Field Trip Foto Friday: Pioneer Wagon Ride


Time for a Field Trip Foto Friday again. This field trip was during our Pioneer and Frontiersmen unit while we were living in Arkansas (which happens to get much more of a seasonal show in the fall than Texas does). My children were ages 7 and 9 – and in grades 3 and 4. This field trip is just one of the many for our school year in 2006-7. We took it in November on a cloudy day with some co-op buddies who brought beef jerky and other pioneer snacks.


Since we aren’t Halloween folks, we tend to enjoy dressing up at other times of the year. Unit Studies provide a fun list of other dress-up opportunities. We usually have at least one unit that requires a fun dress up day each school year. The costumes in these photos were rented from a neat tea-party dress up shop in North Little Rock. I hand sewed the vest that Kaden wore from some fabric that the shop gave me. They loved wearing the costumes! Even now, at ages 9 and 11, my kids still enjoy dressing up to play a part. I guess they inherited some of my love for the stage.


Nothing quite like a slow ride through the fall-colored countryside on a wagon. Ours had nice new comfy truck seats installed to make the ride less bumpy. Still, after about an hour or so, I began to have a new respect for the pioneers! The clip-clop of the horses feet was soothing. I could almost imagine the pioneer children falling asleep by the rocking lull of the wagon to that noise… as pots and pans dangled overhead. We imagined ourselves blazing a trail toward Oregon… and were glad we wouldn’t have to cross any rivers!


The children took turns riding in the front. Our ride was quite long, so we stopped for a rest and snack along the way before returning. Some little black kittens in a ditch caught our attention while we were heading back. I had to stop the wagon to get off and catch one. I can’t resist a kitten. They followed us across a field we cut through after we let them off. The kids wanted to keep them.


When the horses stopped to rest we were near a house that had been split open. It was like looking at a messy, rotting shadow box. I wondered what had happened to the place. The children were diverted while the driver tended to the horses. They were sweaty and tired.


My friend T and her boys shared their snacks. We all loaded back up in the wagon and headed back to base. Morgan didn’t want to take her costume off and return it. My little bo-peep fell asleep in it after we got home – boots and all – on the bed.


It helped the kids to know what those pioneer folk might have felt like on a long dusty ride across the West… and they enjoyed dressing the part. Looking back at all our unit study field trip adventures makes me appreciate so much the wonderful blessing of homeschooling. It is such a joy to be present and part of your children’s education.

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