Sunday, September 11, 2011

History Comes Alive

Somewhere along the way I decided to try doing year-round homeschooling instead of the traditional model.  Our routine is very flexible and fluid.  We're not bound to a rigid schedule of trying to get it all done by a certain time.  It gives us the freedom to go whenever and where ever we want; and it saves us from having to gear up for school, get back in routine, and relearn/teach all the stuff we went over last year but forgot over the summer.

Anyway, it seems to be going really well right now.  Back in May, continuing on with a little bit of Horizons Math and Reading/Phonics, we added early American history from Adventures In My Father's World.  Boy, I'm learning so much - it's great!!  I hope the kids are too.

We started with Leif Ericson the Viking and then Christopher Columbus. We made the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria and sailed them in our turtle pool.

We've also studied the first English colonies to the New World, George Washington, Daniel Boone, Eli Whitney and Robert Fulton to just name a few.  We've built a wigwam, a pioneer's house, and tried to pick cotton seeds out of cotton balls.  We've read stories and tried to do things that really make history come alive for the kids.

Most recently, we went camping over Labor Day weekend we a group called the Powderhorn Clan.  They're a "primitive" club dedicated to the preservation of the old American firearms and lifestyle of those who would've used them pre-1840. 

Talk about history coming alive.  For three days we hung around these amazing (and very friendly) people that were all dressed up in period clothing, camping out in period lean-tos, half-shelters, and even one teepee.  Tom and the kids got to participate in throwing a hawk and knife.  Tom also got to shoot some black powder guns which he thought was very fun.

The kids were even given camp names.  Sammy and Ben charged around the camp with their "knives" (sticks) and "threatened" one of the clan leaders.  They were given the names "Big Knife" and "Little Knife".  Livvy spent most of her time with two older women.  She sat with them almost all day long chatting, listening, watching them knit and weave, and even helped them wash potatoes and turnips for dinner.  She was given the name "Half Pint" after her favorite real-life pioneer Laura Ingalls Wilder (she's read all of the little Laura books).

We had so much fun!  I'm not sure how involved we can be in the future, but we're going to try to progress (go primitive) and meet up with them again in the future.

Our camp.
 One of their camps.
The Powderhorn Clan.
 Livvy with Anna.
 Cow-Catcher teaching Tom how to start a fire with flint and steel.
Tom shooting a percussion pistol.
Big Knife watching Rumpshot start a fire with flint and steel.
 Little Knife hanging out with Cow-Catcher.
 Little Knife and his beloved Giraffey - not primitive at all.
 Livvy throwing the hawk.
 Big Knife shooting a compound bow that our good friends the Ketters brought. Might not be primitive, but close enough for us.
 Jon hanging out his Bumbo - again, not so primitive but very handy.
Half of the Cutlip and Ketter kids all lined up watching how it used to be done.

1 comment:

Tiffani said...

Love the girls' dresses!