Freedom is an essential part of raising children to be well-rounded, healthy, self-sufficient adults. One of the primary reasons I love where I live is the positive benefits this place offers my children. They have so much more freedom than they ever did in our former urban lifestyle. They have acquired so many practical skills and have adventures – hide-outs and forts, the stuff of an old-school childhood. They’ve met many fascinating people, learning a broad range of things, from how to find arrowheads to how to shoot a rifle, from geology to hands-on plumbing lessons, from cooking on an open fire (and they can cook a full, well-balanced meal from scratch, including biscuits or cornbread, from collecting the wood to digging a hole for the Dutch oven to serving up the meal, something many kids – and adults – struggle to do in a fully equipped kitchen) to the research abilities, critical thinking skills, curiosity, and confidence they need to learn how to do or make anything they want to. They build, they sew, they write, they create… they are never bored.