Summary Saturday: It's All About the Benjamins

We are studying Benjamin Franklin during our American history studies for the next two weeks. This week we are focusing on his life as a boy and a young man. Next week we will focus on his achievements later in life.

First, we learned about Benjamin's problem-solving skills as a young man. Most of the time they got him in trouble! Like when he encouraged his friends to use some rocks that were to be used to build a house to build a pier for them to fish off of instead. Here is a picture of Chipette and her Play-doh pier:

Next, we learned about Benjamin's love of books which led his father to get him a printing apprenticeship with his older brother. We talked about how a printing press worked and then used some foam alphabet stamps to create our own printing press page. Here is a picture of Magpie as Chipette's apprentice finding the correct letters when Chipette needed them (Notice how I tie in those preschool skills into Chipette's activity. That's homeschooling awesomeness right there!):

We read the D'Aulaire's Benjamin Franklin for fun and used one of their quotations from Poor Richard's Almanack as our printing press inspiration. Here is the finished product including artwork:

After we were finished we talked about how you had to double and triple check that everything was placed correctly before you used the printing press because (as you can tell!) if you had some of the letters backwards then you would have to redo the entire page.

Magpie learned about when Joseph's brothers came to Egypt for food. Here she is lined up with the ten brothers who came to get grain:

I'm sure you didn't realize that Piglet, Winnie the Pooh, and Tigger were some of Joseph's brothers, but you learn something every day! Actually we were acting out the story and needed some help. Even Monkey, got in on the action and helped take the "brothers" off of their "camels" once they reached Egypt, aka the dining room.

Magpie's favorite part of school is when we get to practice phonics with our masking tape letters. We tape off a letter on the floor, then she drives a car on it, walks a stuffed animal on it, or walks the letter while making the letter's sound.  Here she is letting her stuffed mouse help her with the sound of letter E:

She always has to trace the letter the way you write it, so no bad letter formation from the get go!

For science, Chipette had to try to make a cup nest from mud and grass just like some birds do. Here is the finished product:

We talked about how amazing birds were with their God-given ability to build a nest without hands when we can't even do it with hands!

And finally, just because the picture was too cute to pass up, here is Monkey practicing for Little League pictures in a few years:

We had lots of fun this week!  Hope you did too!

Loving the spring weather in late February/early March in the treehouse,



  1. Very cute! We're also doing some American History and are just about to get into Benjamin Franklin:) Looks like we'll get into talking about the printing press or making a newspaper;) Thanks for the idea.

  2. Fun stuff! Love your great hands on ideas for teaching! Visiting from Moments to Remember :0)

  3. Sounds like you all had a wonderful schooling week! Your printing page idea is great!