Hiking and Homeschool Pilgrim Day

We started our day off with a forced march through the woods.  I had warned the boys before bed that we'd be bundling up and heading out for a walk first thing in the morning.  I wanted to get our walk in before our homeschool group meet up.

We have so much sickness and illness all around and I was thinking lots of fresh air wouldn't be a bad thing.  I'm hopeful it will keep us healthy, but if not at least we had a nice morning nature walk and hike.  We walked for 30 minutes and observed the differences in the woods during this time of the year.

The boys reminded me what the path had looked like in late spring and told me we should hike the same trail all four seasons.  I reminded them that we just about have.  I had the same thought not all that long ago.  The boys found animal tracks and Alec determined that it was a dog's paw print.  We had a race to the car at the end.  Alec, not only won, but he was the only one who  made it running flat out the whole way. 

Checking the ice to see how solid it is

Soaking in the sunshine

Pointing out paw prints to us and all the parts of the paw print

It's a race... guess I lost!

 We listened to our book on CD in the car and the boys were all playing Kindles as well.  They were all playing a new app I downloaded yesterday called Bridge Constructor Playground.  They tried to convince me it was learning and I had to laugh.  I told them that's the whole reason I downloaded it for them yesterday.  It looked like a fun way to reinforce our bridge building lessons and make connections between the Magic School Bus movie and our marshmallow bridges.  They had fun and they often conferred on the right way to build their bridge.  There are many materials available to them to build with and they can test the bridges with cars and trucks.  They really liked it a lot. 

We headed out to meet our homeschool group for a fun history class.  I think our wonderful group leader really outdid herself this time!  She brought three different books to read about what life was during the first Thanksgiving.

We read Sarah Morton's Day; A Day In the Life of a Pilgrim Girl,

Tapenum's Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy In Pilgrim Times,

and Samuel Eaton's Day: A Day In the Life of a Pilgrim Boy.

listening to stories
In between each reading she had games planned to go along with the stories and time periods.  She did a great job relating all the stories to the kids lives and I was pleasantly surprised by how much all three of my boys knew and remembered about the pilgrims.  Even Evan often whispered the answers to me.

They learned how to play Fox and Geese.  Our leader had printed off paper versions of the game and brought white and red beans to act as the chicken and foxes.  It reminded me of Checker's meets Nine's Men's Morris and, not surprisingly, Alec really got into the strategy of the game (here's a wooden version of the game).

Playing goose and fox

Listening to another story

The boys also played a Native American Stick Game (here is a basic version of the game).  Alec joined in with some new kids that had showed up today and played a few rounds.  He quickly grasped the concept of the simple game and memorized the scoring rubric within minutes.  All the kids seemed to enjoy the game a lot.  Evan was too shy to play at first but eventually settled down to play a few rounds with just me.  We used more beans to keep track of our scores and I liked that it incorporated a bit of math and counting too.  Evan even figured our how much I was ahead by when he had 22 and I had 25 beans.  His next drop gave him four more points and he told me he was then winning by 1. 

Playing the stick game

Evan and I playing

The kids got to sample semi- authentic pilgrim food.  Our leader brought Pompion, Cornbread and Apple Juice.  We talked about what Pilgrims ate and drank.  The resources they would have had available and how the holiday has changed over time.  Ian knew that they would have drank beer or wine to protect themselves from the water and that they didn't have juice available to them.  We changed that today for obvious reasons, but we did keep our foods sugar free and spice free as the Pilgrims most likely didn't have access to sugar, sweeteners, or spices. 

The kids also got to play with colonial era toys like a Jacob's ladder, a old wooden colonial bowling set (where the pins are set in a circle), an old top and string, and some wooden catch ball game.  The kids all took turns with the various toys.  We noted how simple and unadorned they were as well as the fact that the toys were made out of wood-- not plastic!  It was a fabulous afternoon and a great history lesson. 
Trying to catch the ball
in the cup is not easy!

Jacob's ladder confer

Playing bowling
Linking up With:
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsncuylahd.jpg


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