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Weekly Wrap-up ~ December School

We are still moving along. I always love this time of year with schooling because it is spent finishing up some units or volumes of curriculum, finishing some good books, throwing in some holiday activities (and calling them "school" because, hey, the public schools do it!), and going on some field trips.

When we conclude our first semester we will feel accomplished and completely free to enjoy an extended break. Or, at least, that's how I will feel. The kids will just feel FREE!

This week's Advent activities included decorating gingerbread houses, making food garlands for our birds, studying St. Nicholas and having a St. Nicholas Day Feast, making homemade Christmas cards using a tutorial from Hodgepodge Mom, watching A Christmas Story (my kids had never seen it), and playing games as a family.

Yesterday we went on a field trip to Lexington, Missouri. In Missouri history we had been studying the Civil War. There were two major Civil War battles in Missouri: Wilson Creek near Springfield, Missouri, and the Battle of Lexington.

The University of Missouri Extension Center worked with the City of Lexington to create an audio and walking tour of the city and to trace the Battle of Lexington. This was a really neat way to go on a field trip! We were able to download the tours on our phone, listen to them in the car, and follow the map to learn about all of the historic places and events. That's good because it was about 20 degrees outside. The audio tour would give you directions to a particular place, have you stop your car, and then give you all of the information about the buildings in that area and the events that occurred. There was even some voice acting from different historical figures.

In the 1860's, Missouri was a Confederate-sympathizing state as it did have slavery. However, the government decided that it would not be wise to secede from the Union. We were in a precarious geographical location. The Confederates decided that if they took major cities on the Missouri River that they could force them to secede. Thus, the Battle of Lexington ensued. It was a bloody, three-day battle that ended with the Union soldiers surrendering to the South. The South succeeded in its attack by stealing hemp bales, soaking them in the Missouri River, and using them as rolling shields in approaching the Union soldiers. This battle is also referred to as the Battle of the Hemp Bales.

The field of the Battle.

Confederate General Sterling Price had his headquarters in downtown Lexington across from the county courthouse. A cannonball, theorized to be directed at Price Headquarters, missed and hit the courthouse. That cannonball is still in the courthouse today.

There are five unidentified Union soldiers who were uncovered in the 1930s. They were re-buried near the field of the Battle of Lexington.

This cabin was found under siding of a home that was going to be demolished. It dates back to the Civil War era. It was relocated and is now a personal residence.

One last neat artifact we saw was a cannon from Old Ironsides, the USS Constitution, that is located in Masonic College Park which was the headquarters of Union Colonel James Mulligan.

At the park is also a marker which shows where Col. Mulligan had his tent, under which was buried over $900,000.

This was a neat field trip. It is so interesting to really look into the different historical events that have occurred in our state. Our Missouri history studies have probably been our favorite subject this year.

2016-2017 School Hours Logged: 444 hours, including 78 hours outside home. Plus Summer Hours Logged: 141.5 hours, including 54 hours outside home.

(Technically, we are done with our required hours for this first half of the year. But, since we are taking an extended Christmas break into the first week of February, we are going to keep on for another two weeks to get ahead.)


  1. That whole audio and walking tour is an awesome idea. I need to research that and see if it's offered here. It'd be great to do with, say, a special visitor I am anxiously awaiting to meet face-to-face :D

    1. You are the only audio tour guide I need!!! I am getting so excited! Hope we get to go hear Henry Kapono while I am there!


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