Striving to create a home strong in the foundations of love, respect, and God's truths ...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Inspired Wednesday - Build a Hideaway!

A few weeks ago I shared my excitement over a few of the freebies found on the Winter Promise curriculum's website.  In return for sharing these with you, the company's owner sent me a piece of their curriculum to check out. 

I received a book called "Hole Up in a Homemade Hideaway," which is one component of the K-1 curriculum 'Hideaways in History,' a complete year-long study of life in different time periods throughout history.  The idea is that for each week of the school year you would study a different time and place - and then the book provides directions for building a location that would be specific to that particular place.

I must say, I'm fascinated with this book.  My Little Man is now in first grade, but my Big Helper is in third, so she's a few years' past what this book is geared towards, but she's looked it over and can't wait to get started.

There is a full years' worth of hideaway directions in this book, so that's 30+ building plans.  We won't be using the book in this way - as I shared with you on Monday, we usually park ourselves in a given time period and stay there for several weeks, so we won't get through the entire book in a year; but who says we have to?

We'll be using this book for years to come.  Rather than use it as the base of our curriculum (which would be great, if that's how you plan) we tend to use it as an extension.  It will be a fabulous supplement to the units that we're already planning.

Come October, when we are learning about ancient Egypt, both as a family and in our book club groups, we'll be building cardboard pyramids and decorating them with hieroglyphics.

When we study China, in preparation for the Geography Fair and at my Little Man's request, we'll be building the Great Wall of China.  We might build part of the Forbidden City, too.

When we read the Imagination Station book about the early Pilgrims in America, we might build the Mayflower.   If time permits this year, we'll be moving into the Roman Empire, and so we could build a Gladiator arena or the Trojan Horse.

Those are just a few of the possibilities for this school year.  They match up naturally with our study plans.  The structures in the book begin chronologically just after Creation and continue as recently as World War II.  We'll be able to continue with these next year and even the year after that - as long as my kids are interested in building what we're studying.

These creations don't have to win any awards, either.  Each one requires only basic materials, most of which you'll already have around the house - things like cardboard boxes, scissors, paint or markers, and newspapers.  I love that I don't have to go hunting for specialized equipment!

Since we plan to make only a few over the course of the school year, we might go all out for each one.  That might work for us - and each set of "blueprints" provides directions for 'fancying up' your structure.  

If, however, you move a bit more quickly, or your children are younger, that might be difficult.  That's okay- the Winter Promise people planned for that, too. There are also directions for creating a simplified structure that will be easier to put together but will still give your kids the same idea.

Building something for kids to play in turns their lessons into life.  It helps it to become real.  It makes their learning kinesthetic and changes it from words on a page to something interactive.  Suddenly they can become the people in the stories more easily.  They can add their own art, pretend to be the heroes of the age, and relate to the whole era.

I've done this with two-year-olds and with second-graders, and it never fails to reach them in some way.  I'm looking forward to more frequent and more elaborate structures with all sorts of elementary-aged kids this coming school year.  Best part?  All of this creative thinking comes ready-made for me.  I don't have to research it, study it, or figure it out.  I can just climb in and have fun with the kids.

OH - and this book won't break the bank, either.  At just over $20 for more than 30 building plans + multiple modifications for each one, I think this is a steal. 

So who's with me?  Anybody else ready to Hideaway in History this year?

What special time or place will you be learning about this year that could benefit from its own special Hideaway??

Last week Nancy at There is Grace shared some lessons she learned at StarBucks - and how they could be translated into our churches. To find out more, visit 
There is Grace - and Nancy, please visit our Inspired Wednesday page and take the "I was featured on Washed Up Inspired Wednesdays' button back with you.  

A Nest in the Rocks


1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Amy! This looks great! I loved reading about how you're going to use this with your kiddos! :)