Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Colonial Fort Michilimackinac, Michigan Part 3

I hope you enjoyed Part 2 of our Fort Michilimackinac adventures thus far!  Now it was onto the cannon demonstration!

Getting ready to shoot the cannon.

The younger fellow was pretty hilarious and did an excellent job!

Kelly caught the cannon ball after it was shot off! JUST KIDDING! Haha! We got to feel how heavy it was.  Definitely heavier than it looks.

No off to tour the houses again!  Pretty fireplace.
Now we are visiting the Commanding Officer's House!
Next, the British Trader's House!
Now we are visiting Treasures by the Sand: Archaeology at Michilimackinac.
Some facts about Michigan archaeology!

Scale model of the fort and past digging sites.
Reconstruction facts about the fort.
This is quite interesting.  Just wait for the next photo!

Here's the fish skeleton!  The girls maybe looked at this for maybe 3 seconds and moved on. LOL
A cellar from one of the original buildings. (1700-1800s)  So cool!
Next up, picking herbs for a fresh stew.....Yum!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Homeschool 2013-2014

I am running a little behind on my Fort Michilimackinac posts, but will update part 3 of 4 hopefully sometime this week.  As you know, prepping for homeschool takes time and dedication.

We are doing something completely different this year now going into our third year as homeschoolers.  As a former early childhood teacher, I was so used to rigid routines and lesson plans I had to learn to break myself of that.  It literally took two years for me to learn to be flexible in our homeschool.  We utilized A Beka curriculum for two years until I realized it wasn't working anymore.  Too rigid for sure and not flexible enough.  I was ready for something multi-age which allows flexibility. 

Don't get me wrong, I love A Beka and their program, but I think it's well suited for one homeschooled child rather than 3.

What am I doing this year?  I chose to go the more literary route with the girls since they adore reading.  I found Ambleside Online and fell in love with the curriculum (Which is free to use) as it's the Charlotte Mason approach and concept.  The only costs were the costs of some of the suggested books, etc.  I mixed it up with traditional books, Kindle, and online format.  Some of them were free!

It covers History, Science, Literature, Copywork, etc.  For math we are using It's $99 for two kids for the entire year.  Awesome! has a free language arts program.  I also found online Latin, Art, and spelling!  I literally saved $300-400 this year as this was what I was paying the last two years for A Beka (used).

Our morning schedule went very well.  The girls are excited and ready to learn.  Kelly is loving that it requires a lot of reading time. I am hoping it sticks.

I also will be utilizing Christian Cottage Unit Studies when I can and may utilize it to the fullest next year.

On Wednesdays the girls will be taking Homeschool classes at Homeschool Connections again in the Farmington Hills location.  Kelly will be taking a science LEGO class as well as a literature class.  Lyssa will be taking a fun with numbers and fun with books class.  Should be fun.

Little Bethany will be starting preschool on September 5th, which is parent day.  She will be going to Ward Preschool in Northville Tuesday and Thursday mornings 9-11:30 am.  The coolest part of this whole thing is I get to stay and homeschool Kelly and Lyssa in the church lobby while Bethany is in class.  No time wasted.  Super pumped about that!

Our goal this year is to get our work done all morning and be finished by lunchtime.  If there was something we couldn't finish, it will go into their work trays so they can finish later.  That worked out nicely last year too.

What curriculum will you be using this year?  The same or trying something different?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Colonial Fort Michilimackinac, Michigan Part 2

I hope you enjoyed part 1 of our Fort Michilimackinac adventures thus far.  By now we were ready to explore the fort as a family since we participated in the group tour of the property.

Here is the outside of the Blacksmith shop.  We were hoping there was a demonstration, but there wasn't oh well.  Maybe we will come back later.

Below, is a beautiful organic garden much like that of the 1700's.  Here is a woman making bread.  Can't wait to see if she bakes it in the oven.  Yum!!  Did you know that back in those days every person consumed 5 pounds of bread a day? Lots of carbs!  They definitely needed it as hard as they worked just to survive, especially during the cold winter months.

Now we are taking a tour inside what the priest's house what have been like!

Here is the living area with fireplace.

The priest's dining area!

A statue of a priest kneeling and praying the Rosary.

The priests bed.  Doesn't look very comfortable does it?
This is inside St. Anne's Church.  There is another St. Anne's church on Mackinac Island!

The local fur trader.  Often struggled in the business.
Of course I had to capture a shot of the Fur Trader's shoes!
This is Helen.  She was getting ready to make a yummy chicken stew!
This is Maddie.  She was telling us about bread making and how the oven process worked back then.
Now inside the French museum. French Uniform
A French Fireplace which was part of the original house.  This is what was left of the house before demolished by British Soldiers in 1780. So cool!
A unique map of all the rivers and islands in Michigan
The outside of St. Anne's Church.  Had to get a quick shot since I already have gotten a pic of the inside.  Cute little church.
Now on to the Cannon demonstration.  To be continued in part 3 of 4 tomorrow.....

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Colonial Fort Michilimackinac, Michigan Part 1

As a part of our homeschooling adventures north of the state of Michigan, we spent the morning at Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinac City, on Wednesday, August 7th. This was the day after our Tahquamenon Falls visit in the Upper Peninsula. We woke up to a very rainy and dreary morning in Mackinac City's Clarion Hotel.  Slightly bummed to say the least, but after breakfast we noticed it started clearing up.  By the time we got to the fort it was beautiful and sunny!

We got to Fort Michilimackinac by 9:00 am since it was just down the road from our hotel.  Kelly (10) was beyond excited as she loves history.  What better than learning about our state history?  Lyssa (6.5) and Bethany (4) ended up enjoying it as well even though they didn't understand every single detail.

We were fortunate to have the Michigan Archaeology team digging at a site.  They found more relics and objects dating back to 1700-1800's.  Kelly was enthralled by all of this and couldn't wait to see all of the items that were housed in replicas and actual historic finds.  The girls got to help pic herbs for a homemade stew and they watched bread making and learned about the ovens and the process.  Here are some pics highlighting our adventures below.

When you walk into the lobby of the store prior to the fort, there were some really neat facts about the historical finds by the archaeologists!


Next to it was a cool display about the Colonial Frontier etc.  I loved the details that were put into the presentation below:

Now it's time to take a tour through the fort.  The girls were pretty excited of what was ahead of them, especially Kelly!

On our way in this book was on display.  Would love to pick it up at the bookstore sometime!

Just before the actual outdoor tour of the fort, we got to watch a brief movie explaining the life and hardships of the people during the early and late 1700's.

After the movie it was time to take a walk outside through the fort.  A quick shot of the Mackinac Bridge on Lake Michigan side.  Yay, the sky is clearing up.

Here is the historical cannon kind of like the one used in the war of 1763....................................

Here is a fun replica of the Native American Indian life. The girls loved this!
There was a young man reenacting those hardships etc., but didn't get a chance to take a pic.

Almost inside Fort Michilimackinac. There's Ron and the girls ahead of me.  So glad the weather was clearing up.  It was going to be a beautiful day.

Walking in................One of the common houses.

Inside the middle of the fort...........................................

One of the digging sites, we were slowly making our way over.  Getting ready to watch a rifle demonstration with a soldier re-enactment.

 Below is Englishman Jim from the King's regimen of light-foot infantry.  He did a great job with the demonstration and re-enactment!

Here is Jim prepping for the firing of the bayonet.

Plug your ears everyone!

Now it's time to visit the archaeological digging site.  Kelly was so pumped!

One of the archaeologists discussing their recent finds in an original site.  How exciting!  Can't wait to visit the Chevalier House to see all of their finds through the years.

Almost done with the group tour.  Just one more stop before exploring the fort on our own.  This young man was portraying a voyager who brought goods fur trading, etc. back and forth to the fort.

Now it's time to explore the fort on our own.  Continued in part 2 of 4 tomorrow.......

My Three Blessings

My Three Blessings
Photo by Emily Haapala Photography

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