Summer school this year, in which we learned all about our home state of Illinois, was very busy!
We had a great reading list, which helped us learn about the people, history, and regions and resources of our state. Turkey and Bunny were able to use these resources to write pretty detailed reports about our state.
In addition to reading and map work, we took a lot of field trips this summer. We visited Cahokia Mounds, which is the site of the largest ancient population north of Mexico. I gathered up all my courage for the drive to Kaskaskia, the home of the first state capital (even though it’s now on the “wrong” side of the Mississippi River), and current home of the “Liberty Bell of the West.” We also drove to Vandalia to visit the oldest capitol building still in existence in the state (even if was only the Capitol for a few years). Of course, we also had to visit Springfield, the current capital of our state, and home of the Old State Capitol, as well as the current Capitol building. It was very interesting to tour all three of those buildings, and see what was the same and what was different from one to the other (for example, the Vandalia State House had no space for an office for the governor!). The Illinois State Museum is also part of the Capitol Complex, and we walked through it, as well. It was fun to learn about the history of the natural resources and animals in our state! While we were in Springfield, we also visited Lincoln’s Home (and surrounding neighborhood), his Law Office just across from the Old State Capitol, and Lincoln’s Tomb. (We also stopped for dinner at the Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, which is reportedly the home of the original corn dog!)
We learned a lot about Chicago this summer, as well. Partly because it’s the largest (and most famous!), city in Illinois, and partly because I grew up in one of its suburbs. So, to end our lessons, I made one of our family favorites, Chicago style pizza! (Made the Giordano’s way, for those of you in the know!)
I’m not going to lie…it wasn’t quite as much fun as last year’s baseball-themed summer school. But it was close, and definitely involved the most field trips we’ve ever taken in one summer!