The Civil War is Over!

And by that I mean our study of the Civil War has come to an end. I know it didn’t last anywhere as long as the real Civil War, but it sure did seem to drag on an awful long time. This is partly because we had so many good books to read, but also in part because my 4th grader really want to make a lap book, and those just take a long time.

So, without further ado, the aforementioned lap book projects… that took a long time. (I ran out of memory space on my camera half way through this demonstration so we took this video in two parts.)

I found the print outs for the mini books at the following two websites:  Homeschool Share and Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus!  These are both wonderful resources for homeschooling parents… so great in fact, that you might just decide to stop reading mine and just follow them instead.

Unless, of course, you like reading about us and our own brand of mediocrity. I can see how that might be a confidence booster. 😉 In that case, stick with us. 🙂

Anyway, I wasn’t super thrilled about the mini book options out there – I was hoping for more on slavery, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, etc. – so I just downloaded a bunch of stuff I thought we would eventually cover in our reading and let the kids pick out which particular mini books they wanted. In this way, each child’s lap book is unique in a sense. Here’s the cover to my 4th grader’s book. Those things that don’t look like anything from the photo are The Virginia and The Monitor hurtling cannonballs at each other.


Also, because of the length of this project, I just didn’t have it in me to make character books like we did with the Revolutionary War (see Abigail Adams and John Paul Jones character books) so we opted to make the  quote posters and leave it at that. I found an assortment of quotes from Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Harriet Tubman, and Frederick Douglass. The kids chose a quote they really liked, copied it onto a poster, and then illustrated the poster. Here is what we ended up with.

My kindergartner kept asking, “Can’t I do the one where they throw the tea off the ship into the harbor?” No, sweetheart, that was the Revolutionary War. “Ok, but what about the Shot Heard Round the World?” Um, still the Revolutionary War. “Well, I still just want to do the boat one. Can I just do that?” We settled on having him not copy a quote (because it turned out the real issue was he wanted to do the “die a thousand deaths” quote that his brother already chose), but instead illustrate an age appropriate depiction of the Battle of Gettysburg. On the back side  he drew a man reading the newspaper and boldly declaring, “The battle was horrible!” because it was.

The preschooler also drew a horrible battle. There are a few people drowning, a few on fire, and someone riding a shark.


Really, boys? After all these beautiful quotes about peace and forgiveness, they choose the battle scenes? And let me tell you, they had SO MUCH FUN making their posters. Just saying, that’s all. I’ll let it go at that.


And last, but not actual last, because really this was our first project, here are the final two freedom quilts we started weeks ago. Those local to this area will recognize a particular letter hanging out on the mountains. Go Cougs! We aren’t even a football family. I suppose it’s just in the water around her.

Next up in history? A bunch of random stuff that is actually quite interesting, but we won’t have a lot of time to cover. *sigh* How are we really supposed to cover the Civil War to present day in one school year? But on the other hand, it will be nice to take a break from big projects for a few weeks… until the WWI unit starts. Goodness, how do you teach little children about that one!

Finally, as an afterthought, here are the quotes I let the kids choose from… and one I didn’t let them pick.

Abraham Lincoln

“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

“I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.”

“How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

“Stand with anybody that stands RIGHT. Stand with him while he is right and PART with him when he goes wrong.”

“…that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

“The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me.”

“Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them.”

“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”

Robert E Lee

“I can only say that I am nothing but a poor sinner, trusting in Christ alone for salvation.”

“In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength.”

“My trust is in the mercy and wisdom of a kind Providence, who ordereth all things for our good.”

“I would rather die a thousand deaths than surrender.”

“We must forgive our enemies.”

“You have no idea what a horrible sight a field of battle is.” 

“Obedience to lawful authority is the foundation of manly character.”

“The education of a man is never completed until he dies.”

Ulysses S. Grant

“The war is over — the rebels are our countrymen again.”

“This war was a fearful lesson, and should teach us the necessity of avoiding wars in the future.”

“Let us have peace.”

Harriet Tubman

’Twant me, ’twas the Lord. I always told him, “I trust to you. I don’t know where to go or what to do, but I expect you to lead me,” and he always did. 

I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.

Frederick Douglass

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.

The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.

It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.

I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.

People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get.

No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.

 And here is one I didn’t let them choose. Also wise words… although I can’t confirm their authenticity.