We had a good first week back to school. The week was unbearably hot and humid (as in so humid my glasses fog up everytime I step outside) that it made me once again glad that I made the decision to homeschool in the summer and take a much needed spring break. It was a little harder for the kids to get back into the swing of things. Gabe, who’s nine, is very aware now that other kids have a long summer break and made sure I knew he wanted one too. Needless to say, we did a lot of retraining on habits and character heart training.
That said, we used our afternoons to do more formal workbox schooling and the mornings to work together on a particular subject. This week was the Pony Express. I must admit I had been putting this study off for a while. I just couldn’t get my head around what I wanted to do. Then I found some great activities (see below) that helped shape things up for me. The only thing I couldn’t find that I wanted was a mapping activity and copywork so I made my own (see below).
Pony Express Living Books we read:
The Sweetwater Run: The Story of Buffalo Bill Cody and the Pony Express by Andrew Glass – This tells the story of a young 13 year old boy who wants to join the Pony Express but is slightly too young. Through a series of events he ends up on the trail with important news of a new president. This one is fun to read with the right voices.
Wanted: A Few Bold Riders by Darice Bailer ~ This is the story they liked the best. Gabe did one of his best narrations ever remembering more small details then he ever has. The story line is a group of kids who visit a museum and one of the boys ends up imagining himself as one of the displays. Is very relatable and grabs the kids attention right away.
Black Storm Comin’ by Diane Lee Wilson ~ This story is about a 12 year old boy who ends up on the trail. It is a completely engaging story from the very first chapter and I aim to borrow the book from Gabe when he is done. Good novel for junior high age.
Hoofbeats of Danger (An American Girl History Mystery) – Lily loves the American Girl stories. This is her first History Mystery. A good starter chapter book for mid-upper elementary.
Postal History Picture Books:
The Post Office Book: Mail and How it Moves by Gail Gibbons – What’s more to say? It’s Gail Gibbons!
In My Neigborhood: Postal Workers by Paulette Bourgois ~ Littles favorite mail book. A little boy makes a birthday card to grandma. The card makes its trip through the postal system. Quite detailed while maintaining audience attention!
Literature ~ read historical fiction of this time period
Grammar ~ learn formal letter writing skills
Copywork ~ use the Pony Express Oath as handwriting practice
Georaphy ~ mapping the Pony Express
Math ~ learn about money (cent sign), counting money, and how math relates to the postal system through stamps and weighing mail, littles reinforced number recognition
Pony Express Free Printables and Games:
- Mapping the Pony Express
- The Pony Express Oath – Copywork
- The Pony Express Audio Book
- Rail, Sail or Overland Mail – online interactive game
- Free Pony Express Color Pages
- Free Mail Game Printables for Preschoolers – from Our Country Road blog