Wednesday, April 2, 2014
We've been studying early American history this year, particularly the time period of the mid to late 1700's (the time of the French and Indian War and then, later, the Revolutionary War.)
All three of us have really enjoyed learning about our nation's beginnings. I'm sure I learned it as a child too, but I always seem to remember a very fragmented history education in public school. And textbooks? UGH.
We've been using Queen Homeschooling Supplies' A Living History of Our World Volume 1, and then I've been supplementing with the many "living" books on early American history that I've picked up over the last few years. I have learned far more about our country's beginnings in the last seven months than I can ever remember learning in my twelve years of public education.
Since both the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War were fought in the area in which we live (Fort Duquesne is only about 40 miles south of us as well as other battlegrounds that surround us), the kids have developed quite an interest and desire to explore the surrounding land. Ian's already requested a metal detector for his birthday this year, and Lily was out in our backyard yesterday digging holes looking for arrowheads. lol.
Monday, my brother-in-law found a coin from the late 1800's. Since Monday night, my kids have collected all of the pennies in our home and have set to cleaning and inspecting them. Of course, we don't have coins that date back that far. I think the farthest back they've found so far was 1962, but they've been having so much fun and we've turned it into a bit of a lesson, researching how the chemical make-up of the penny has changed over the years. The kids also thought it very interesting that the good 'ole penny has been around since the end of the Revolutionary War.
Now Ian's set on finding pennies for as many years as he can. And we hardly had any room to eat our dinner last night as our only table was covered in pennies.
I'm excited to visit more early American war reenactments this year. We always try to hit one or two each summer. And I'm even more excited this year because we'll have a year of the history behind it under our belts and fresh in our minds.
I love history.