August 08, 2006

32nd Carnival of Homeschooling: The Wild, Wild West!

I've provided a re-make of Johnny Cash's 'Orange Blossom Special' done by TANGLEWEED for your amusement. You can turn it on and off here!


Welcome to the 32nd Carnival of Homeschooling. If you don't know what a posting carnival is... let me explain. You see, likeminded bloggers who share a common interest enjoy seeing what each other have to say. So some really smart blogger invented a way to have a sort of "open house" on the web for blogs of the same type. This here blog Carnival is a showcase (written in theme with the historical American West in mind) of the best posts that a few homeschooling bloggers could scrounge up this week! We hope that you find lots of helpful information and enjoy visiting our blogs. Each week there's a new carnival of homeschooling, and they are usually done on different "host" blogs around the blogosphere. For a schedule of this carnival, check here (find out where next week's carnival will take you). To request to host, read here. To submit a post for next week, check out this post. Take of your hat, dust off your boots, and relax a bit. Enjoy this week's show!


After the colonies were established here in America and the Spaniards had brought horses for riding in their caravels, America declared independence from England in 1776. Before the War of Independence, Native Americans and Colonists got along relatively well. Some of the Indians even began to copy the clothing, farming methods and housing of the Europeans. Friendly status with the Native Americans changed during the war against the British, however, when most of the Forest Indians took up arms against the colonies. They found themselves on the loosing side of the war when it ended and many were killed. The 'red men' began to be systematically forced or coerced into moving to undesired land in the Midwest. The well-known 'Trail of Tears' documents a part of this awful and shameful history of the United States of America. In the early 19th century westward expansion began to spread as far as Oregon and California and the wagons of the 'Oregon Trail' began heading west around 1839. The destruction of the buffalo by the 'white man' was a horrible blow to the Plains Indians who dwelled in the American west. Hunting for sport was not the Native American way. They made use of every part of the Buffalo when they killed one. As pioneers began to "civilize" the wilderness, clashes with Indians became more and more common.

Texas had a large part to play in the days of the cowboys and indians... and in the wars that eventually created the west we see as part of America today. During the mid-1800's there were roughly 30,000 American settlers in the state of Texas and only about 7-8,000 Spanish settlers. Texas began to grumble under stricter Mexican regulations and the battle for Texas Independence was eventually won in 1836. The remaining tensions between Texas and Mexico eventually ended in the Mexican-American War after Texas was admitted into the United States a decade later. Only nine days after the United States won the war and Mexico ceded California and New Mexico over to the U.S., gold was struck in California. The California Gold rush started another huge explosion of westward travelers in covered wagons heading out to seek land and fortune in the wild frontier. Although the glory days of the wild west quickly passed into history, the rugged spirit that Americans and many friendly countries around the world admired so much then remains - even today.


Just where is the American west? Check out this nifty little map and see! Do you find your state there? I know the one I'm from and the one I'm living in are both on this map! Even if you don't see yourself on the map, we hope you'll enjoy learning more about the American west and HOMESCHOOLING here below!


*UPDATE* I almost forgot to add in one of the purdiest cowgirls of all! Kathy at HomeschoolBuzz has done a wonderful book report about (even cowgirls do book reports!) that all you cactus mamas need to see. It just happens to be about "The Orphan Train Adventures" which tell about Children's Aid Society's efforts back in the mid 1800's to mid 1900's in placing poor and orphaned children from New York "with welcoming families out West". Thanks, Kathy! Those books sound like a barrel 'o fun!

Gathering Manna, my foodie blog has a few southern specialties... one such recipe that should not be missed is for cowboy beans the way southern gals luv'em best - drizzled with honey and spiced with wild piquin peppers (as many as you can stand). Now if only she could rustle up a good chow-chow recipe to go with her beans and cornbread, her mama would be so proud! Stop over at her general store (food blog) and print out a copy of the recipe: "J. Frank Dobie's Frijoles (A Historical Perspective on a Tex-Mex Standard)!"

Indians are some of the most interesting folk you'll ever come across in the west. The Bees sure enjoyed learnin' bout'em back in the school year of '01-02'! That was their first year of homeschooling, and they ended with a bang... an INDIAN FEAST! You don't need to do a 'rain dance' to check out Sprittibee's favorite KONOS unit study for the years her kids were in Kindergarten and Preschool - "Konos Indian Unit Photos". Warning: Photos of wild little indians may be included! Parental supervision not needed.

Prairie flower Heather at AlabamaBrands is blazing a new trail with her own custom-created history enrichment unit this year. Check out her wagon-load of ideas at "My Latest Frontier".

Carol, the Rodeo Clown (who is quite popular in her clowning classes at co-op) shares an inspiring round-up of "Ideas for Co-op Classes" at the HomeschoolCPA. If yer wantin' to get them gals and guys together for a learnin' rodeo - check out her list! Maybe we'll have some rodeo clowns in the making!

Another brazen filly in the westward pioneer homeschool movement is Silly Old Mom. She's stirrin' up a dust devil at the Flock of Sillies with her "Summer Planning Madness" where she discusses resources for teaching about the time period in history she "knows and loves best: colonial times".

Cowboys are tough, but they love their animals. Little William must wear a white hat and shoot straight from the hip! Christine, Will's frontier mama (of Routon Family Homeschool) shares this lovely photo post of "William's Picture in Magazine", and tells the story of how he bottle fed a mare on the farm. (inspiration for the phrases in this section from Big White Hat)

Mama Squirrel is one Indian Squaw that has learned her trade of shooting arrows well. The arrow she shot this week happened to be shot at ME! Yep... 'cowgirl down'. Just throw me over my horse and send me off into the sunset. Her post over at the lovely Native American village of Dewey's Treehouse is called "Teaching Standards". Her wise words ring true, "we're people, not standards on a wall". Indians may not say a lot, but what they do say is pretty profound!

A cowgirl needs some time to read when she ain't busy ropin' calves and all that. Maureen at Trinity Prep School lets all us other cowpokes know that you don't have to be a cowgirl to teach like one (or rather, you don't have to be classically educated to give your buckaroos a classical education). This is mighty-fine advice... worthy of carvin' it on that old oak tree outside to remind yourself that 'YOU CAN DO IT' when you need a little pat on the back! Mosey over and read her post - "The Great Books Reading Partnership".

Cowgirls like to know what's ahead on the trail. Rebecca at What Did You Do in School Today? shares what she's plannin' on teachin' about Virginia's local history in a post called "Planning our first block". Her 'unit-study-type' plans include some historical run-ins with Native Americans and Colonial Americans. She sounds like she'll be one busy cowgirl!

Even cowgirls need to know their mathematics. Maria Miller at the Homeschool Math Blog ponders what it would be like in in a "Life without answer keys". I know for this little homeschool mama, grading papers would be slower than it is now (and I still have a pile to grade after school is out!).

Lovely Allison at Natural Elevation shares the secrets in decoding the generic western love-novel plot in "Evuh' Heered 'uh Zane Grey?" (with a fine accent, I might add). Even more interesting than the wild western plot is her "Tell-tale signs your husband is reading a Zane Grey novel". I've never 'knowed' a "Dude Ranger" who read 'them thar' 'cowgirl sissy books'.

As usual, Spunky (at SpunkyHomeschool) is full of spunk! Her hilarious post about how we are getting the constitution backwards through state regulations of private citizens is right on the mark! Check out "Some people just don't get it" - you won't be sorry you did (unless you are one that just doesn't get it, of course).

Janine Cate at Why Homeschool shares an excellent post that answers question, "Do homeschoolers show disrespect for families who put their children in public school?" True to her blog's title; her post entitled, "Respect and Choices" gives us a look into homeschooling's plusses and minuses while doing the same for public school.

At Stonewall's Boer Goats, Stonewall's grandson learns some wonderful lessons while caring for the animals on the farm (and Stonewall's daughter learned that homeschoolers can do 'school' just about anywhere). For more of this touchin' story of a young buckaroo and his gampy's goats, check out "Boer Goats ~N~ Homeschooling".

"When children might be better left behind" is a touching ballad. ...and no, we ain't talkin' about leavin' the little kiddies behind while the wagon trains head west. We're talkin' bout young'uns that need some precious time with a very sick mama - instead of school. Texas Ed is right. Some things you just can't learn from a book. Mama's love is one of 'em.

Back in the old days, if people were too poor to buy wall paper they hung newspaper up instead. Some folks would paste a new coat up each fall to provide extra warmth and endless reading in the cold winters. Others, like Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn of Trivium Persuit have done quite a bit more interesting things with newspapers! She shares her "Newspaper Craft" with us western folk for all to see just how many other things newspapers can be good for! Honest "Injun", you'll be impressed!

Cowgirl Loni discusses "Developing Children's Interests". Drawing Horses and old church buildings - what a nice way to to saddle up some talent and ride it to a blue ribbon. Here's a big, southern curtsy to Loni's artistic twins at Finding Joy in the Morning!

Dana at Principled Discovery is one smart cowgirl. She explains in her post "Sky Blue, and an Art and Science Project" just WHY that glorious sky is so blue. As the title suggests, she also shares with us onlookers a nice art and science lesson to go along with learning about the heavens and horizon. I love this quote from her write-up (which sounds something like what a true western cowboy would say), "As we go forth into the wild blue yonder, adventure and honor await." 'Hi, Ho Silver, AWAY!'

Julie from A Brave Writer's Life in Brief will have you swept off yer boot-laden feet after you catch a side-ways glance of the photo of her kids in cowboy gear. She makes a fine point about how party-throwin' can be a dirty, but educational business when bringin' up those young'uns as little homeschoolers on the prairie. "Party on, Cowboy!" If only MY mama had knowed that there was a connection butween learnin' and partyin'!!!

At Home Where They Belong (Blog of the Publisher of the magazine "The Old Schoolhouse"), Gena discusses the age-old question that all homeschoolers git hurled at'em: "What about socialization?" She tackles it this time from a spiritual perspective, however. A good example of a practically self-taught and 'hardly ever schooled' kid would be old log-cabin Abe himself. He was social enough to make it all the way to the highest office of the land. Gena's arguments and scriptures are nicely put and I certainly agree that homeschooling is a much better "true representation of society" than the public school version of edu-ma-cation.

Confederate Son at UNRECONSTRUCTED shares some pictures of some homeschooled cowgirls traveling abroad in "Youth Ireland Missions Trip". That sure looks like fertile pasture for grazin' a herd'a cattle in the background!

Sometimes the littlest cowboys are quite simply the cutest. Here's one that'll knock yer socks off. Shoot! That kid is a looker! Go on over to "Little Bit Of Everything Mama’s Blog" and give her a holler in the comments section - wave howdy to "Her Little Cowboy".

Goin' West is tedious and toilsome. It is 'a long way to a new land'. It would be even longer without a good book to read. That's why I was so delighted to get Sherry at Semicolon's list of great "Chapter Books for Preschoolers" added to this here rodeo carnival. Stop over and check'em out!

The hard part of farmin' and homesteadin' in the wild west was learnin' how to do what needed to be done. Kids stood along side mamas and papas and watched them closely to figure out on their own what exactly was required of them. The bounty of the harvest brings a lot of reward for lessons well learned. Barbara at The Imperfect Homeschooler discusses that and more in her post entitled, "Teaching Ourselves".

Like the pioneers who traveled west, preparing for the new homeschool year can be a daunting task. Cowgirl Karen of Wired Wisdom shares the supplies she's gathered up for the long journey West in "Curriculum Round Up".

Even you can experience a taste of the Old West - through the "AZtrek Unit Study Challenge". Relive a part of the 1800's by following a team of endurance riders as they attempt to retrace the Old Arizona Trail on horseback (beginning in just a few weeks) including your chance to participate in a contest sponsored by the AZTrek Odyssey team!!! This great unit study material and linkage is brought to you by Carolyn at Guilt-Free Homeschooling.

Sagerats of High Desert Hi-Jinks shares her funny experience of a few geographically and historically challenged people who have asked her about living in the "Wild West" (Oregon to be exact). She brings us all up to date about what the west is like today... minus the "Bigfoot, Indians and Stagecoaches".

Back in the days of the pioneers, it was common for girls as young as sixteen to be married and already raising a family. Life expectancy was a lot shorter, antibiotics were unheard of, and having lots of kids to help with all the chores around the farm kept mama and papa as busy as bees. My Domestic Church discusses how in today's world, it isn't all that different. Giving your kids a headstart may be as easy as helping them identify talents and showing them opportunities... "Preparing your kids for independence".

The way you learned a trade in the 1800's was to sit along side someone who was REALLY good at it and WATCH! That is called apprenticeship, and it's a lost art today for the most part! Homeschool moms often need to seek out other Homeschool moms to do a little apprenticeship of their own. Getting advice and encouragement from others is sometimes the nugget of gold we've been mining for and missed! Amber of Trust in the Lord shares a recent gold nugget she turned up in the area of Her New Homeschool Lesson Planner. Friends are worth their weight in gold, ain't they?

Even little snott-nosed pioneer kids probably got anxious about having to go to school. The ones who were blessed with little One-room Schoolhouses and Schoolmasters within walkin' distance surely got nervous about meetin' up with the neighbor kids and learnin' new things - I imagine even the schoolmaster had first-day jitters. Some of the more disadvantaged few (like my mawmaw who swears she walked to school without shoes, uphill both ways, in the snow...) probably worried about being made fun of, too. Homeschool is great in that respect. Fer sure yur mom ain't gonna make fun'a ya. On that note, the lovely, long-haired Heather of Stepping Heavenward shows us how exactly we modern homeschool pioneer mamas can shed our fears and begin to look forward to being the schoolmaster for 2006-7! Check out her inspirational post: "Overcoming the Anxiety That a New School Year Brings".

Sometimes there were sad, sad stories in the west. Good people - both Indians and Cowboys alike - sometimes didn't ride off into the sunset. In "Please Wake Up", Beverly Hernandez of About Homeschooling shares a modern day sad story with a happy ending, and tells how homeschool and life lessons can go on - even when tragedy strikes.


Roy Rogers Riders Club Rules:

1. Be neat and clean.
2. Be courteous and polite.
3. Always obey your parents.
4. Protect the weak and help them.
5. Be brave but never take chances.
6. Study hard and learn all you can.
7. Be kind to animals and take care of them.
8. Eat all your food and never waste any.
9. Love God and go to Sunday school regularly.
10. Always respect our flag and our country.


While researching this topic, I came across a very cute book by Gail Gibbons that I plan to purchase for my kids. The book is entitled, "Cowboys and Cowgirls: YippeeYay!" It is written for the elementary student.

Houghton Mifflin also has some wonderful books available (cheaper than Amazon, regretfully) by Kingfisher. A hardcopy book of "Wild West" by Mike Stotter (written for grades 5-9) is available on their website. Kingfisher books are usually top quality educational books. I highly recommend them. Make sure to browse the website and look at their other western books as well. There were a few that caught my eye!


If you are a wild-west collector and have a blank spot on the wall that's just whimpering for some good western art... the Autry National Center has posters for sale that are mighty purdy.



God Bless Cowgirls Sign from Pub Sign Shop
'Rodeo Queen', 1959 from
Mendel Art Gallery
Annie Oakley (Phoebe Moses) from
Cowboys and Indians Poster from
American West Map from
America's West
Roy Rogers & Dale Evans from
The Official Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Website

Buzz Words: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


lindafay said...

You did a superb job!

Sprittibee said...

Thanks Linda. Seeing as how it is almost 4am here and I'm red-eyed and trying to figure out why half my blog seems to be in microscopic print... ???? I better GO TO BED. If you guys find any bad links, shoot me an email. OH, and if you know how to fix the padding on those images that are floating to the right, please - do tell!


Anonymous said...

WOW! This looks awesome! What a great carnival--and so much hard work!

Sheri said...

You did a wonderful job. I really enjoyed reading through all this. Great pics.

Did I say you did a wonderful job?? You did!

Mama Squirrel said...

You wrote: "Mama Squirrel is one Indian Squaw that has learned her trade of shooting arrows well. The arrow she shot this week happened to be shot at ME! Yep... 'cowgirl down'."

Aw, no, Sprittibee, it wasn't aimed a-purpose. I hope you recovered quickly. Thanks for hosting!

Anonymous said...

Wow! It looks fantastic! :)

Rhonda said...

I had to laugh when "Orange Blossom Special" started playing. How totally you!

You did a fantastic job. I truly enjoyed my trip through the Wild, Wild West.

Janine Cate said...

Good job.

Anonymous said...

WOW, you have outdone yourself!!!! This is GREAT!!!! And you will NEVER see me doing one, I couldn't come up with something as clever as you all do. Maybe one day in the FAR FAR future, like when I'm 80.

Seriously, this is GREAT! I LOVE it! You can sleep for a week now, tell DH to let you, otherwise you'll do another one next week-LOL!

God Bless,

PS~ My mom sells honey at SDC, Honey Heaven

Anonymous said...

Just want to say WOW, hard work, exceptional job!! Thank you for the carnival. It's AWESOME.

Anonymous said...

WOW GIRL! I am IMPRESSED! You did a superb job!

I am looking forward to looking through these tonight!


Sprittibee said...

Thanks so much everyone! After all those hours I put in, it is sure nice to get a pat on the back. At 4am last night, I was wondering what in the world I was doing volunteering!?! Thanks to those of you who have emailed also - even if you didn't leave a note in the comments section here. And to those who notified me that the fonts were too small to read for a while. I figured out the problem with the fonts. Sorry for those of you who had to get out your microscopes... and the few during the lunch hours who had to sit way back when I had them too LARGE.

Now I'm back to normal, hopefully. Plus, with all the hits coming in, my geocities fried out and I had to move my template graphics all to photobucket. I am so fed up with geocities that I'm not going to use them at all any more.

I am glad you all enjoyed the "show" and I've made sure to correct all the grammar errors and linkage problems as I have been notified of them. Come back and check to make sure yours got done and you'll be able to hold me accountable. Please let me know if my "fix" didn't really fix it!

Thanks for being patient with my for my first time hosting. ;)

rich glasgow said...

Great wife brought it to my attention and I'm looking forward to hitting your links. Great boot skootin' fiddle as well!

Admin said...

This was great! You really went above and beyond! Thanks for hosting!

Anonymous said...

It took me two days, but I think I hit every link in the carnival. Wowzer, that's just awesome! There's so much stuff and knowledge out there. Thanks to everyone who added something this week.

Anonymous said...

Wow Heather, really nice job! Hope you finally got a little shut eye!

So much for taking August off,right?

Your carnival is thoroughly enjoyable...maybe I'll submit something one of these days.

txdave said...

Very interesting and varied blog.

As a fellow blogger may I leave 2 sites for you that could be helpful.

One to help with aching back, in case you're picking up a lot of stuff:

The other could be so useful in homeschooling, as it's a social skill some even in schools don't pick up:

thank you for your consideration


Sprittibee said...

Thanks again everyone for the comments. Although I might not be able to get to each of you individually this time (I'm OFF TODAY), I am reading and treasuring them. I'll tell you what I did "the day after the carnival" (my mom left town yesterday, too - she had been here from Texas for a week, so I was really depressed yesterday):

1. Sleep in until 10am
2. Sit around reading comments and emails until 11:10am
3. UP NEXT: Lunch, clean the house up
4. Grade papers/update my dayplanner
5. Goof off and do crafts with kids
6. Cook Badda-Bing Chicken for dinner
7. Goof off some more

That's my day today. ;) See you on the blog again tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Great layout, but your "Quick History of the Wild West" probably needs some editing. There was plenty of friction between east-coast settlers and Native Americans before the Revolution; see, for example, the French and Indian War.

Erin said...

Sorry I couldn't join in on the homeschooling carnival this time around. Alas, we were on VACATION, so I'll not be sad. :)
Hit me up again the next time another tumbleweed like this rolls into town 'cause this looks like a root-tootin' sideshow extravaganza.

Sprittibee said...

Yes, Annonymous, I left quite a bit out in the history of the west... there's just too much to cover. I was aware of the French & Indian War and also of the fact that there were many indians and colonists that were killed senselessly because of differences with eachother in those early years (there were colonies that were completely wiped out in the early days when the ships were landing back even as far as Columbus)... but in a general sense, there was an effort to maintain peace... and even friendship in the west... before and after the War of Independence.

Erin - That's OK. Just jump in next week! ;)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Girl, you have a gift for hosting these carnivals. It's inspiring!



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