Rachel headed back to school today after some outpatient ear surgery. She was out of school for three days and had some homework to do. In social studies they are studying the wagon train. Social studies is Rachel’s favorite class. She has had very good social studies teachers through the years. Creative and good at figuring out what works for Rachel.
Her teacher this year is no exception. She is known for being a great storyteller. Rachel talks about her with a twinkle in her eye. They do some fun hands on activities, too. For the wagon train, Rachel is Nate Page, a blacksmith, and has a 15-year-old son. Her assignment was to become him, choose the items she would need from a supply list while paying attention to the weight limits, write in his journal and make a little index card showing what her wagon train family looks like. Her first comment was that she was not a boy. Once we got in the acting mode, we got moving. For starters her daddy found a YouTube video about the wagon train. Her teacher shows videos in class, and movies always help Rachel understand things. We did her index card by finding images of a blacksmith, teen boy and their farm animals. She chose them from Google Images and then we sized them and cut them out and she put them on the card. This is far better than her trying to draw and color. She had watched her video and we talked about the wagon train, Oregon, blacksmiths, and other related things. Several times she mentioned that she had seen that in the video.
The fun part was the supply list. Jonathan and I were sure she would have some creative ideas about what they should take that would challenge the weight limits. We started down the supply list and she would say yes or no and we would discuss and she would make the final decision (mostly!). First debate was the baby crib. She thought they needed one. I think she was still in Rachel and not Nate Page mode. We reasoned this out and she said reluctantly agreed that there was no need for a baby crib. Next debate was a coffee pot and she said they didn’t need it because “I do not drink coffee.” So no coffee and coffee pot for the Pages. Musical instruments were my greatest concern. Piano, guitar, fiddle and harmonica. “Yes, we need a guitar.” I said, “Do you really want to take up space with a guitar?” Rachel’s response led me to believe that she was totally appalled by my question. “Of course we need music, Mom!” Of course, I was so thrilled that she didn’t choose the piano that I just moved along. And she is right. We need music in our lives. My favorite item from the supply list was bacon. When she saw that on the list she exclaimed with glee, “100 pounds of bacon.” I did not argue. After all, at her core she is a Southern girl.
Overall, she did a really good job of reasoning through it all. I’ll be interested to see how the trip goes to Oregon goes.