Thursday, October 29, 2009

US History: Colonial Times, Reading and Eating

We've been having a sporadically great time with our Colonial unit. Not that we haven't been having fun the whole time, it's more that we keep getting interrupted and sidetracked by fine weather and outside activities.

Here's what we've done so far:

We have been reading!

We really enjoyed If You lived in Colonial Times. It's written as a question and answer book with a special focus on how kids lived in Colonial times.

We are moving through Great Colonial America Projects You Can Build Yourself. The name explains it all! Actually, it has some nice explanatory essays which put each project into context as well as give more information about how the colonists did such things.

In The Story of America, we are up to page 40: Colonies in the Wilderness.

I am using A History of the United States only sporadically just now since it is focusing on events more than how the colonists lived. We are around Chapter 3.

We are also doing some on the pilgrims, particularly a book from the perspective of children making the crossing (although I"m too lazy to go upstairs and look up the title). Since the kids are actually Mayflower descendants (through the Emperor, obviously) doing the Plymouth colony is sort of mandatory.

Aside from the books, we've been eating!

Johnnycakes (also called hoe cakes, although I could think of no way to actually cook them on a hoe since mine is a stirrup hoe).

We have also been enjoying a colonial breakfast: popcorn with milk and sugar. No, they didn't have sugar, but it's just so good! It's similar in texture to puffed wheat, but the taste is much more intensely "corny" than corn pops. Yummy! We are doing it with pan popped corn since the microwave type is pre-salted. It's actually a cheap source of cold cereal, even today - and whole grain to boot!

Related to food, we are getting ready to cook down more squash and pumpkins for more pilgrim food, and we have planted out wheat.

If you haven't grown wheat, it's worth a try and now is the time to plant it! Wheat is a grass, so it will grow wherever grass will grow in your yard. You can get wheat seed at any natural food store, or possibly your supermarket. You are looking for "wheat berries." Ideally, you will get to choose "Hard Winter Wheat," but I'd try the generic "wheat berries" if that's what you can find.

You can find our posts with the how to details here.

Incredibly, when I went looking for wheat berries at MOM's, not only did I find "Hard Winter Wheat," they also had oat groats, spelt, flax, and buckwheat. A quick look on the internet told me that I needed to plant the spelt and oats now, and the flax and buckwheat in the spring. I'll keep you posted on how everything turns out!

No comments: