Wednesday, November 4, 2015

New Sweden and Dala Horses

     We have moved on from Pilgrims to Swedes in our Konos studies.  In between was the Dutch, but I didn't do much at home with them.  It was the week before Halloween, and I was working on costumes instead of doing fun homeschool activities. 
     The Konos activities are a little bit limited when it comes to learning about non-English colonists, but I really wanted the kids to get a little more from learning about  New Sweden, other than that they built log cabins.  Our Konos co-op is going to be doing the cabin bit, so I decided that for our at home activities, I would have each one of the kids paint a little Dala horse, and we would learn some of Sweden's historical culture. 
     I cut out the horses using a pattern I found online, gave them a minimal amount of shaping, and the kids fine sanded them.  Using acrylic paints, they picked out what color they wanted, and painted it solid.
I then drew the details with a sharpie on Abriel's and Samuel's.  I copied the designs from the same patterns I used to cut the horses out.  Anna drew her designs by herself.
     After they were done painting the details, I redrew the outlines to make it look tidier. I had intended for these to be used as ornaments, but the kids all wanted to use them as toys, and so that is what they have done.  Samuel had his little doll house guy riding around on the Dala horse yesterday.  I think that I might make myself a little Dala horse, since painting them looked like so much fun. And that one will be an ornament.
     Today, continuing with the Swedish theme, we had Swedish meatballs and pepparkakor (aka gingersnaps) for lunch. 
      After reading about how the Swedes built log cabins in New Sweden, and why it is such a good house design for settlers, I showed them a clip from the PBS documentary "Alone in the Wilderness" about Dick Proenneke building his log cabin.  It really sparked an interest in the kids, particularly Samuel.  He is very keen on building his own log cabin now, and kept getting out of bed tonight to ask me more questions on Dick Proenneke.  Like, did he have a car or electricity, and did he hunt for food. 
     Samuel is very into hunting right now, although not so much into killing.  He goes back and forth between wanting to shoot a bear with a bow, and not wanting to eat meat, because he doesn't want any animals to die.    He is very conflicted about the whole food chain thing.  Although he didn't seem to mind wolfing down a bunch of meatballs today. 

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