Sunday, April 28, 2013

Adventures in U.S. History Week 10

This week was probably our funnest week yet!  We learned about Paul Revere (and made a tricorn hat!), made a quill pen and berry ink, and took school outside for some nature sketching.

Little Guy being tough enough to fight the British in his tricorn hat.
We learned that Jesus is the Living Water and added to our Jesus bulletin board.

We had a couple gorgeous days before the rain and gloom set in, so Miss M took her book basket outside.

We learned about the Declaration of Independence this week, so we made a quill pen and some ink from black berries.  To make the ink, you take a half cup of berries (we used frozen blackberries, thawed) and mash them thoroughly.  Then pour it through a strainer discarding the pulp and seeds and retaining the juice.  Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Whatever isn't used must be stored in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator.

Smashing berries for ink.
I watched a couple videos on YouTube to learn how to cut a quill pen from a feather (purchased from Hobby Lobby).  It worked out surprisingly well!  I ended up using a box cutter and not the paring knife pictured.

Cut a feather into a quill.
Miss M practiced a bit and then signed her name just like the signers of the Declaration of Independence did!

Writing with a quill and ink.
Science and art met as we went outside to do some nature study.  We each picked a tree to draw and plan to draw that same tree again once during each of the four seasons.  

I have never done anything like this before and am no artist, but I really enjoyed sketching an elm tree with colored pencils and adding the leaves with watercolor paints afterwards.  Even mamas can learn something new and attempt to develop new skills, right?

American Elm, spring 2013, Missouri.
Miss M's dictation this week came from a funny poem from the book When the Aardvark Parked on the Ark by Calvin Miller. (affiliate link)  She's not getting better at listening and remembering the dictation yet, but she has become more patient with the entire process, getting less frustrated when she doesn't know what comes next, so I see that as progress!

We took ever opportunity to be outside that we could, especially on the nice days!

Lunch outside on a sunny, but still cool day.

We're looking forward to another awesome week of Adventures in U.S. History!!

Our adventures from previous weeks:


  1. This looks like a great week!!!! Thanks for sharing!!! :) I love studying early US History. :) We have the best memories of those years.

  2. We will leave our middle ages studies and be moving on to Am. History in August. Looks like you all have enjoyed it!

  3. Can you give me some more details on your dictation. Do you do one sentence at a time and she has to remember it and spell it as correctly as she can?

    1. With a kiddo this young, I like to do what I've heard called "studied dictation" where you let the child look over the passage first, making mental note of any tricky-to-spell words and punctuation before dictating it to her. I do just a phrase at a time, not an entire sentence, to work on listening and remembering, but I don't repeat anything I said. I just wrote a whole post about it...hope that helps!