MFW Adventures: Gold Rush & Geography Study

While most of the eastern seaboard was buried in snow, we were entirely inundated with rain this week. Nearly 6 inches fell in a 48 hours timespan. The zucchini patch has drowned, roots rotted through and through. Thankfully, the lettuce rows and kale patch do not seem to mind the rain. The turkey eggs continue to incubate, we are roughly one week away from hatch day(s)! Hubby spent all day today in the back hollow, digging holes for our fence posts. Its the first in a series of bays we are setting up for various animals. We are excited to see our little dream unfold.

IMG_9558.JPG

Studying the California Gold Rush, spurred the collaborative creation of the “Sunday Times Donut Gang” (pictured above). I briefly entertained the idea of panning for gold with the kids at the local fair but the constant downpour was a great deterrent. Instead, we chose to spend the week reading Sid Fleischman’s “The Great Horn Spoon.” We fell in love with Praiseworthy and wish we could go on an adventure with him. Jack and Good Luck and Mountain Jim were so endearing, we could not bear to put the book down. We are two thirds of the way done and will finish it up next week during our study of California. This book was a huge home run for the kids! If your littles are always begging for more books, this is a lovely one, especially on a rainy afternoon!

By Wednesday I realized that we were nearly out of groceries. I did not relish the thought of walking through a monsoon with the kids so we foraged and made the most of it. A meal of freshly baked bread, milk, jam, cheese and fruit made the cut. We brought out our favorite books and ate while we listened to the rain fall on the rooftop. A Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail picnic of sorts, but the boys had another take: “Mom, this reminds me of Plum Creek and the Ingalls family. Sometimes a simple meal made up of all you have tastes so much better because you worked really hard to put it together.” DSCN0926.JPG

We fell into a great rhythm this week with our school work. If you follow our blog, you know the boys like to play outside between subjects. This week they had to stay indoors and I loved watching what they gravitated towards for play. Our Pin it! Maps were reached for the most often.

DSCN1012.JPG

DSCN1013.JPG

DSCN1015.JPG

Six months of near daily use and these beauties are holding up wonderfully well! The Land and Water forms set is by far the most popular with the current age span.

This week, we also reached the end of our Beautiful Feet Geography study using “Minn of the Mississippi” by Holling C Holling.

497_1.JPG
We followed the journey of a three legged snapping turtle named “Minn”  from the headwaters in Minnesota down to the Gulf of Mexico.

cheater-map.gif

We found extra study materials, maps and clip art on Little Schoolhouse in the Suburbs.

While this is a geography study, the boys ended up engaging in math, cartography, botany, biology, anthropology, archeology, paleontology, language arts, composition, drawing, water color, and spelling. I loved watching them engage with dictionaries, encyclopedias and various nature books as they conducted their research. We read two chapters per lesson and really enjoyed the questions and exercises provided in the Beautiful Feet Geography guide. The boys are eager to start “Tree in the Trail” next week when we begin our study of the Sante Fe Trail.

IMG_9591.JPG

If you are already feeling overwhelmed by the Adventures workload then I do not recommend the above study guide. If you are looking for something extra and have 30-45 minutes a day to spare, then I highly recommend looking into Beautiful Feet Books Geography through Literature Pack. We love Holling C Holling’s living books and look forward to finishing the series. It is recommended for 4th grade and up so we scaled back a few of the exercises. I will likely revisit this pack again when we return to US History.

 

MFW Adventures: War of 1812, Star Spangled Banner & Lewis and Clark

IMG_8718.JPG

We studied the War of 1812 last year during cycle 3 of Classical Conversations. The minute the boys saw our topic of study they launched into the corresponding song, “The war of 1812, gave confidence to the US to write the Monroe doctrine…”

I made several recordings of their young warmly voices as they sang out “The Star Spangled Banner.” Its difficult to imagine what they will sound like a few years from now.

We recreated the Battle of Ft McHenry in our bathtub. We will not be sharing those pictures. Suffice to say, there was a great deal of water outside the tub when it was all said and done!

After spending the first two days of our unit reading about the War of 1812 and the writing of the Star Spangled Banner, the boys asked if we could take a detour with Lewis & Clark. I love homeschool detours. We always learn so much! Here’s what happened…

IMG_8707.JPG

We jumped in with our Interactive 3D American History maps. 
We looked up the various Indian tribes and geographical features mentioned on the map. The boys were very excited about researching these terms in their child craft encyclopedias.

IMG_8714.JPG
We made a lap book from Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus. All the printouts were free and easy to assemble. We listed defining characteristics of various tribes, studied botany and mapped out Lewis and Clark’s route.

We printed out the corresponding coloring sheets to fill in while I read aloud from our Louisiana Purchase book list (see below).

We played a really fun Lewis & Clark Westward Bound board game. The cards relay information about the trip at each stop along the map.

IMG_8679.JPG

Lastly, I purchased a few pounds of white sculpty clay and the boys fashioned pieces for our Corps of Discovery diorama. I read aloud from a few books written from the experience of Seaman, the massive Newfoundland dog that accompanied Lewis and Clark on their journey.

We baked the pieces in the oven and then painted them a few days later.

IMG_8721.JPG

IMG_8728.JPGIMG_8730.JPGIMG_8729.JPG

This was a great project! I love how hands on it was. I also got a lot of reading in while they worked and afterwards, while they played.

On Friday, we went for our usual nature walk. The boys had spent the week cataloging the plants in our backyard. We dissected a bird of paradise flower and labeled each part. I had seen a great link for making your own grocery bag nature journals, a la Merriweather Lewis. I had planned to let the boys fill their homemade journals with drawings of native plants as though they were the original discoverers.

12239866_10153237773503616_7819363253561514950_n.jpg

11222344_10153237773633616_953807943781542643_n.jpg

12243442_10153237776703616_6933596891181340243_n.jpg

In the end, I opted to just let them enjoy the great outdoors with a project in mind.
IMG_8727.JPG

When we returned home, they worked on their natural journals and sketched a large piece of brood comb from one of our pine trees. They also sketched a honey bee and labeled its parts.

12241709_10153237784328616_7093347670251621084_n.jpg

IMG_8747.JPGIMG_8749.JPG
I’m glad we did this instead of the journal. They were much more excited to sketch bees today. Some days, its better to let them lead their own learning.

We ended the week by playing one of our new favorite board games, Wildcraft,  in honor of those crazy botanist/explorers Lewis & Clark.
IMG_7554.JPG

Louisiana Purchase, Lewis & Clark Expedition Reading List

How We Crossed the West: The Adventures of Lewis and Clark by Rosalyn Sanchez
Lewis and Clark: The Story of Our Nation from Coast to Coast, from 1801-1850 by Sally Isaacs 
Lewis and Clark: A Prairie Dog for the President by Shirley Raye Redmond
The Louisiana Purchase: Would you close the deal? by Elaine Landau
The Lewis and Clark Expedition (Graphic History) by Jessica Gunderson
Seaman’s Journal: On the Trail with Lewis and Clark by Patricia Eubank

We’ll be taking the next week off and I plan to read “Of Courage Undaunted” by James Daughtery.

 

 

Pin it! Maps: GIVEAWAY!

IMG_5959Its our first giveaway here on FarmhouseSchoolhouse! I am thrilled to announce that we are giving away a Complete Student Set map bundle from Pin it! Maps.

This set includes:
8 — 18 x 24″ Pin Maps (World, North America, South America, Central America/ Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia/ Oceania)
2 — Foam Sheets (18 x 24 x .5″) with plastic corners
30 — 12 x 18″ Control Maps
1 — set of 1147 flag labels and national flags
Flag poles and flag bases
1/2″ Transparent Scotch tape for colored flag labels
3/4″ Transparent Scotch tape for national flags

IMG_5956

Yes, that is 38 maps in total! (30 control maps and 8 pin maps) Your kiddos will learn 196 country names, capitols, and flags. Science abounds here too! My boys are learning about biomes and plate tectonics. We have not built all of our flags yet. I am purchasing my quilting pins from craft stores with coupons whenever I get the chance to leave the house alone! 🙂 This means we are building as we go, but the 4 pinning maps we currently have in rotation are phenomenal. My kinetic learner, my struggling reader, and my overachiever have all benefited greatly from this set.

IMG_5849You can read our reviews here and here. They will give you more insight on how we use this set in our classroom.
IMG_5952
Pin it! Maps also has a large selection of FREE Teaching Materials which we have taken full advantage of. I am so thankful for these extra resources. The homeschooling Mama behind Pin it! Maps has a heart for education and it shows. From the exquisite shading in map detail and inclusion of biomes, to the thoughtful coordination and execution of the various pin labels, to the generous catalogue of beautiful free resources included— is it any wonder that we are now full on Geography nerds? I am a fan! Read more on the website about using these maps with Senior Citizens and those with Learning Differences.

IMG_5641
How to Enter:

Step 1: subscribe to our blog! You’ll find the subscribe button on the sidebar.

Step 2: hop on over to our Facebook page and hit “like” for a second entry.

Step 3: If you click on Pin it! Maps Facebook page and hit “like” that is entry number three!

Step 4: Sharing our giveaway on social media is entry number 4!

Lastly, remember to leave a comment below and let us know how many entries you have. Entries close at 3pm EST on October 10, 2015. The winner will be chosen at random and announced later that day. (UPDATE: I was going to announce on the 11th but had just enough time this afternoon. Congratulations to our WINNER!)

Ready. Set? Go!

Our Pin it! Maps 10% off discount code: FARM is effective until October 31, 2015.