MFW Adventures: Transcontinental Railroad

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Anybody else play Ticket to Ride allllllll week long? The boys were eager for rematches whenever possible and they ended up playing at least twice a day.  We would read from various books in-between games.

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We had a great “Railroad Day” which consisted of….
1) BEGGING my kids to try a bite of Irish Oats for breakfast. (They are not oatmeal fans).
2) The boys donning their engineer overalls and we read American Pioneers & Patriots account of immigrants building the transcontinental railroad. Fetching rails and water and food and supplies—we decided to make a game of it!
3) Splitting into two teams of two and using every bit of wooden track we had to race to the middle of the room. I had set the tracks up in a different room and one brother had to run and fetch rails and bring them back into the building room. They also had to squeeze one snack run in there (apples + water). The boys had to drink the water, finish their snack and build more track than the other team in order to win. Team “We Hate Potato Famines” won by a hair!  Team “Ten Mile Dragon” was pretty bummed.
4) We had fried rice for lunch and read “Coolies” (more info below).
5) We played more rounds of “Ticket to Ride.”
6) We read “Iron Horses” and “Locomotive” while enjoying a railroad track snack (pretzels stuck together with chocolate hazelnut spread.

It was a really fun day! Here is a quick review of the books we read:

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Iron Horses by Verla Kay. History told in rhyming quatrains! The boys liked reading this one aloud in “locomotive” voices, they really caught the cadence!

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Coolies by Yin. Excellent early Chinese American history read aloud.  After reading the Irish perspective in American Pioneers & Patriots, I was on the hunt for something from the Chinese perspective. This fit the bill!

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Locomotive by Brian Floca. My boys were a less interested in the story and more intrigued by the illustrations. They spent an entire afternoon, working on similar illustrations for their journals.

Online Resources
Interactive Transcontinental Railroad
Central Pacific Online Railroad Museum
List of Links related to Railroad History

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This week was a prime example of why I love using MFW.  I love that we have wiggle room to add fun and wacky days, like “Railroad Day” and still have room for lots of rich learning. Its good to know that I don’t need to pack their day to the hilt for them to walk away having experienced truth, goodness and beauty. Even as we shift closer and closer to being strictly Charlotte Mason, I am still holding onto MFW because I see how my kids are flourishing with it.

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