Jamestown Field Trip:

Today’s field trip to Jamestown was sooo much fun!  Ryan and I finally got to see, touch, smell, and hear some of what the settlers experienced (well, the pleasant experiences anyway :) ).

We took a class that taught us about navigation and the trip to America, had a picnic lunch in the van, explored the indoor museum, watched a short movie, took a two hour tour (the ships, the fort, and the Powhatan Indian village), and checked out the cool gift shop.

It was neat to see all of the different license plates in the parking lot and a good reminder of how lucky we are to live so close to so many awesome historical sites in Virginia!  We missed having Brendan with us, but he said that he enjoyed the quiet time and got lots of work done.

You know I had to take lots of pictures, so here they are :) :

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The Search For Religious Freedom:

As we’re learning about the settlers in Jamestown, we’re also studying the plight of the Puritans and the Separatists and how they came to America seeking religious freedom. Our read aloud book, Almost Home is about a girl who travels to America on the Mayflower.


It’s so cool to learn about the trials and faith of these groups while we are reading a story based on the life of Mary Chilton in Almost Home -  I love the literature that My Father’s World chooses for their curriculum and how those books make history “come alive”!


Since we’re learning about the Mayflower, I assigned this activity from History Pockets today.  Ryan colored the ship while I read today’s lessons and then wrote a journal entry as if he was one of the children on the ship:




It’s neat to see the tidbits of information Ryan has picked up through our reading (plus, it helps me to know that he is listening – LOL)!


I’ve use History Pockets for a few years now and really like how the activities help reinforce the things we are learning. I go through the books, photocopy the pages that correspond with what we’ll be learning, and file them with our yearly plans.  If any materials are needed for the activity (such as yarn, paper plates, etc.), I go ahead and file that stuff too.  Then it’s all ready to go!


Ryan did a great job memorizing James 1: 2-5 last week, which is good because we’re adding two more verses this week :) !

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IMG_3368Don’t you just love the visual for the word abut :) ???  Hey, if it helps Ryan remember the vocabulary words then I’m all for it!


Ryan finished his biography about Squanto last week and will now be reading Indian Captive:




A Mighty Fortress

What is the purpose of a fortress?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as: a place that is protected against attack; a fortified place; a stronghold.

  Fortresses are strong and sturdy.  They are built to protect against enemies.  They provide a sense of peace and comfort to those inside.  That is why the settlers at Jamestown build walls around their community.  We have a fortress available to us as well…

Did you know that God is known as a mighty Fortress?

Listen to this beautiful song by Christy Nockels: A Mighty Fortress.

What a wonderful reminder of where our strength and protection come from!  He is our Rock, Shelter, Protector, Refuge, Stronghold, Hiding place, our Shield.  Thank you Father for being our mighty Fortress!!!


So, we had a change of plans with our Jamestown trip.  Since it was supposed to be hot today with a chance of rain, we switched the date until next week (should be much cooler).  It actually will work out better, since it gives us a few more days to learn about the settlers.

Today we had fun building a model of the Jamestown fort, learning about the French explorers who settled in what is now Quebec, did a scripture memory activity, learned about mammals, did some mapping, and the usual subjects (reading, math, grammar, etc.).  Here are some pictures of Ryan’s work (sorry that some of the pics look yellow – we had a few camera difficulties :) ):





A few pictures of Brendan’s work:


??????????????????????????????IMG_3346IMG_3348????????????????????The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;

my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,

my shield and the horn of my salvation, my

stronghold.   Psalm 18:2


I am so excited to finally be studying Jamestown and the first settlers!  Ryan doesn’t quite share the same amount of enthusiasm, but I think he’s enjoying it more than he lets on ;) .  We are sooooo blessed to live in Virginia and will be taking lots of field trips this year as we study US history.  Our first trip will be this Thursday to…….wait for it…….Jamestown :) !  It’s so cool to actually see, touch, and experience the places and subjects that we’re studying!

For example, today Ryan had to read about and build a model of a wigwam…

IMG_3317IMG_3320IMG_3322IMG_3321IMG_3323   …and on Thursday we’ll actually get to go inside of life-sized replica!


We have added more verses to our scripture memory in James:



  We’ve also been learning about King James and how he commissioned the King James Bible in 1611.  Ryan had fun reading from the KJV and I think it helped him appreciate the fact that we use the New International Version instead :) !IMG_3309IMG_3314_________________________________________________

We also learned about the Lost Colony and Ryan wrote a short newspaper article about what he thinks may have happened to the settlers (he had fun drawing his “bloody” picture):

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Here are a few other things we worked on:



Brendan started Spanish and Physical Science today.  He only has 5 students in his Spanish class and about 10 in his Science class and he really likes both of his teachers.  I didn’t want to embarrass him by taking a picture of going into the building, so I was a good mom and waited until he got home – LOL!



I was even able to snap a few quick shots yesterday:

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A little note of encouragement: