Monday, October 16, 2017

Cowpens Battlefield

We took a field trip to Cowpens National Battlefield with our home school group.  We are so fortunate to live in an area with tons of history.  We are studying American History this year and just finished watching The Patriot.  We had discussed that although The Patriot is historic fiction, the battle scenes merged many of the local battles together to help tell its story.  We watched the Battle of Cowpens at the national park.  The 'first person' telling of the battle related to the kids and what they had seen previously.  The video held their attention and created a deeper understanding of what happened on the ground they were about to trek upon.

After the video, we looked around the room and noted the period pieces.  Uniforms, rifles, cannon, etc.were displayed.

Next, we headed outside to walk the battlefield.  We stopped at the various markers and read them.

We walked down to the Scruggs House to look inside.

It was a nice little outing and we enjoyed learning more about the battle that helped turn the American Revolution.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Engineering with Mr. Jack

It was time to use a bit of brain power and imagination with Mr. Jack!  The task was to design an object to pick up marbles and place them into a cup.  The device was not allowed to scoop the marbles and body parts must stay behind the tape line to operate the device.

Mr. Jack provided every group the following materials:  1 cup, 7 sheets of paper, aluminum foil, 3 rubber bands, 7 straws, 5 paper clips, string, and a roll of masking tape.

It was interesting to see what each group came up with in forty minutes.

Everyone did a great job and all the devices worked!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Oconee Station and Falls

We enjoyed the beauty of Oconee County by visiting Oconee Station and Falls.  It was a perfect place for a picnic and lovely nature hike to a waterfall.

The nature trail portion of the hike is definitely a moderate hike.  It goes down the mountain and then back up to the road.  Once you cross the road, you begin the Oconee Falls portion of the hike.  We didn't realize that we could walk down the road to access this point.  Lesson is learned for our next hiking excursion!

The falls portion of the hike is easy.  The trail is fairly wide and well marked.  The falls are beautiful and easy to access.

This will definitely be another hiking destination to keep on our list!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Oconee Heritage Center

Our home school group traveled to Oconee Heritage Center to learn more about the history of the area.  This little hidden gem was well worth the visit!

Our docent led tour was very informative.

The students learned about how a 1700s era dugout canoe was found, recovered, and preserved.

They learned how the areas rich history from the time of Cherokee occupied lands to when the back country settlers first established trade routes.  Then more settlers began moving into the area after the Revolutionary War during the Western expansion times.

We learned about the unsuccessful train line to connect Charleston to Chicago that left the Stumphouse Tunnel.  It was never completed due to the start of the Civil War. 

Modernization of the area came with the textile mills. This changed the way most families in the area lived.  No longer dependent upon farms and orchards to make a living.

Today the area is now known for its natural beauty and mountain lakes. 

We enjoyed our tour!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Pin Point Heritage Center

If you like to find those little unexpected places that overflow with history, this is the place!  We really didn't know what to expect other than we were going to learn about the Gullah/Geechee culture.  Pin Point won our hearts!  The people, the place, the tour guides all touched us and made their story live in us.

The claim to fame of Pin Point is the fact that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is from there.  I didn't know this until I read the sign.  We were just interested in learning about Gullah/Geechee.  This tidbit of information was an added bonus.

We were warmly welcomed as soon as we made our way to the first building.  The video about Pin Point had started five minutes before we got there, so we elected to wait and see it after the tour.  Our tour guide, Gail, chit-chatted with us while we waited for those seeing the video to finish.  She was extremely nice and answered questions we had while waiting.

Once the video was over, the others joined us and we learned about the history of Pin Point.  Our guide told us about the way the land was obtained, the oyster/crab production of Varn and Sons, to the current day heritage center.  She knew first hand about all these things!  She was a direct descendant of the freed slave that owned the land that she owns today.  She also had worked for Varn and Sons and of course has family and friends that had done the same.  She told us stories and showed us the buildings.  We had a wonderful time listening to her stories!

After the tour, she took us into a building to learn about the Gullah/Geechee culture. Gullah is the language spoke and Geechee are the people.  She spoke to us in Gullah and we had to try and figure out what she was saying.  It was fun and difficult.  We enjoyed it.

We then went to see the video.  Oh, my it touched us!  A people, a culture, a heritage of a proud community exuded from it.  The stories that were told from each individual drew us closer to this community.  We laughed and also shed a tear.

The kiddos were also touched by this place.  They said it was their favorite of our trip.  It wasn't extravagant.  It wasn't filled with technology.  It was filled with memories of a people from a time not so long ago.  I think they sinced that.  We will return to Pin Point and spend more time there.  It feels like a front porch that just becons you to sit a spell and reminence.