April 23, 2010

Yankee Peddler

Once upon a time, I asked my hubby to make me a tree. On our wall.
I envisioned a little tree. Nothing too fancy. In short, I expected what I could create. But I asked my artistic hubby to make it because I hate doing crafty things like . . . coloring . . . let alone making trees.
My hubby likes doing artistic things so even though making the Liberty Tree for homeschool wasn't high on his list of things to do that particular night, he was inspired by the challenge.
And I was inspired/amazed by the result.
The idea behind the tree came from http://www.courageousbeings.com/b1.html. When Miriam was starting kindergarten, I was pregnant and a lot was going on so I bought A Noble Birthright: Defenders of the Title of Liberty. It was very well-put together and had tons of great ideas and resources. It was also, for me, a waste of money. I just plain like to write my own curriculum too much to use other people's, regardless of the quality of the curriculum. I used a few ideas and then the rest of the gigantic binder of good ideas sat on the shelf. However, if I was ever to buy curriculum again, I wouldn't hesitate to buy more from this website and these designers. It was really good stuff.

The tree was one of their ideas. Make a Liberty Tree on your wall, then award your children leaves when they do good things, and then when the Yankee Peddler comes around your children can use the leaves as currency to buy items from the Peddler. It was a great idea and my children loved it. It also reminded me to use positive incentives, since I have a tendency to only use negative incentives.

The above picture is my husband working on his Peddler costume. I, ahem, only sew straight lines and the thought of cutting off pants to make them into something else was all too much for me. My hubby put together his own costume. Yes, I lucked out in the matrimonial department.
That's the Peddler on his first visit. My children were enraptured, but also confused about whether or not it was the Peddler or their dad. Baffled them the whole time he was there. I finally explained to them that it was Dad acting the part of the peddler. Their disappointment was intense, but short-lived.
If you ever study Colonial America, I highly recommend involving a Peddler in some way. It didn't cost much because we bought all the "wares" at second-hand stores, and the Peddler affixed prices based on the number of leaves the kids had. If the kids were flush, the merchandise went up in price.

Fun times. Back when I only had three children. Crazy.


  1. i would pay money to have nick dress up and act out figures in history - especially since he's a history teacher and a total nut about it. anyhoo - nick is reading ayn rand (i know, i know) and came across a passage about mothers and society and whatnot - that is beyond striking and relevant to today's issues - and he brought it home to read it to me and told me that it made him have another lightbulb moment as to why we need to homeschool if we can...i told him to mark the page and to write a mini essay for you - since we so often don't get the dad's perspective on these things...no biggie if you don't want it - i'm still sending it to you because it's awesome and you'll enjoy the quote. okay, night - bb

  2. Wow! Your husband seems a lot like my husband (in the art-department). I can draw stick figures (in pencil, with a really good eraser) and I can darn socks (and I only dare do that because who, besides me, looks at the toes of my husband's socks? :) ). Period. :) BUT I must say, your husband wins for making his own costume!!! :) That's pretty cool (and hilarious that your kids didn't know *for sure* that the Peddler was their dad. :) )

    P.S. Thanks for a great idea for positive incentives. Every mom needs ideas for that. :)

  3. By chance, do you still have A Noble Birthright? I'd gladly buy it off of you...:) er