Woodland Indians Field Trip

Today the girls and I had an absolutely wonderful day. Do you ever just have one of those? We met some homeschooling friends at New Pond Farm in Redding, CT for a Woodland Indians Field Trip. It was such a great program. Brianna has been doing school at home but this day, Maia and Keira also happened to be home from school so they got to come along.
The photos are a bit out of order but as you can see the girls got to experience and learn so much. They learned more today in two hours than they do in a full week of social studies classes at school and I mean that. And the best part is that they will retain this information because they are interested in it and got to experience it hands-on… they didn’t have to memorize the names of the Indian shelters for a test over and over – they got to go inside a Longhouse firsthand and then they got to see a Wigwam and ask questions. They will never forget the names of those shelters because they were taught about it in a way that speaks to their soul.
The program had a wonderful teacher who showed the children EVERYTHING about the Woodland Indians that lived in our area. It is so sad to me to be sitting in the middle of the forest where these beautiful people once populated and realize they are all gone.
New Pond Farm is such a wonderful little place and so close to our home. Maia loves stopping and saying hello to the animals.
Inside the children learned about the three most important crops for the native people. Squash, Corn and Beans which they call the Three Sisters. We saw how the Native Americans would grow these three things together.
We also were able to see the different tools the Woodland Indians created and how they evolved over time.
We learned that the men hunted while the woman took care of the crops and children. Animal skins were so important for warmth during the cold winters in Connecticut which we learned first hand last week with six nights without power!

Outside the children were able to try out some of the tools and explore the land.
There was a fire waiting for us and the children enjoyed popcorn Native American style in the Longhouse.
We learned how the people cooked their food and how they used wooden bowls with hot stones from the fire to make their soup warm all day. We wondered if they didn’t mind the ash that went into the pot.
The instructor passed out delicious corn bread with maple syrup and told us that Indians discovered maple syrup and would grind the corn to bake bread.

Keira and Maia enjoyed a simple hoop game made of sticks and twigs.
Brianna LOVED using the tool to get the corn off of the cob in order to grind it later. Socialization will never be a concern of mine regarding homeschooling. These children have the time to be, to make friends, to explore…. to truly discover the world they are in. In school, my children have only a few minutes of lunch and recess and must hurry from class to class in the upper grades. If anything, I think they are the ones who are not getting enough socialization.
The tool is actually animal teeth attached to a jaw bone. The Native Americans did not waste a thing… there was no garbage. If we could only go back to a time like that…
Seeds and raisins were passed around for the children to enjoy.
They learned so much. And so did I. What I learned is that these homeschooling mothers are true pioneers in the name of education. I have such a deep respect for their courage to go against the norm and give their children an education that is based on freedom of learning. I’m not sure where the path will lead my children but I do know that I want more for them than standardized tests and the stress that has come along with No Child Left Behind.
And no matter where our path leads us long-term, I will always be inspired by the homeschooling movement in our country and around the world and I intend to continue to support it in my work through Little Acorn Learning in every way possible.

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