Friday, November 14, 2008

Conestoga Wagons

Farewell Friday

This week our Social Studies focused on 19th Century travel. We read about Conestoga wagons and the preparation that the pioneers made before beginning their five-month trek across the plains, mountains and deserts. I thought about those brave dads and moms who labored to make months worth of food and supplies, having to think and prepare and pack for everything. I thought about our upcoming holiday trips. What if it took five months to get there? And there were no McDonald's along the way??!!!

The boys completed an activity in which they compared and contrasted travel then to travel now. In our discussion, we noted that the pioneers had no roads,but since the advent of the airplane, we do not need roads. They had sketchy maps and markings carved into bones left along the trail by those who came before them, and we have interstates, amber alerts, GPS and OnStar.

Then, the boys made this very simple model of a Conestoga. I cut two small milk cartons in half and taped the top flap so that it stuck out to make the jokey box. Then, we taped a piece of card stock paper cut to the width of the milk carton to each side to form the canvas covering. The final step was to tape bottle caps to the sides as wheels. Very simple and the boys loved it.

It was interesting to reflect on what life was like just a little over one hundred years ago while my blog's hit counter was ticking like mad due to the Homeschool Blog Awards. Just this week, this blog had visitors from all over the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. Some of you live along the trail those pioneers struggled to forge. Some of you live in places a girl from my part of the world would never have dreamed of seeing in the 19th Century. Yet we made it to each other's homes with the click of a button this week.

It truly is the world wide web. How great a blessing we have to be able to connect and to encourage one another. Welcome, friends.

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