Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pioneer School

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!

Recess time!

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!" 


Kathy Loves Sharpie said...

The kids are so cute, I like the pioneer school supplies
Thank you so much for the post.

Melissa said...

Looks like so much fun! My son would love this. Too bad we live so far away!

I'm considering using MFW for my 3 and 5 year old. Did you use it for K or preK? If so, what were your thoughts?

Thia said...

That's so cool! I wish I could go too!

LS said...


I highly recommend MFW!!! The MFW K program is sooooo much fun!

I think the K would be perfect for your kids as it's very applicable to Kinders and preschoolers at the same time. I think Pre-K might not be enough of a challenge for your 5 year old. You can easily adapt the K program for several ages. My boys were 3 and 5 and then 4 and 6 when we did it and we loved it!

Melissa said...

Thanks for the info. So you went through the whole year twice? After you had done it twice and Justus was only 4, what did you do with him that year? I'm assuming Jer moved on to 1st grade?

LS said...

Jer is moving on to first grade and Justus will wait a year before being an "official" kindergartener. This year we aren't doing MFW, but are joining a CC group (Classical Conversations) in order to streamline our homeschooling. I loved doing MFW twice though. It is such a fun program for K that we enjoyed it each time. The first time I did it we skipped the worksheets and harder stuff. The second time we did them. My boys didn't get bored with it and I felt we were able to get a really good grasp of the material reviewing it like that. If we were sticking with MFW, I would have both boys join their sis in the 3rd grade stuff this year and just work with them on their individual grades of math and phonics.

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