New Echota and a Relaxed Week

We went on a field trip this weekend.  We went to the Cherokee capital of New Echota, and they were having New Echota days.  People were dressed up in period dress and were giving demonstrations, selling products and allowing the kids and adults that were visiting to throw spears and shoot blowguns.

It was also fascinating to hear the story of the settlement and the Trail of Tears.  It’s a story from history that I had allowed myself to forget, and I learned more than the children did this weekend.  It was the perfect day to visit.

New Echota

In a complete coincidence, Rose studied the Trail of Tears and Cherokee Indians for this segment in her history class at co-op.  For her project this week, she decided to make a mask like the Cherokee used in their dances.  I was really proud of her because this is the biggest hands-on project that’s she’s done with me in a supporting and not directing role.

mask making

For Firecracker’s co-op history, we’ve been learning about the Battle of Bull Run and about Stonewall Jackson.  In class, we actually played a battle of Bull Run game.  Firecracker was so excited about the game that he’s looking for another opportunity and a free parent to play it with him again soon.

Civil War Class

My co-op science class learned about fish this week.  I actually wrote up a quick post about that earlier this week.  I plan to make my mini science studies a regular Wednesday feature in case anyone’s looking for help for easy elementary science.


The kids both have been working on verses and sections for their AWANA books.  Firecracker had to make a days of creation poster.  I love his swimming penguins and stuff in his poster.  It’s so not how I would have organized the poster, but I believe it’s beautiful.

The AWANA verse that Rose memorized this week is one that we’ve all needed to hear and put into effect this week.  We’ve not always been at our kindest this week (any of us), and this verse has been a good reminder to be kind and to forgive each other.

AwanaYou might have noticed that everything I’ve referred to doing (other than New Echota) is coming from an outside class.  That’s because at home this week, other than homework from co-op, CBS, and AWANAs, all we’ve done is read together and make Halloween crafts.  We’ve also watched Halloween movies and pumpkin and Halloween clips on You Tube 🙂

I’ve also been testing out a writing curriculum with the kids, and I’ll be posting a review on that Tuesday morning.

Here are the Halloween crafts that we made this week from Learn Create Love.  Trust me when I say that more fall and Halloween crafts and artwork are coming over the next week.  My most important homeschooling lesson from last year (my first year with all the kids home) was to embrace the rhythm of the holidays.

Halloween Crafts

We’ve read a bunch of Halloween picture books, but we’ve read a bunch of other stuff too.  We read The Story of Abraham Lincoln for co-op history.  I was really pleased to take the time to do an in-depth reading of Abraham Lincoln with the kids.  This one sometimes rings flat because Steven Douglas and Jefferson Davis are almost villianized in description, yet it reminds a good solid history of Lincoln’s story.

We finished reading reading The Story of the World: The Middle Ages: From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of the Renaissance and started reading the next one this week.  (We’re using it as a read aloud not a history text.)  The children have been fascinated by Henry and all his wives and how that’s played out in Mary, Elizabeth, and most recently in our reading, Mary Queen of Scots.  It’s the first time they’ve been exposed to this real life soap opera, and they’re loving every minute of it.  I catch them acting out parts of the stories with their dolls.  That’s how much they’re loving this portion of history.

We finished reading aloud two chapter books this week. Gooney Bird and the Room Mother was a delight of new words and gentle suspense for them as we quickly read and turned pages to find out who the “incognito” room mother was. Magic Tree House #47: Abe Lincoln at Last! was perfect to read at this time because we’d just finished the Abraham Lincoln book and we’re studying the Civil War.  The kids were fascinated with it.  I don’t think that would have been the case if we didn’t already know Lincoln’s story.

We also read fish books for co-op and we read a delightful, new to us book called Snow Tracks.  It’s a go along I’m using for a mini unit on animal tracks I’m strewing off of Paddle-to-the-Sea.  The kids were reluctant to try it, but it ended up being one of our new favorite books.

this week's books


We’ve also got plenty of painting and playtime around the house.  I didn’t really do any organized activities with the preschoolers this week, but they increasingly want to participate with everything that we do, so I figure that’s okay. 🙂


Around the house


Also on the blog this week, I posted a round-up of some of the reading we did way back in August, a maple sugar candy recipe that is perfect for this time of year (and was part of our Chippewa studies), and my fish lesson plans for co-op this week.

You might notice that I’ve added Facebook and Twitter widgets this week.  As I’ve had more time over the past few months to blog, I’ve also wanted to be able to share more resources that I see, giveaways I encounter and stories from everyday life.  It seems like Facebook and Twitter are the perfect way to share these life snippets, so I’m dipping my toes in there.

Happy Friday everyone!  Don’t forget to visit Homegrown Learners and see all the other wonderful blogs that link-up for Collage Friday!


4 thoughts on “New Echota and a Relaxed Week

  1. I love those kind of hands-on field trips. I learn so much from them too. And the kids always remember so much better when they see people in costume and get to handle stuff.
    I like the way you talk about the Tudor soap opera. You’re right, it’s fascinating isn’t it? We enjoyed a bit of that this week playing History Heroes and listening to Our Island Story. My 8 yr old son’s comments as we listened were very like a soap opera viewer’s! 😀
    I hope you’re all having a lovely weekend!

    1. Thank you! I did notice when I was reading your week in the life posts that you guys were only reading a little big earlier in history than we are right now 🙂

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