We got a bit behind with Hannah’s school work during my first trimester. Hannah did a great job working mostly independently on her math, reading, and writing, but science and social studies/ history was mostly done watching Magic School Bus and reading various books from my spot on the couch. We are now working to catch up again! In December, we studied pioneers and the Oregon Trail.

We read several stories and books. My favorite picture book about the Oregon Trail is called Wagons, Ho! by Joan Holub and George Hallowell. It compares two girls’ journeys from Missouri to Oregon. One lived during the time of the Oregon Trail and the other lives today. It really helped Hannah to see how life was different back then.

Oregon Trail for KidsWith our study of the Oregon Trail, Hannah built her own covered wagon from craft sticks, paper, and cardboard. She also filled the wagons with supplies that the pioneers would have had. She made the supplies from Model Magic and fabric.

Oregon Trail and Pioneer Unit

To learn a bit more about pioneer life, we studied about Laura Ingalls Wilder. We didn’t really have the time to completely read her full books, but I found these simple chapter books that breaks her stories into easy to read, shorter chapter books. We read the first one together and I bought several more in the series for Hannah to read on her own. They are a perfect way to introduce the classic stories to a beginner reader.

Pioneer Life for Kids


I mentioned in another post that we decorated our Christmas tree much like the pioneers did as a part of our study on pioneer life. We also studied about their school, homes, daily life and food. One night, we made beans and cornbread for dinner. The beans were made from an old family recipe that my great-grandmother used to make.

Hannah made a log cabin out of craft sticks complete with Model Magic chinking when we studied about the different types of homes.

Pioneer Unit

Studying about the pioneers was definitely a fun way to get back into the full swing of school!