Friday, July 31, 2009

Frontier Days

I think homeschooling is going to my head. No, not in THAT way. It's more messing with my head. It's turning everything into a unit study--or maybe I should say it's giving me an excuse to come up with crazy ideas and call them unit studies! :)

For example: We're about to embark on a unit study entitled "Frontier Days" with our co-op in September. At first, I had tame plans of taking the kids to a local pioneer reenactment thing. Pretty exciting, right? HOLD THE PHONE!!! I NOW HAVE A MUCH MORE FABULOUS IDEA!!

So, I was sitting on the couch reading Caddie Woodlawn aloud to the kids this morning--minding my own business--when I read that Caddie's house still stands and is now a museum in Menomonie, Wisconsin. Like any sensible person, I went to look that up on the map. And I couldn't help noticing that it is ONLY AN HOUR from Little House in the Big Woods in Pepin, Wisconsin!! Which is only about 3 hours from Burr Oak, Iowa (another Laura Ingalls Wilder historic site), and only about 4 hours from Walnut Grove, Minnesota (think On The Banks of Plum Creek). Then it would only be a 2 hour little jump to DeSmet, North Dakota (By the Shores of Silver Lake and the rest of the "Laura Books").

Now I was really excited! I carefully mapped out the whole route--including a stop for lunch at the American Girl Doll Store in Minneapolis, and Mount Rushmore (only an hour out of the way)--two "must sees", of course!

Excitedly, I presented my plan to my husband.

"It'll be the BEST unit study EVER!" I gushed.

"But Menomonie, Wisconsin is twelve hours away from here," he pointed out. I hadn't thought too much about that...

"And I just drove twelve hours across Kansas a few days ago."

Mmmm... He was right. At the time, I had sworn off any more road trips for six months. I always say that, but I'm ready to go again in a couple of weeks.

"But they're having "Laura Days" in September right there literally on the banks of Plum Creek! That's exactly when we're doing our unit study!! You can't get any more "Frontier" than that!"

"Yeah, but you'll miss most of your co-op days. Let's go next year in October or something. I bet the fall colors will be beautiful up there that time of year. Besides, you're going to need at least two weeks to get through that itinerary."

I sighed.

"But what if Joy doesn't want an American Girl Doll by then? Girls get too old for dolls, you know."

"She'll only be eight."

Yeah. Sigh.

"But I've already been to Little House on the Prairie and Laura's house in Mansfield, Missouri. This will make me complete."

I paused to let that news sink in.

My husband put his arm around me. I felt bad.

"I know," I said. "You have so much going on with school and all. I'm sorry. It can wait. But please tell me that it really is the best unit study ever."

"It is," he said. "I love your unit study. I want to come too! But next year, okay?"

"Okay."

He hugged me.

"You know what I love about you?"

"What?"

"You are always coming up with ideas. You keep me on my toes!"

Well, I'm glad he likes it, 'cause there's plenty more where those came from! Should I tell him about the catapult we're going to build for the Simple Machines unit study? Nah... I'll just surprise him...