This week we decided to do our homeschool unit on Safety. Last fall, we went through some fire safety basics, but as the kids get older, I find they're more able to grasp the concepts so I believe it's important to reinforce and expand on what they already know...especially in the life-saving skills arena.
After reading several books from the library on fire safety we discussed each kid's evacuation plan. We learned how to touch a doorknob to see if it was hot, and talked about the options if it was. I took them over to each window in their rooms and, while I may regret this later, demonstrated how to open it & pop the screen so they could jump out. We agreed that in an emergency, we would meet down at the playground, some 50 yards from our house and well out of the path of any fire-related traffic.
Once I figured the kids knew how to get out in an emergency, we decided to do some "drills" to practice leaving the house in heavy smoke conditions. Each kid took turns being blind folded and then finding their way from their room to the front door on hands and knees. I even did it once from my room. They had a blast.
While Boy was able to cruise around and ultimately find the exit, he did bump his head a few times on the furniture...this was a very effective way for him to learn to get his hands out in front of him. Little Sister, on the other hand was brilliant at this game...so good, in fact that I kept checking to see if she was peeking.
After we all had a chance to practice, I pulled out the stopwatch and started timing them. Boy ran it in about a minute, less time if I was coaching. Little Sister went from her room to the front door, on hands and knees, BLINDFOLDED in 34 seconds. I have to admit it makes me feel much better to know that my kids can get out that fast in the smoke and dark if they needed to.
To wrap up our lesson, we discussed the two things fire needs to keep burning and methods that grown ups use to put fires out. Sadly, while we had a tour of the fire station scheduled for today, Little Sister woke up with a sniffle this morning so we rescheduled.
Tomorrow, we address "personal safety" and get to meet a real police officer. I'm excited to ask him a few choice gun-related, personal defense questions, since in my experience, police officers usually prefer gun control to bunches of well armed citizens. It should be interesting to hear what he says, and of course, I will share my findings.