benefits from Moose Camp and real-life application of the Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. Truly fascinating and enjoyable post. Thank you.

    1. Thanks Shawna! With our educational system taking so many hits lately, both monetary and academically, I recommend homeschooling to all who can manage it. Not only is it a wonderful opportunity to for a strong and lasting bond within the family, but it gives you the freedom to keep your own hours and move around. You know, trips and vacations. Fun fun!

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