I know I'm very biased, but I think our little town is one of the best towns in the world! There are so many great things for kids and families to be involved in. Every summer, one of the local museums puts on "Pioneer School." Pioneer School is a one-week session of attending school in the original old schoolhouse, dressed in pioneer clothes (provided on loan from the Museum of the American West), learning lessons from McGuffy's Reader, working math facts on a slate, and eating snacks that pioneer children would have eaten.
The week Alathia attended there were no boys! The session before hers was half boys, half girls, and the session before that was all girls!
Pioneer School costs a meager $25 for a week of lessons and crafts. They attend from 9am-12pm each day. The parents chip in and bring old-fashioned snacks. We volunteered to bring cornbread.
Alathia's best friend, Ansley, also just so happened to be signed up for the same week. They loved getting to see each other every day at school. There were a few other homeschoolers in their class whom they knew and the little ladies they didn't know became fast friends of theirs!
One day they had a Spelling Bee.
One morning some musicians came in and played some old-time music for the girls.
On the first day, they learned to weave bookmarks. My Ali girl came home and began a weaving obsession that kept her occupied for a couple of weeks! She wove dozens of bookmarks!
One of their crafts was making butter by shaking cream. (No pics of that though!)
They learned to write their letters in cursive and practiced with quill pens in their journals they made.
Another of their craft projects was making fancy hats.
Here they are modeling them!
On the final day, the class had a program for the parents in the old church building at the museum. Each girl recited a poem from memory with a partner. Alathia and Ansley recited "The Swing" by Robert Louis Stevenson. Ali had actually memorized that as part of her English work last September so it was a good refresher for her! The class together sang "America the Beautiful" and recited their virtues. It was a lovely program. Then the young ladies took their parents on a tour of the museum, explaining what the different buildings on the site are and what they learned during the week. The students were all presented with a fancy certificate with a picture of themselves, their teacher, and their whole class, in sepia tone, and a CD loaded with all of the pictures from the week. Nice! So, all but the last picture in the post were taken by the wonderful woman who organizes Pioneer School and volunteers at the museum.
This was the PERFECT, and I do mean PERFECT recap to My Father's World Adventures.
Ali and I both really wish Pioneer School was year-round! It was a chance to live out The Little House books for a week.
Pioneer School is definitely going to be an important part of our summers for years to come! When the boys are 3rd grade and up they will attend too, as well as Katrielle. When Ali is too old to be a student, she can be a teen volunteer who assists the teacher, something I know she would be great at. I was talking to another homeschooling mom when we picked up our girls and she said,
"I wish we could go too!"