Thursday, September 13, 2012

waging war on the British and the bathtub

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Disclaimer: this is not going to turn into an exclusively homeschool blog. But even if it were, you should read it, because anything that comes into my life is going to be at least a little funny.

I don't know if it's because I'm eating so much food and can mollify my emotional needs or if maybe I just feel like doing something, but whatever. I decided to make today fun, to learn about the Boston Tea Party and teach it in a way they'd remember. I have a loose idea of what I want to cover this year, and the American Revolution is the beginning, although I might have to jump back in time in November to do the first Thanksgiving...

I'm going to be using the Liberty's Kids series available on youtube, and then the library, of course. This week I had rented What Happened at the Boston Tea Party?  and The Boston Tea Party (Graphic History) which was not, you know, graphic in the sense of dismembered colonists and such but rather, graphic, in that it's drawn like a comic book. I rent stuff like this and leave it around in hopes that someone will happen across it and learn on accident. This is only a problem when I accidentally leave something, like a book about how God makes babies, and people accidentally learn. I was planning on shelving that one for another year or two.

So we sat down to read the books, and I would read about 7 words and then everyone had a pressing question and Tristan wants UP UP, and then 7 words and WHAT IS PARLIAMENT and Tristan wants DOWN, BOOK, BANANA, NO, UP.

And as I'm reading, and flipping Tristan over my shoulder, down to the floor, back up, and pushing people's hands out of their noses and off of each other, I have the thought: this whole story is about rebellion. About a snarky, rebellious act that launched a huge rebellion. So I'm trying to play up what a jerk King George is, how unfair the taxes are, how oppressed were the colonists, but there's like a sober little British sympathizer inside my head, like a little British mom voice saying, well, they accepted British help, why shouldn't they pay taxes? And what about the tea company? Were they innocent bystanders? I was having a tiny little identity crisis, because, people, I am an Merican, with the eagles and the flags and the puppies inside the soldier's boot. MERICA.

I just pressed through, and I think I made a good case for the colonists, but if the colonists around here rise up to fight the power, I'm blaming that punk Sam Adams.

To finish the day, we made boats out of Rubbermaid, pencils, and construction paper sails. We put some tea bags in the boats and set them afloat in a tub of blue water. Oh, and we made headdresses and did a little warpaint, Sons of Liberty style, and then we shouted no taxation without representation for a while, which Tristan heartily approved of. Lastly, we threw the tea overboard and let it steep for 20 minutes, which is the only reason my bathtub is dirty. Both bathtubs, actually. Huh.

Tomorrow, maybe we'll learn about naps. Naps and chocolate chip cookies.

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