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Coon Tail Hat Kit

Corps of Re-Discovery

5329 N. Lakewood Dr
Springfield, MO 65803

The Corps of Re-Discovery, a Missouri-based business dedicated to providing homeschoolers with quality books and project kits pertaining to Early American history studies, has a number of products guaranteed to pique the interest of most young adventurers. We've had the opportunity to make a frontier-style Coon Tail Hat using their Coon Tail Hat Kit, which retails through their website for $7.95. And now our entire clan, from the youngest on up to Dad, is hooked on this company.

The kit comes in a sealed bag that contains two pieces of imitation fur, one genuine coon tail, and instructions for making your cap. You will need to provide needle, thread, straight pins, tape measure, and scissors. This project can be done on a sewing machine; we chose to do it by hand, in the spirit of the frontier era. Aside from the tendency of faux fur to shed uncontrollably, the project is simple to sew and can be completed in a short afternoon session. It would work well in a co-op environment as well as at home. The instructions are clear and concise, including directions for determining the proper circumference for the top of the hat.

The Corps of Re-Discovery Coon Tail Hat Kit is an easy, enjoyable activity that affords a tangible connection for students studying early American history. The simple, straightforward plan for using the kit makes it something that would fit seamlessly into any unit study of the settling of the American frontier. When sewn by hand, the stitches are simple enough for a three-year-old to do, although the skills for translating the directions into action are better suited for ages seven or older. My 6-year-old was enthralled with the entire process. My 8-year-old would really like one of his own to make from start to finish. I would recommend purchasing one for each child in the home. The real trick is keeping the incredibly soft, touchable tail away from any toddlers you may have. I made that mistake, and it took us a week to figure out where the baby had stored it. Now that the project is complete, she simply carries the hat around with her.

My husband and I both have worked in the traditional archery communities for several years, and we have seen kits and projects we would not purchase due to poor craftsmanship, low quality materials, or a general lack of vision with the products. We were leery about this kit as well, but our concerns were unfounded. All of the materials in the kit are good quality, well thought out, and chosen with a clear purpose in mind. We will be sending a few Coon Tail Hat Kits to the nephews this Christmas. The children enjoyed the project, and the completed hat is holding up well.

The Corps of Re-Discovery's website is clean and relatively easy to navigate. The company's policies for shipping, payment, returns, and customer service are well defined on the homepage. As a busy homeschooling mother, I appreciate not having to dig for information or contact numbers.

I hope The Corps of Re-Discovery will expand their product line. They have a focus and a vision for their products, and it shows. They've certainly filled a need regarding educational supplemental studies in a fun and creative manner. I look forward to seeing more of their materials.

Product review by Dy Edington, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, May 2007

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