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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Enoch Wright House and Museum of Westward Expansion

You know how we love a field trip!  Today we went on our 7th field trip of the year.  This time we traveled about 20 minutes away to the Enoch Wright House and Museum of Westward Expansion in Peters Township, PA.  Enoch Wright's father, Joshua Wright, settled in the area in the mid-1700s on a land grant.  At the time that he settled here, the Pittsburgh area was a vast wilderness.  You can visit the log cabin that Joshua Wright built for his family, as well as the larger house that his son, Enoch, had built in the early 1800s.

Here's Scrappy's perspective:


I went to the Enoch Wright house. He was born in 1776. He lived in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. There were trees all around the cabin. His dad had to cut down all the trees to build the cabin, which was probably hard work. Then, years later, he built a big house, which was done in 1816. He traded his goods and became a rich man.

The big house is made of brick. Two families lived in it. It had one main staircase. Both sides of the house were exactly the same. One of the old bedrooms has been turned into a room where you can learn about coal and coal mining. I thought it was strange that coal miners wore gas lamps on their helmets because the mines were full of gases and it could have exploded. I don't think that job would be very fun.

Another thing I learned was that young boys learned to shoot a rifle, use a bow and arrow, and throw an ax. A lot of boys had knives to skin animals. When boys turned sixteen, they had to help fix the road. I'm glad I don't have to work on the road.


Such a nine-year-old boy, isn't he?  And just for fun, here's Funny's five-year-old girl perspective:

Today I went on a field trip. I went to the Enoch Wright house. There were a lot of steps there. It was a big, fancy house. There were a lot of dresses in one of the rooms. They were pretty. There were two kitchens. There were two of everything because two families lived in the house. In the kitchen, there was a big fireplace for cooking. There was a hook and a bucket was on it and it hung over the fire. The cook had to pull the hook away from the fire so the food didn't get burnt. I also saw some weapons. There were axes and a bow and arrows.

There was a cabin there, too. The cabin is older than the house. They built a ladder so everyone could get up to the beds. The cabin was small. It was made of logs from trees that were cut down where the cabin was built. There were American Indians nearby. The people in the cabin were not friends with the Indians because the Indians didn't want them to destroy the land. The people who lived in the cabin had to hunt for food. They had to hang the meat up to dry so they could eat in the winter. It was a hard life.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

New School Year

We're three weeks into our homeschool year.  I've been way behind on my blogging (obviously).  I am going to try to get back into doing the Weekly Wrap Up posts, probably next week.  My camera is broken, so I have no pictures, and I'm sorry for that.  I know pictures make blog posts way more fun.  Eh.  My dearly devoted will read this anyway.  I think.

So this year has been going pretty well.  I would say it's our best kick off so far.  I chalk a lot of that up to my gaining experience and confidence.  Sadly, this doesn't mean I never question what we're doing.  I've had to hide myself away a little bit.  I have been hiding from Facebook ("Look, here's a picture of my kid going to school.  Yay!"  "My kid went to school and I went home and cried."  Either way, it's hard to look at when you're so obviously thumbing your nose at the whole system.).  I've been really trying to immerse myself in my family, and surround myself with people and information that supports our decision to homeschool.

Anyway, let's talk about the kids and their materials.  I know what you homeschoolers like:  curricula!

These are the materials everyone is using:
Apologia's Swimming Creatures of the 5th Day (finishing up from last year)
Apologia's Land Animals of the 6th Day
Story of the World, Book 2:  Middle Ages (our 2nd year for this.  Thankfully, I knew we couldn't complete it in one year and I don't feel like we're behind at all.)
Orchestra unit study
Lamb's Book of Art
Around the World coloring book
Abeka's Health, Safety, and Manners

Scrappy, age 9, 4th grade


Math-U-See Gamma (he started the year in lesson 11 and I am planning for him to move onto Delta after Christmas)
Steck-Vaughn's Language Arts Handbook, 4th grade
Wordly Wise 3000, book 1
IEW: Writing Structure and Style
Sequential Spelling

Funny, age 8, 3rd grade


Various Steck-Vaughn Early Math workbooks
Various grammar workbooks (right now using Writing Sentences from TCR)
IEW: Writing Structure and Style
Sequential Spelling


Goofy, age 7, 2nd grade

Various Steck-Vaughn Early Math workbooks
Various grammar workbooks (right now using Writing Sentences from TCR)

Silly, age 5, Kindergarten

Come on now.  I don't have a Kindergarten curriculum.  She's kid #4.  She just magically knows stuff!  Though, she does use a few things:
Bob books
Various Steck-Vaughn Early Math workbooks
Explode the Code

We also have a ton of supplemental materials.  Being part-time unschoolers, we have a house filled with all sorts of fun, educational things (and a well-loved library card).  Some of the highlights I'm looking forward to using this year:
Math Shark (handheld electronic math drill game)
Cooking Up Sentences board game
Math wrap-ups
Spellominoes


I also set a goal this year to take the kids on at least 20 field trips.  We went on 18 trips last year.  So far we've gone on 6 trips.  Once I get my new camera, I'll be back to posting more field trip posts with pictures.