Thursday, January 20, 2011

Benjamin Franklin

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” - Benjamin Franklin
In OM 5 History, we are studying Benjamin Franklin. What an interesting man he was. Early in his adult life, he was a soap and candle maker. We attempted to make candles the way Ben did, by dipping wicks in melted wax, then in cold water, then back in the wax, repeat, repeat, repeat.

We were supposed to keep this up until our candles were the diameter we wanted. After about 20 minutes of dipping, our wick looked only marginally different, and we concluded that Benjamin Franklin had much more patience than we do. (No wonder he moved on to bigger things like becoming an inventor, scientist, writer, along with that Founding Father gig.)

We ditched the Oak Meadow suggestion and re-purposed our Subway cups from dinner, using them as candle molds. I showed the kids how my sisters and I used to make ice cube candles when I was a kid.

I'm no Ben Franklin, but my children were impressed.

Today we wrote with a quill and ink, just like Ben Franklin did. It really gave the kids an appreciation for our current day writing instruments...not to mention the eraser.

Thing 4 had a lot of fun pretending she was writing the Declaration of Independence.

Did you know that, except for two years of formal education from age 8 to age 10, Benjamin Franklin was home schooled and self-taught?


  1. Love this! Love the candles. Thing 4 is killing me with the hat! She looks great writing the Declaration. Very happy. Maybe politics are in her future.

    Did your kids get to learn what a womanizer ol' Ben was? That's something they will want to take out in Tennessee's history books. He loved the French, but who can blame him? He is probably one of my all time favorite Founding Fathers (right up there with TJ). Flawed, but brilliant!

  2. LOL, no...Oak Meadow left that part out. He was a wild and crazy guy, wasn't he?

  3. I was about to say the same thing. I LOVE BF and his crazy ways.

    I love all the activities above. I have made candles too (years ago) and I remember then how long it took to make a candle. How did they have the time and patience?

    I love her hat too. She has the BEST hats!!




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