Author: Barbara Greenwood, Illustrated by Heather Collins
Cost: UK – from £4.72 used to £5.99 new, and USA – from $3.37 used to $8.72 new
I first came across this book when my girls were small – that was about five years ago now! A dear friend had this book on her bookshelf and offered to lend it to us as we were doing a unit study on the early US settlers at the time.
Well – can I just say that I fell in love – totally in love – with this book! I was simply not content with borrowing this book, no, I had to have my own copy. I’m sure you all have at least one of those types of books. I happen to have quite a few. I think once you become a homeschool mama, books become a rather addictive habit!
A Pioneer Sampler is the story of the Robertson Family. They are a pioneer family living on a backwoods farm in 1840. This book is an account of their life throughout the year. After a hard winter, spring comes, and with it, maple sugaring, school days, planting crops and shearing sheep.
This book weaves together fact a fiction. Barbara Greenwood describes the life of a typical family at this time. We join the Robertson family in their daily tasks of cooking, slaughtering hogs, cheese-making and preserving. We join the children in their games, typical of that time period. We learn about the hazards of open-fire cooking and hear the story of how Granny Robertson made the long voyage from her home in Scotland to the new land.
This beautiful book is filled with hands-on activities for your children to do, just the type of things that the Robertson family did in their daily life. Your children will learn about Pioneer measuring, you might find your children playing traditional games outside after reading this book. What about growing their own potato plant? This was an important part of the Pioneer’s livelihood! Inside these pages you will get to make your own butter and cheese, learn about carding and spinning, and then perhaps get to try your own hand at finger spinning!
This book is a treasury of traditional crafts and is packed full of information on the old way of life. It’s about simpler times. Times when work and resourcefulness was not looked on as something to be avoided, but rather something to aspire to and work towards. It was a rewarding life, a life that helped build America.
In my opinion, this is a Living Book. It is full of ideas that will meet in the mind of a child and inspire him/her to loftier things. My bookshelf is all the richer for having this book resting on its shelves.
You can follow Shirley and her family through the seasonal year over at ‘Under An English Sky’. Here she chats about their faith, homeschooling, nature adventures, home organization, crafts, gardening and so much more.