Saturday, May 14, 2016

Wrapping up the Revolution

We finished up our Revolutionary War study with a trip to Philadelphia and Valley Forge for their homeschool days.  We live about two hours away from Philly, so it's a bit of a shame that I have never been to any of the historical places before.  

We started at the Benjamin Franklin museum in Philly.  This was a small, very interactive museum that talked about the life of Ben Franklin, his inventions and writings.

Learning about the 13 colonies and the "Join or Die" symbol.

The kids loved playing the simulated armonica - a glass harmonica that uses the same principle as running a wet finger around the rim of a glass.

There was a simulated printing press to fill in your name on a poster.

A magic square puzzle...

Skuggs the Squirrel was the museum mascot and appeared in various places.    Franklin was a fan of squirrels and other small animals.

We went and visited the Liberty Bell.

And took a tour of Independence Hall.  When the docent asked everyone "who do you think had a larger impact, George Washington or Benjamin Franklin?"  and explained how he thought it was George Washington, Squidy spoke up and said "I think it's Ben Franklin because, sure if we hadn't won the war we'd be ruled by England right now but without Franklin we wouldn't have all those inventions like light bulbs and glasses and stuff". 

Vicki carried around a small notepad and pencil to make sketches throughout the day, while Squidy was playing with a new "adventure tool" he bought - it had a whistle, a flashlight, a secret compartment, a compass, a thermometer, a mirror and a magnifying glass.  The whistle was easily his favorite part.   Vicki bought a penny whistle and the two of them spent lots of time making beautiful ((@_@)) music together.


Our next stop was Valley Forge for their annual Homeschool Days.  This was a LOT of fun for the kids, although by the end of the day they were getting a bit tired.   Our session wasn't until 2:30pm so in the morning we drove around the Encampment Trail and visited the various sites.

Squidy was not impressed with the bunks in the cabins. "It's just bare wood, how uncomfortable!"  Knowing that there would be a mattress or pad of straw didn't impress him much.   "What if the wood isn't sturdy enough and the top bunk collapses?"  "There's barely any room in between them".

Later on he listed one of the things he learned as "I learned I never want to be a soldier during the Revolutionary War".  I think that's one wish we can be sure is fulfilled.

Darryl the barrel.

Vicki with her penny whistle.   I wouldn't let her play it in the car while I was driving so every time we stopped, she pulled it out to play.

The Memorial Arch

The train station by Washington's Headquarters.

The guard huts by Washington's Headquarters.  The first one had a recording play when you walked in the door that startled Vicki and she came running back out immediately.

Washington's Headquarters, the house he stayed in during the winter of 1777-1778. 

Vicki didn't like the steep stairs leading up to the garret room.

Back at the visitors center, Vicki was surprised to learn they played cards and dice back then.

The official Homeschool Day program started with some lessons on how to line up in formation and various commands, for instance right face, about face, forward march, etc.

Marching up to get their muskets.

After learning how to load their muskets and running through various drills, the squadron marched up to the first huts and went through various informational sessions.
They started with an activity on invasive species, where they were each given a colored square and had to stand in a circle.  Each time a season went by, they had to run to a new circle.  If there were any yellow squares in their circle (the invasive species) they had to exchange theirs for a yellow square.  

They learned about the daily rations for a soldier.  Squidy was mostly questioning why the bread was real, but the meat and butter were fake.

Squidy got to try hauling water from the "river" while Vicki carried the "flashlight", then took a turn hauling.

Checking out some of the uniforms and learning why the flat part of the hat went to the left (so it didn't get in the way of the musket over their shoulder).

Squidy got to play the drum announcing it was time to change stations.

At the medical station, she started by demonstrating the damage done by a musket ball to the leg.  Squidy was pretty upset "You're showing this stuff to CHILDREN!?!?" and then had to walk away when they started talking about amputation.

We had a great time and it was a perfect wrap-up to our Revolutionary War study.  Next we will move on to Westward Expansion and finish up our current US History with the Civil War.