Our homeschool this year has been a lot of learning while we travel. It started with a Humanitarian trip to Africa, then after being home only a few days we were on the road again. Jase and I loaded the kids into our new RV to travel across the country. We traveled over 3000 miles across to learn about pioneers and early American history.
Our 1st Pioneer Stop Was Adam-Ondi-Ahman
It’s located near Jameson Missouri. Adam-Ondi-Ahman is beautiful, with green fields and thick green trees that shade the narrow roads. Jase shared with the kids his experience visiting here when he was 17. It was very different back then. The place has been well cared for over the years and improved as more people come here to tour. We couldn’t help but get out and wander the beautiful land for a little while!
Touring Carthage, Illinois
Famous among the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Carthage Jail is the martyrdom place of the prophet, Joseph Smith. Church historians have helped to preserve the history of early pioneers by incorporating their way of life into historic buildings and homes. It was so neat to see the tools and other materials they used. The tour made it feel like I had stepped back in time and got a glimpse of the pioneer way of life. If you have the opportunity to visit Carthage, Illinois it is worth taking a 3000-mile road trip to get there!
On To Historic Nauvoo, Illinois
Downtown historic Nauvoo has many really cool tours. It is a major pioneer location. The old buildings have been restored with pioneer furnishings added so you can tour them. Jase’s favorite is the Jonathan Browning Home and Gunshop, where they made guns in the early 1800s. You can also tour the historic post office, other family homes, and the tinsmith. Our family could spend days here (if we had the time) and not get bored. There are so many things to do and so much to learn! We got to participate in games, go on many tours, and listen to live entertainment! We saw at least three performances and loved all of them.
Detour through an Amish Community
Our next stop was an Amish Community. The one we love and have been to before is the Weavers Farm and Furniture. We loved it so much that we had to come back. A Few years ago I bought two hand-crafted rocking chairs that I absolutely love! The Weaver Family puts so much skill into making their furniture pieces high quality and beautiful. We also loved tasting their yummy baked goods (pies, bread, cookies, etc.) This is a great place to stop and buy a yummy homemade lunch. The Amish farm was a really fun stop for the whole family, including our kid’s favorite (seeing and playing with all the animals).
Pioneer History of Palmyra, New York
We went all the way to the beginning of our Pioneer History, by visiting The Smith Family Farm. This is where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints history beings. At this historical location, Joseph Smith received Gold plates, which he translated into scripture. This translation is known as The Book of Mormon. Palmyra is where Joseph Smith and his family lived when he was a teenager.
Last but our favorite, The Sacred Grove
We concluded our Pioneer History Tour at the Sacred Grove. This is a very special place, and you can learn more about it here. At this special place, Joseph Smith prayed in a grove of trees and spoke to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I had the kids sit quietly and ponder what they learned from our pioneer history tours and write in their journals. It’s so much better to write experiences in the moment, because if you wait you will forget the things you learned, and the feelings you felt.
Our thoughts on our Pioneer Road Trip….
Our pioneer road trip was amazing! We had a wonderful time exploring the church history sites of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We learned so much about the pioneers, their way of life, and the challenges they faced. If you are planning to visit any of these sites make sure to book tours ahead of time!
We are off to explore lots of US Historical sites and help our children learn more about the early days of our country…come follow along!