31 Days of Homeschooling Using Disney Parks : American History

 

Americanhistory

 

No better place to learn about American History than Magic Kingdom.  There is a whole land dedicated to American History called Frontierland. Not to mention the Youth in Education Series classes.  You never have to teach American History again.  Better yet, if your child’s teacher wants to see something educational done while on vacation then this is your land.  

 

sidewalk

 

I love the Walt Disney Company ‘s attention to detail in all the small things.  See photo of the ground directly above .  That is the sidewalk coming out of the Haunted Mansion into Frontierland. Any guesses as to why it’s colored like that?  Because in Colonial America, there were no sewer systems.  People would empty their chamber pots out the window in the morning .  The urine and feces would run down the middle of the street.  The streets would have clay or brick on the sides but be brown in the middle.  Yuck!

 

 

libertybell

The Liberty Bell outside the Hall of Presidents is cast from a mold of the actual Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.  For kids who may  never make it to see the actual Liberty Bell , this is an amazing opportunity.  The participants of the Discovering The American Spirit class get to ring it at the end of their class.  How fun is that?

The Presidential Seal in the Hall of  Presidents is the same exact one that is in the Oval Office with the Great Seal of the United States instead of The President of the United States.  The shutters are crooked on the buildings because when wood got wet from the snow and rain in Colonial America it would swell then shrink making them different sizes.  See, the attention to detail is phenomenal.

 

Tomsawyerisland

In this land, there is Tom Sawyer Island which is a great literature read as well as fun to explore . There is a mill there along with the caves to explore. You can take the trail to the soldier’s fort to touch and look at the cannons.  My favorite part is the raft you have to take to get over to the island.  It’s a great discussion too along with experience about how the early settlers crossed the Mississippi.  The children love to run through the caves acting like Tom and Huck.  Michael loves to run through the caves scaring the children. Win -win for everyone. 

 

Riverboat

There is the ride on the paddle riverboat around Tom Sawyer Island.  While it’s not overwhelmingly amazing in my opinion, it is a good experience for the children.  It helps to cement the idea when they are reading their books about life on the the Mississippi. An experience they can visualize making comprehension easier.  

The Hall of Presidents show is refreshing and educational all at the same time.  Refreshing in that it’s air conditioned while having plugs for recharging cell phones. Educational in that the Presidents are true to themselves in their character and dress.  Except one.  On the far right, Grover Cleveland is not as fat as he was in real life.  If they made him true to form , he would be so out of place that it would drown out the rest of the other Presidents.  Crazy!   It makes learning about the Presidents in our history studies all the more interesting when we already know what they look and act like. If you have visual learners  like I do, then this cements their learning in a way nothing else could.

 

 

towncrier

There is so much to learn in this area from colonial times to pioneer.  You can stick your head in the stockades.  Eat an all american meal with a town crier or shoot laser rifles at the shooting gallery.  There is the hint of slavery in the Splash Mountain ride along with the old time train for Thunder Mountain.  It’s only fitting that the Walt Disney World Railroad makes a stop in this land as well.  You can read then eat at Sleepy Hollow which sells funnel cakes among other delicacies.

After touring Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom, make a special point to stop in America at Epcot.  We like to make comparisons between the two lands and what we know about our history.  How do you learn about American history in your homeschool?

 

31days

 

Series:

Day 1: Overview

Day 2: Haunted Mansion

Day 3: Literature Selections

Day 4: Nature Studies

Day 5: Flower and Garden Festival