We've always enjoyed using My Father's World but last year we needed a curriculum that was easier on our budget. I searched around and found Guest Hollow which is totally FREE! We had a wonderful time using the US History curriculum and I was going to use it this year for the second part of US History from the Civil War to the present, until I started reading the Teachers Manual and realized that they use Homeschool In the Wood's Time Traveler's Civil War unit study for a lot of the material. I decided to just go ahead and utilize the Time Traveler's CD-ROM ($28.95) for all of our Civil War unit. This is recommended for 3rd-8th grade, I was a little leery because I thought my 8th grader might not enjoy it but I was so wrong!
I'm so happy that I made this leap because we've been having the best time "traveling" through history. A couple of things that you will want to know is that it takes quite a bit of teacher prep time but don't let that scare you away, it's really worth it in the long run. Every single thing that you need for the curriculum is on the CD so you have to print it off. I purchased a case of plain white copy paper (we've used about 2 reams so far), a pack of white card stock, a pack of colored card stock, and 2 packs of colored copy paper. I couldn't find any antique looking paper that didn't cost a fortune so I decided it would be fun for us to make our own.
Making the "antique paper"
The very first day we started working on a Camp Kettle newspaper. This newspaper is what we needed the antique looking paper that we made ourselves.
1. First we grabbed about 10 sheets of white card stock and crumpled each sheet up into a ball and then flattened it out again.
2. Next we grabbed 2 cookie sheets that have a lip on them and filled them with water. In the first sheet we opened some tea bags up and let the water steep for a bit and in the second one we placed coffee grounds. We weren't sure which would work better the coffee or the tea but we soon found that the coffee gave the paper a darker brown and the tea left little dots on the paper. We liked the way they looked so we just kept at it. We soaked each piece of card stock for a couple of minutes in the coffee and then placed it in the tea pan and sprinkled tea leaves on it or vice versa. It seemed to work fine either way and made each paper look unique.
3. Next we laid all the paper out on waxed paper to dry and grabbed 2 pieces of paper and set them on a baking stone in the oven. The oven was set on the lowest setting and we let the paper
"dry" this way for about 8-10 minutes per page.
4. Finally I got the iron out and ironed the paper so it would be flat enough to go through our printer. The Time Travelers CD-ROM has all the masters for the projects. You just click on it and print! We had 8 pages for our newspaper (4 front and backs) and several times a week the teacher's manual will tell you that your students need to work on their Camp Kettle paper. This is what it looks like after printing, we were stunned. It looks fantastic and even better in person then it does in the picture. Oh, I forgot that we decided to burn the edges of the paper to make it look a little rougher but this should ONLY be done with parental supervision.
Coming soon.... in our Time Traveler series we'll show you have you were able to light the way to freedom in our Underground Railroad section.
Thanks for reading,