Sunday, September 20, 2009

Days gone by...

The Shraders are wrapping up a unit on Pioneers in our little one-room schoolhouse (OK, technically we have more than one-room....but we do most of our schoolwork in one!). For my Little House on the Prairie heart (and daughter who follows closely closely in those footsteps!), it has been a wonderfully fun way to kick off our school year! I think the boys have enjoyed it almost as much as the girls.

We started with a candle-making project that made us all smile. It was so much fun to see the candle come together from a block of wax that melted clear to a beautiful blue, vanilla smelling wonder! All at the hands of my crew!

Mason breaking the block of wax into manageable bits.

Pouring the candle.

From there we traveled to the grocery store -- in our van, much to Claire's dismay we do not own a covered wagon. Once at the store, the kids had to purchase groceries for our week that contained NO additives or preservatives. Needless to say, we came home with a lot of fresh produce!

They did however, make fresh peanut butter by grinding peanuts at our grocery store and picked up some fresh jams to try with that. It wasn't until we began fixing lunch that we realized if we wanted to try those delicacies, we would need to bake some bread! So that was our next project. I must say the fresh-baked bread was a hit with the whole household and it has been requested that we repeat that assignment....again....and again!

Benjamin was the master dough kneader!

Finally, we wrapped up our study with a field trip to the Pioneer Museum right here in Phoenix. It was hot....and of course the structure of the museum was a Pioneer Town, and there was lots of walking involved. But that just added to the reality of the difficulty of life for pioneers. Afterward, we had a lovely picnic lunch of homemade bread, peanut butter and jam! Yummy!!

Claire agrees with me that we are thankful NOT to have to wash our clothes using this wringer.

A cute deposit at the bank (as you can see from Cate's goldfish, everyone did not adhere to our preservative-free eating all week!)

Pioneer Spidey?

You can take the kids to the frontier....but water play will still be their favorite activity!

Oh, how happy are we to live in 2009 and a world with much better wheelchairs!

We have learned so much and I think we will all hate to see this unit come to an end. Hopefully, we have learned much about being resourceful and finding the blessing in living simply -- a lesson I pray won't be forgotten too soon!

My favorite part of the museum -- the little white church.

Pioneer Shraders!