*Here it is! The long awaited unit study from our Oregon Trail road trip. Our internet has been spotty, so this post has been in process for weeks.*
Since we were preparing to travel along a portion of the Oregon Trail, I thought it fitting to go ahead and do a unit study. After mapping out where we were going, I wanted to plan a few educational stops but didn't really know where to begin. I started out with Google and found this page from DIY Homeschooler. There are so many links there it was a little overwhelming, but eventually I stumbled on Traveling the Oregon Trail guidebook which was written for "modern pioneers". This was really the perfect book for our travels, because not only did it list and describe each major Trail Stop, but also places to eat, places to stay and fun things to do along the way. I read the part of the book describing the part of the trail we would be traveling and picked stops I thought we could make.
With the journey part done, I was then able to set up traveling workbooks for the older three kids. I printed off coloring pages from the BLM's Oregon Trail Site along with any other pages I thought appropriate for each child's age. I then printed out a map of the Oregon Trail and put that on the front as a cover. This was all stapled together and given to the children while we were on the road, along with a new clipboard and a set of crayons (my dear husband said absolutely no to the markers I was going to bring originally. He's more forward thinking than I am, and a good thing too!). I also went through the places and things I thought we were likely to see and made a scavenger hunt for the second grader and kindergartener. We didn't find everything, but we came close and it helped the older two pay more attention to the things they saw out of their window.
Because Fritter is beginning a study of states and capitals, I printed off a western states blank map from Enchanted Learning. Each new state we drove through, he colored the state and wrote out its capital. I don't think he will ever forget that the capital of Oregon is Salem, or that the capital of Washington is Olympia!
From this website, I printed off a little Oregon Trail game (scroll down the page to Activities) and brought it along for quiet evenings in the camper, but we never did get around to playing it. Hopefully we can do that soon.
So books. I ordered The Time Traveling Twins on the Oregon Trail from Paperbackswap (discloser: if you sign up using my link, I'll get a credit for it!) and we read that as sort of an introduction and for our evening read aloud we went with Seven Alone. This book is a true story about a family with seven children (the oldest is a boy of 13) whose parents pass away on the trail and they decide to continue on their own. I quickly and gently glossed over the saddest parts (Fritter is only 7) but other than that we have really enjoyed the story. And because we traveled parts of the trail ourselves, we recognize many of the sites in the book and can relate just that much more!
For myself I checked out from the library The Way West. Overall, I thought it was a good book, and again I could easily picture the story based on the sites we visited and names we read about in our guidebook.
When we finish our read aloud, I plan on finishing everything up with a lapbook.
So there you have it! Our Oregon Trail Unit Study. For reference sake, we have a second grader, Kindergartener, a three year old preschooler, and the baby.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Friday, August 15, 2014
...for the Feast of the Assumption.
After scanning through my stash I found a thrifted cloth, some blue ribbon for the Marian symbol and a pretty blue fabric (with small flowers on it). Once I figured out how I wanted it to look, the rest was easy. Just some pinning and adjusting. When I was finished, we clipped the branch from our mulberry tree and Fritter stripped the leaves off. All that was left to do after that was hang it. Sure there are imperfections (quite a few actually!) but I used what I had and will let love do the rest. Hmmm...sounds a bit like how our Blessed Mother cares for us! We come to her with all our cares and imperfections and prayers, she perfects them, and offers them to her Son in great love.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
I'm back. We have been out of pocket for many reasons, some of which include a monsoon storm that hit our area the day before Independence Day (sounds like a movie title) and tore off a section of our roof. We had been praying about whether to get the roof replaced (and therefore also the air conditioning unit which sits on top of the roof) or do another project to our side yard. God answered that prayer in a very obvious way. Roof and AC it is! Thankfully the insurance company helped with the cost. But the paperwork! Here it is August 11th (now 12th) and the paperwork is still not complete (not my fault!).
Anyway, add all that in with planning and taking a family road trip to the great northwest and you can see why no blogging has happened. Oh! And we completed two weeks of school during that time too! Very productive.
|Picture from the Fourth of July, which probably deserves its own post, but isn't going to happen. This will have to suffice.|
So a road trip. We've done a big one like this before, but that was back when we only had two children. So this was kind of a new experience. Our trip took us along the Oregon Trail and then on up to Seattle to visit family. Since we had the opportunity, we planned to go a little longer route so we could follow the Oregon Trail to its end. Along with the trip, I planned a unit study for school, which I will post about another time.
For now, I'll tell the story of our trip through the photos I managed to take.
Our first stop was just a few hours north of us. We stopped to camp at Sunset Crater in central Arizona. The landscape was surreal. Tiny black lava rocks covered the ground with trees and a few flowers poking out.
|The center piece Fritter and Ladybug made for our picnic table.|
We camped in a tent the first night, and got as much sleep as you would expect. The next morning was chilly (a nice contrast from the 115 degrees we left down south) and a little misty. I snapped this picture of the volcano as we were leaving:
The next day we drove to Salt Lake City where we picked up the camper trailer we were renting for the rest of our trip. At our campsite north of the city my husband managed the logistics of hauling a camper across the country while I worked on making the inside a little like home.
|Our prairie schooner.|
|We would be grateful for our quilt many times over on this trip. The nights up north can be cold.|
|The inside of the camper was just roomy enough for a playpen. A fact which I and Froggy were thankful for.|
What would be a trip along the Oregon Trail (though we hadn't reached it yet) without a broken wheel axel (a flat tire)? Just like the emigrants before us, we did what we had too (but had not planned on) and replaced all four tires on our van.
|While waiting for daddy to get back from the tire store, the littles and I played with snails at our campsite.|
Finally the van was ready and we were able to head north and meet up with the Oregon Trail in Idaho. Our lunch stop was just outside of Burley, Idaho, where our handy guide book told us we could find trail ruts. Sure enough we found them, though they were more off the beaten path than we would have liked:
|Trail ruts along with a landscape that has changed very little.|
|My pioneer husband and youngest child.|
|A ragtag bunch of pioneers.|
Because our journey had started off already off schedule, we didn't make it quite as far as we would have liked that first day. But with some extra planning (one reason I was grateful for my smart phone on this trip) we were able to make Mass and fulfill our Sunday obligation at the Cathedral in Baker City, Oregon. After Mass, I was filling up our water bottles for the next leg of our journey, when the maintenance person for the church told me that each and every stone of the church was carted by the faithful each Sunday until the church was completed.
So many times along our trip would we stand in awe of the blood and sweat and tears required to travel and settle this area of the country.
Because we were short on time, we cut north into Washington before we had originally planned to, with the promise that we would return the other way when we went home. And so it late in the afternoon on Sunday we saw this sign:
Once in Seattle we camped outside my brother-in-law's house and the kids got some much needed down time:
|Watering the garden with Aunt Ruth.|
The next day we went to the Ballard Locks and Fish Ladder.
And afterwards we went to Golden Gardens Beach. I looked for shells and the others braved the frigid water.
|Uncle Bill and Ladybug.|
The following day we all went to the Space Needle and my dear husband arranged for me to take Fritter and Ladybug up to the top. What a view! While we were up there we were able to watch the Blue Angels practice before their big show for Seafair weekend. We had front row seats to several flyovers! Of course Fritter and his cousin Ryan thought it was about the best thing ever.
|Looking up from below.|
|We were blessed with one of those rare clear days in Seattle, so we were able to see Mt. Rainier clearly.|
|Can you see the Blue Angles right in front of the mountain? Majestic.|
|Down below was quite a bit of activity. Darth Vader was offering pictures (as long as you gave a donation in that little bottle. I snapped a picture anyway. Oops!|
Later that afternoon, Dan took all four children back to the house for naps and playtime, while I went to Pike Place Market. I was grateful to not have children in tow. This place is busy! We found all the trinkets we could ever want.
|My sister-in-law even ordered a salmon for one of our dinners. We got to see this guy get thrown before he was made into food.|
|A nice view from one of the overlooks.|
|I just found the bathroom signs hilarious.|
|This is the "original" Starbucks.|
Another day was spent at the zoo. Really, what a great zoo! And because we have a membership to our zoo here in town, we were able to get a 50% discount on our entry fee there. Remember that next time you travel if you have a membership to any science centers or zoos.
|Feeding the giraffe's.|
|Uncle Bill and Froggy.|
|Uncle Mark and Froggy.|
|There's a lion in there. Can you spot him?|
|Daddy and Froggy. This is a baby that really got passed around.|
|Read all about it!|
|Which way do we go?|
|Looking up. I couldn't get enough of all the trees!|
And of course there was playtime and fun at home in between all the museum visits (I don't have all the pictures of the museums to post here, but the older two children and my husband rode the Bremerton Ferry, went on a tour of the Boeing facility, went to the Museum of Flight, and went to Seafair.)
|Fritter the pilot.|
|Legos with the cousins.|
Putting the children to bed in a new environment each night was a...interesting experience. One evening my sister in law brought this out to me in our camper as the littles were fighting sleep once again:
|A foretaste of heaven.|
Of course whenever you are around family you have to take some fun pictures. These were on the little scooter my brother in law inherited from Dan's dad.
|It takes lots of hands to put children in an acceptable pose.|
|This is the best we could get.|
|And this is an outtake. Froggy was NOT happy about his situation.|
After Mass the following Sunday we headed home. This time we drove south through Olympia and Portland and met back up with the Oregon Trail, this time tracing it backwards. Our first stop was to cross the Columbia River again and stay at Maryhill state park which is right after The Dalles (the "end" of the Oregon Trail) on the Washington side of the river. If you are ever in this neck of the woods I highly recommend this as a camping spot. The kids were thrilled to have green grass to run in and a great spot to play in the Columbia River.
|We took a little detour to visit the Columbia River gorge and it's famous waterfalls. Unfortunately there was not a place to park our prairie schooner, so we had to take the pictures on to go. But still. Pretty.|
|Meeting a new friend at the campground.|
|The Columbia. Just like the emigrants.|