Colonial Life: Home Sweet Home

As I was cleaning out my bookcase for a big homeschool book sale over the summer, I came upon a little booklet I had picked up several years ago that was filled with worksheets and projects related to Colonial Life. Although a lot of the worksheets are for kids younger than mine, the project ideas are fantastic, so I am sprinkling them in where I can.

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For this semester, our history focus is on the founding of the colonies, so most of what I use from Life in the Colonies will be during our first 6 weeks.

We’ve been reading and talking about the harsh life the Jamestown colonists faced when they arrived here. I wanted to make sure the kids understand that when we read that they built houses for themselves that we aren’t talking 3,000 square foot suburbian homes. So I took them out to the cul-de-sac armed with a tape measure and sidewalk chalk.

One of the projects in the book is to have the kids draw out an 8″x10″ rectangle on graph paper and try to fit in beds, tables, and a fireplace to see how efficient their houses had to be. I decided it would be more fun to draw out the real thing, so we drew a 16’x20′ rectangle out in the street.

Yes, he's in his pjs. It's how we roll. :)

Yes, he’s in his pjs. It’s how we roll. :)

Our colonial home was ahead of its time since it was equipped with a sewer cover

Our colonial home was ahead of its time since it was equipped with a sewer cover

The three of us stood inside it and talked about how the beds would be arranged, and it became obvious very quickly about how cramped just the 4 of us would be – much less if we had a bigger family like was common in those days.

I asked them some of the questions from the Life in the Colonies book about what disadvantages they could see these little homes would have, how it would be different from the way we live in now. All of which my daughter (the pioneer girl) brushed aside with a cheerful “I think living in a tiny house would be fun!” Yeah, okay. 😉


  1. Wow, interesting. Thus it can be ntegrated into Maths (measurement), arts, history, language arts, religion, and so many things are turning up in my mind after reading your post. Thanks