Black-eyed Pease and Wooden Forts


Black-eyed pease (colonial spelling) and salt pork cooked over a fire were the historical highlight of the week. We had originally planned on making the stuffed pumpkin recipe that I shared last week but it has a cook time of over three hours and we didn’t have time to work that one out. It is still on our list of things to do over the next few weeks but the black-eyed pease and salt pork were a great substitution. The kids worked together to cook them over the fire in a Dutch oven much like it may have been cooked during colonial times. They were very tasty and the kids enjoyed cooking them. For those that are interested in trying this, we simply soaked the black eye peas in water over night, put the peas, some country ham, a little diced onion, and plenty of water into the Dutch oven. We cooked it all for about an hour over the fire. You can add a bit of pepper or vinegar to taste.


In addition to the black eyed pease, my favorite part of history this week was our long conversation around the campfire. We spent over an hour just talking and discussing colonial life, the timeline of events, the part that religion and economics played in development, and how it all compares to modern times.  If I had tried to read from a textbook for an hour, the children would have been bored and would not have retained most of what was said. However, by having an active discussion while relaxing as a family they were engaged and enjoyed the time.

We read several things this week to go along with our study. We read a chapter on the French and Indian war from Uncovering Exciting History by Amy Puetz, a chapter on colonial life in America’s Story, and some pages from What Really Happened in Colonial Times by Terri Johnson. My son has also been reading several books from the American Adventure series on his own time. This is a series of historical fiction books based on American history. He has been focusing on the ones from the colonial and Revolutionary time period. He has also been re-reading his books from the Christian Heritage Series: The Williamsburg Years. We don’t’ have all of them but they also have books set in other parts of colonial America.

We also had the opportunity to visit Ft. Dobbs which was a fort on the western frontier on North Carolina late in Colonial times during the French and Indian War. At this point they are rebuilding the fort which should be an excellent addition to the site when they are finished. Currently, they have a model of the original fort and a variety of artifacts found on the site available on display. They had a garden and a small one room house on the property that you could view. This was a great little stop with lots of helpful information as we study through this time period. It only took us about 30 minutes to view, so it is one I only recommend if you are close or can combine it with other stops. Another option is going for one of their living history days where there would be more hands on activities.


I think one of the biggest points of interest to my children was the type of construction and the size of the fort. While they don’t have the reconstruction finished they do have the foundation built which allowed them to get a good idea of the size. We have had the opportunity to experience various types and sizes of forts. The one they are most familiar with is Fort Macon which is a stone fort on the coast of North Carolina. It has been well preserved and appears to offer a great deal of protection. We have also been to earthen fortifications that are not much more than mounds of dirt used to strategically protect those behind them. This fort seemed safer than those earthen forts but not very large and not nearly as secure as Fort Macon. We had a great discussion about how it was built and why it would have been built in that manner.

We did chalk pastels of George Washington this week. It is a bit early in our history for him but he did get his start in the French and Indian War. The children loved the lesson and I thought they turned out very nice. There is a great lesson on the 13 original colonies that we plan to do next week.


Next week we will spend more time in  America’s Story Volume 1 which we are using for our spine for this portion of Our Journey Through History. We also want to do another lesson in the American History Video Course from them this year to tie into our history.  If you want to learn more about their art courses check out my review.

If you would like to join us on this journey through US History, join our mailing list and get access to our free library. Each month I’ll post a list of resources and ideas for the time period we are going to cover the next month. You can learn more in our post Our Journey Through History.  Colonial and Revolutionary resources are currently posted.

When you sign up for our free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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