Early Girlie Homeschool


Grade 4

This year, we will begin studying Colonial America. This is based on Common Core and PA State Educational Standards...but also on my own memories of a 4th grade field trip to Meadowcroft Village, learning about Native American spirit animals, and witnessing a house being built by Pennsylvania Dutch and buying baked goods from Ohio Mennonite horse and buggy. I knew that I wanted to make learning about a long-ago era tangible and relevant to Earlie Girlie. 

As an adult, I see the connections between early colonization of America and current issues. We still argue about immigration - who is allowed and not allowed into and out of a country. Care of the environment is always being leveraged by trade and money systems. The reasons and ways in which people have collected into groups has remained important - for survival, a shared vision, religious way of life, or for a deep sense of belonging. 

Last year, we focused on British novelists and culture of the Victorian Era. This year, we're going to study more about "Old World" Europe, and French novelists. We will look at Native American lifestyle and attend a Pow Wow in September. We will also look at European colony lifestyle with a field trip to Meadowcroft Village. We will do some family genealogy to trace back to our roots to America, Canada, and beyond. It will all begin this summer with a road trip and creating travel logs, just like early Explorers did!

Earlie Girlie had never been on a ship before, so we took a "Princesses and Superheroes" day cruise aboard the Victorian Princess, a paddle boat wheeler in Lake Erie. She didn't fare too well when it was choppy on the top decks, but she enjoyed the main cabin, food, and meeting all of the characters. That short experience will give her a glimpse into what it is like to travel by sea. Now she will have to imagine traveling by boat through storms and for a long time before reaching land! This was a nice way to link Victorian, Colonial, and modern times before the new school year. I'm also enlisting a friend to help with a Native American smudging ceremony.


Fall Lesson Plans

Theme: Colonial America & Modern Times

* Student Guidelines

* Behavior Chart

* Currency Project: Earning beads for bartering and purchasing items.

* Trade & Bartering Systems

* Native Americans and Colonists

* "Old World" Europe, Asia, Africa and "New World" Americas and islands

* Travel Writing

* Beads: History, crafting

* Math Orientation: beads as counters, wooden numbers, flashcards, apps

* "When I was Your Age": We created a fun series called "When I was Your Age" where she interviews family members and community members, who tell her stories about their youth. I play secretary during the interview, and then we edit it together. 

* Environmental Protection: Native Americans still work on cultivating and protecting the earth. Alberta Oil / Tar Sands documentaries, and Keystone Pipeline Project (current events). 

* Electricity (STEM, history, writing). E.G. will interview her grandmother and other neighbors who grew up without electricity! 

* Fire & firefighting (Science, Civics, History). Firefighting was done with brigades and buckets during Colonial times. We will learn about the creation of fire houses and fire safety that is still relevant today.

* Boat travel (STEAM, art & leisure). How the explorers and colonists arrived by sea. How they measured sea travel with knots of rope.

* Migration & Immigration

* Wind power review.

* Independent work: Spelling, reading, printing lessons

* Handwriting Lessons: Famous quotes from Native Americans, famous lines of poetry and quotes from Colonists. Sometimes I pull from passages of her books, so the lesson is always two-fold. 

* Native American smudging ceremony. Scientists have discovered that smudging gets rid of germs and reduces the number of positive ions in the air. So there are connections between science, health, and history! (For a girl who doesn't want the summer to end, I think it's a great way to spark the new school year and add interest to native culture). 

* Geography: changing geography, indigenous tribes map

* Native American Biography

* French Colonist Biography

* Solar and moon phases (Native tribes explained different seasons than ours). We will get to witness a rare solar eclipse on August 21, 2017! There is one again on February 15, 2018.

* Crop growing seasons (Science, history, math)

* Quilt Project (Art, math, creativity)

* Drum-Making (Music, art, dance)

* Music: Rhythm review, scales, intonation chants

* Meadowcroft Village Field Trip (Colonial demonstrations such as candle-making, butter churning, and black-smithing)

* Pow-Wow study & field trip.

* Telling time in the 1600's: Pendulum clock, cuckoo clock, and pocket watch.

* Arts & Cultural Studies: Mask-making, face painting, ceremonial clothing, instrument making

* Health & Science: Role of food in disease and medicine. Digestion.

* Severe Weather Systems, Disaster Planning, Recovery & Rebuilding Programs

* Hurricanes in Atlantic Ocean: Harvey (Texas), Irma (US Islands, Florida Keys), Jose (Mexico), Lee (Bermudas), Maria (Puerto Rico destroyed, US Islands hit again).

* War and Cultural Clashes.

* North Korea and Threat of Nuclear War (Current events).

* Hiroshima and Nagasaki (1945 nuclear bombs by U.S.) Survivors document their experiences.

Telling Time

Studying and measuring time has been a fascination for human beings for centuries! E.G. is fascinated by her aunt's cuckoo clock and grandfather's pocket watches. I also bought a chalkboard clock at Target for $3, an easy way to start with something tangible! We will design some clock faces  to practice telling time in analogue. 

The pendulum clock and pocket watch were invented by Dutch mathematician and scientist Christian Huygens (1656, 1675 patented pocket watch). Cuckoo clocks were produced in Furtwangen, Germany by 1660. Grandma's parents used wind-up alarm clocks and roosters to wake them up when they didn't have electricity. They didn't have smartphones and computers back then, in Colonial times. I know, hard to believe. 

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