Our family resides in North Carolina. Thus for Sawyer’s local geography and history blocks, we focused on North Carolina. As usual, Sawyer completely did not want anything to do with this block. I can’t say that I blame her. I remember North Carolina history-sort of. I remember reading in a textbook about Raleigh (our state capital) and the people of Jamestown but that is about it. I remember the information being dry and uninteresting.
The geography of North Carolina, I explained in more detail here. She learned the regions of North Carolina and made a few maps of the region. We went to Linville Caverns to look at the mountains of NC in a different way than we normally do. We planned to get to the Outer Banks of NC but that hasn’t happened quite yet. Sawyer researched animals native to NC and trees native to NC. It was a rough block but we tried to make it as interesting as possible.
For the history portion of NC, I went to the library and started checking out books on NC history. The books were just as painful as the textbooks I remembered as a child. After some more researching in the library, I found North Carolina Parade: Stories of History and People. It is an old book filled with amazing stories. The stories tell the history of North Carolina through the eyes of the people-the new settlers, the Native Americans, the poor in the mountains, the rich planataion owners, the farmers, the soldiers…. The book brought North Carolina History alive and relatable. We LOVED this book.
One of Sawyer’s favorite stories spoke of a little girl who met George Washington. In the story, the young lady made hoe cakes and eggs as a quick meal for the traveling gentleman whom unknown the girl was George Washington. After the story, Sawyer researched hoe cakes recipes. The internet had many recipes to choose from which worked well as another lesson. Which recipe would most likely be the one that the girl used? After many searches, Sawyer found the most simple recipe out there-cornmeal and boiling water. She found the recipe on The Hillbilly Housewife’s blog. The hoe cakes are delicious! The boys ask Sawyer to make them every couple of weeks.
In addition to NC geography and history at home, Sawyer participated in a class at Latta Plantation Nature Center. The class entitled, “Catawba Studies” taught her about the Catawba Indians who inhabited our state. She learned how the Catawbas used the natural resources native to NC to build their houses, their pottery and their weapons. We really lucked out with this class!
Overall, I think the two blocks went together well. Sawyer was not the least bit excited about NC at first. Now, I have found her reading books about Blackbeard the pirate and the Cherokee Indians who were forced out of NC. She makes hoe cakes and she is interested in visiting Raleigh and the Outerbanks. Her interests were sparked which is the goal. I enjoy watching her use the information we went over to expand her own interests in NC history.