Learning about Native American Indians

After our big trip to Germany we were very excited to dive into the Native American Indian Unit from 8-10 with Moving beyond the page. I had already prepared and checked on a couple of things before our trip, so that things were just waiting for us to start. Unfortunately we have no museums close to us that exhibit much native American history, I was a little shocked about that, but upon a little bit more research I found an amazing Heritage center just across the border of Oklahoma. It is January now, several months later than when we actually did this Unit and we have not been yet. The weather and holidays got in the way, but we plan our way up there in the early spring days, so hopefully very soon.

Our main literature book was The Sign of the Beaver I try to read most the books with my kids, or prior before our studies, simply to have a little bit better  understanding of what we will be going through. And I must say, I really enjoy reading this sort of literature again. Both of us agreed, that the first pages were a little boring, but the book quickly picked up and got very exciting. I think I can truly say, my daughter loved it.

One of our top favorite activities must have been making Corn husk dolls 🙂

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It was a lovely summer day and I had bought the dried corn husk the previous day at the grocery store, pretty easy to find in the Mexican aisle here in Texas ;). We do most of the really, fun, exciting projects all together and of course our 5 year old had a blast with this as well.


Another great task was to make and design a teepee….

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Dancing to Native American Indian music outside while we waited for the dolls to dry… (lots of music on youtube)

We also did lots of research on animals and ecology in general. Several projects took multiple days…

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Overall, these two Units were some of our favorites by far yet. Learning about an amazing culture and history that is both amazing and shocking at the same time. There were too many things we stumbled across that we had to stop and do more research because it was so interesting. We had many great discussions and my daughter always tells me that this is one of the things she loves the most about homeschooling… discovering subjects together, and being able to ask any question she has….



The first bike ride…

It’s the middle of January and we have had our first warmer days that nearly felt like spring . Life has been good and I am entirely grateful for these days. The new year has started well and I couldn’t complain too much. A few goals for the new year have been set, but nothing too serious. Lots of papers were going around the Internet for children to set their goals, and I thought a few times about it to ask them and fill out something for the new year. But then after a little talk I  with them I reasoned with myself and them, that they are simply to young to do this and there really isn’t so much need. Anyone can start and set a new goal any given day. It is true, things seem easier when we turn the calendar page and try to open a new chapter.. but in all honesty.. every day is a gift and every day you get the chance to turn things around…

One of our biggest wishes that we carried into the new year was to get bikes for ourselves, me and my husband that is. The kids have gotten really great at riding theirs, following direction and keeping up. Our oldest got her first mountain bike a few months back and our little munchkin is proudly riding big sisters older bike, still with training wheels, but I am most certain that we will loose those in a few weeks.

So with the days getting slowly  warmer (very slowly even here in Texas) we decided not to wait much longer and jump on a set of bikes that we have had our eyes on for months and finally purchases our first bikes as adults. Honestly I can’t tell you the last time I rode a bike and I know for my husband it has been even longer.

So often we don’t take time for the little things. For kids so many things they do ,are combined and the boarders of one thing and another get washed away and simply don’t exist. Like riding your bike is  great exercise, but we wouldn’t ask them to go exercise.. we ask them if they would love to ride their bikes and have fun outside ?  Often it is the same with learning…

Today was a lovely day. We all rode our bikes and we were outside for 2 hours plus riding those bikes, laughing, and spending time together. I grew up with lots of bike rides as a kid. We rode from my hometown in Germany to our neighboring villages, and often stopped somewhere on the way for some delicious ice cream. Needless to say after our first successful ride today, we all shared a big bowl of ice cream together as soon as we got home 🙂