Sunday, August 22, 2010

Jed's Cottonwood Yoke Made it to Santa Fe.....

If you know what that means, you must be a fan of Holling C. Holling's book, Tree in the Trail !

This is book #2 in the Beautiful Feet  Literature/Geography study.

First,  we read The King's Fifth by Scott O'dell aloud as a family.  (It's a great read!)

After the book was finished, we jumped into Tree in the Trail.  We 'watched' history through the branches of a Cottonwood tree from the Native Americans to the Spanish Conquistadors to The Westward Expansion along the Santa Fe/Cimarron Trail .

Tree in the Trail Map - Santa Fe Trail & SW United States
Tree in the Trail Map - Santa Fe Trail & SW United States 

For our map, we did things a bit different this time.  Instead of having the kids write out the states, capitals and rivers, I typed little tags for them to tape onto the map.  It made the map much more legible AND made the end of book quiz easier too.  I just removed the tags and had each child put them back where they belong on the map.  I did have them draw in the Santa Fe and Cimarron Trails and Coronado's route complete with a map key.

Pioneer Wagon Craft
Pioneer Wagon Craft

One of our hands on activities was to draw a Conestoga Wagon.....why draw one when you can build one?

Early American Research
Early American Research

We also researched Cottonwood trees, Bison, flint and iron arrow heads, Matchlocks (gun), bows, arrows and ox yokes.  My children have varying degrees of artistic talent, but I think they all enjoyed drawing these things as well.

Cottonwood Trees
Cottonwood Trees

Next we cruise down the Mississippi River with a Turtle named Minn......

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Inspiring a Little Girl

Within our home, there are three boys and one girl.  Or more precisely, three boys and one princess.  As you can imagine, one on one time with my daughter is absolutely precious.  The thing my daughter loves to do is to go shopping with me.  Her favorite place to go when she has me all to herself is the Girlie Girl Things Shop. 

At first, I was a little concerned by how much she enjoyed going there.  After all, consumerism isn't the way to happiness.  Besides a wonderful owner who has taken much time to talk with my daughter and wrap her little purchases with the whole 'boutique experience', I finally get why she likes going in there.

First of all, it's not a humongous store -- so she doesn't feel swallowed up.
Second, it's not jam packed with everything under the sun --- so she doesn't feel overwhelmed.
Third, there's no loud music playing --- so she doesn't feel bombarded.

But, most importantly as I watched her look around and around at all the accessories, I realized that she wasn't scheming for her next purchase.  She was BRAIN STORMING about what HER boutique would look like.  What SHE would create to put in HER front window.  She was picturing her future and how she would use the gifts and talents God had given her. 

Yes, she is only 7 and now owns her own little sewing machine.  But I can see that this is start of something bigger.  I can see the *spark* of interest and possibilities --- SHE can see them too.

This blog post was writing on my own whim without any compensation except the distinct pleasure of watching my daughter discover a dream!
For more information on The Girlie Girl Things Shop, visit this link
Girlie Girl Things Shop