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27 February 2013

Celebrating Washington

The more I learn about Washington, the more I am amazed at the kind of man that he was, and I want my kids to know about him. About America's "Indispensable Man." It being George Washington's birthday this week (well, it's last week now), it seems like a good time to do some of that teaching. Here's what we've been up to:

We read a basic biography about Washington. It's very simple, but it's got the basics and is a good starting point.

We watched a cute video clip:

This sort of thing is right up Hero's alley, so I looked up the story of Washington's miraculous protection in the battle with the Indians near Fort Duquesne. In case his survival when nearly all other officers were quickly shot down, and he himself lost 2 horses and had 4 bullet holes in his coat was not evidence enough, The Real George Washington, by Parry and Allison, includes this quote from the Indian Chief who commanded the forces that Washington faced that day:

I am a chief, and a ruler over many tribes. My influence extends to the waters of the great lakes, and to the far blue mountains. I have traveled a long and weary path that I might see the young warrior of the great battle.

It was on the day when the white man's blood mixed with the streams of our forest that I first beheld this chief. I called to my young men and said, Mark yon tall and daring warrior? He is not of the red-coat tribe - he hath an Indian's wisdom, and his warriors fight as we do - himself is alone exposed. Quick, let your aim be certain, and he dies. Our rifles were leveled, rifles which but for him knew not how to miss -'twas all in vain; a power mightier far than we shielded him from harm. He cannot die in battle.

I am old, and soon shall be gathered to the great council fire of my fathers in the land of shades; but ere I go there is something bids me speak in the voice of prophecy. Listen! The Great Spirit protects that man, and guides his destinies - he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire! (Page 49)

The final thing we did was these Washington mobiles. I didn't come up with the idea, but I think I've lost the link, so I can't credit it properly. In any case, we had a good time. I have tons of scrapbook paper leftover from when I used to do paper scrapbooking. (I've switched to digital now.) I let the boys choose a couple pieces to use, and we did this craft. Hero did basically a short narration on his; I helped him write three interesting things about Washington. More and more, Dragon has to do what Hero does, so I helped him make a mobile too, and he drew circles on his pieces. Both of them turned out cute.

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