Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I'll Bet You Would Remember The Pony Express If You Were Taught This Way!

In my previous homeschooling posts, I've mentioned how the Konos Curriculum teaches to all learning styles. If you immerse yourself into a subject - not just reading about it - you will retain so much more (and of course it is so much more fun!). In previous posts, you can see examples of our family immersing ourselves in the Revolutionary War last year or in the human body earlier this year.

We are continuing our studies about cooperation and states and regions. This week we have been studying the great plain states. No, we are not just learning the states and capitals. We are learning about the history, geography, economics, etc. about the different states. One of the history events we have been studying this week is the Pony Express. Yes, we have read and talked about it, but nothing will help you remember it like acting it out. So you can see the kiddos in action in a couple of videos below.

In one of the books we read, it had an advertisement for Pony Express riders that we thought was interesting and a little funny:

"YOUNG, SKINNY WIRY FELLOWS, not over eighteen. Must be expert riders willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred. Wages $25 per week."

Once the Pony Express was in full operation, 80 or more determined riders between the ages of 11 and 45 were out riding night and day. I can't image sending an 11 year old boy to ride 75-100 miles through Indian Territory, in the dark, over snowy mountain passes! We are so spoiled now days! One fifteen-year-old rider (Nick Wilson) was shot in the forehead with an arrow. He survived, and until his death at the age of seventy-one, wore his hat pulled low to hide the scar. I think I would have worn my scar proudly!!! During the short duration of the Pony Express, horses were stolen, stations were burned to the ground and sixteen men, including an Express rider were killed. His horse carried the mail to the next relay station all by himself!

The riders only had about 2 minutes to change horses at each station. They would run the horses for about 15 miles and then change to a fresh horse. One station developed biscuits with holes in them so the riders could "stab" their food. You'll see the kiddos attempting this in the video. The riders also blew horns to alert the station that they were coming so that the next horse could be ready. You'll also see the kiddo's alerting the station of their approach. What brave riders they are - to face the dangers in our neighborhood to deliver the mail!

Yet, two more brave Pony Express Riders:

So, do you want to come school at our house?


Egghead said...

This was so much more fun than when I learned about the Pony Express. I love how Addie had to start eating her "biscuit" and then started going the wrong way.

Yes I want to come to your house for school.