About Us

Contact Us

Product List

Special Services


What’s New

Homestead Tour

Homestead Memories


Homestead School Kids 2013

Welcome to the newly renovated Parker Homestead website! Located on this page, you can find Group Leader information for your field trip, pre and post activities for the classroom, links to corresponding ADE frameworks, information on teacher inservices, and more! We hope you find this to be user friendly and please don’t hesitate to let us know how we can better serve you!


Group Leader Information

Teachers and group leaders are requested to schedule their Homestead visit by emailing info@parkerhomestead.com.  Homestead’s field trip dates for 2013 are September 25-27, and October 2-4. Reservations are made on a first come, first serve basis, and Homestead will do our best to accommodate the date that is best for you.  After Homestead receives your reservation form or email, you are NOT booked until you receive back a confirmation fax or email.  If you have not received a confirmation, please contact us by phone at (870) 578-2699.


Homestead School Days hours are 9:00 to 2:00 each day.  We understand that not all groups can stay the entire time, and that is OK– your field trip will be self guided and at your own pace. 


When you arrive, Staff will get you parked and headed to the gate.  We will do our best to get your students unloaded quickly, safely, and into Homestead  as quickly as possible. To expedite this process, it helps if one teacher has a school check or all the money for each school.  That means less wait time at the gate and more fun time inside. The gate will take your check, get you your receipt, tell you about your lunch time and location, and guides will get your class started on their way.


What Should We Wear?


Parker Homestead is an outside field trip, so staff suggests that your group wear comfortable walking shoes and clothing appropriate for outdoor activities and inclement weather (such as possible mud). Many teachers bring sunscreen, bug repellant, and blankets for their students to sit on during the picnic lunch. All of these things are fine, and staff can help you get lunches, blankets, and supplies to your schools’ designated spot.


Can We Shop?


Of course! The General Store, the Broom Shop, The Sarsaparilla Shed, and several other spots will have items for sale from refreshments to souvenirs.  Please understand that there may be many students from other schools shopping as well, so you should encourage your students to make their selections quickly so that others may have their turn.


Can We Eat Lunch There?

Sure! You are welcome to bring sack lunches. Each school will have a designated spot to eat, and Homestead staff can have help available to load and transport your school’s coolers to your spot. We ask that you please dispose of all trash in receptacles, and if needed we will be more than happy to provide you with additional trash bags upon arrival.


What If It Rains?


Just because it is raining where you are does not mean it is raining here! All decisions to cancel will be made by 7:00 a.m. and will be posted on the facebook page as well as on the answering machine.  Please call (870)578-2699 or click here for homestead’s facebook page for up to the minute cancellation information.


How Do We Get There?


Parker Homestead is located right off Highway 1, 6 miles South of Harrisburg.  Coming from the North, you’ll turn left off of Highway 1 S onto Homestead Road, and travel approximately 1/8 mile to our gate.  Coming from the South, you’ll drive approximately 5 miles North of Cherry Valley, then turn right onto Homestead Road.  From there, travel approximately 1/8 mile to our gate.  Our GPS address is 16944 Homestead Road, Harrisburg, AR.


Suggested Activities

The following activities are designed for fourth grade students and assist ADE standards for science, mathematics, reading/writing, and social studies.

Farm Machinery


With a team of horses, a farmer planted 2-3 acres of corn a day. Students calculate how many days it took a farmer to plant 35 acres of corn. If a fast corn picker could pick 95 bushels of corn per day (10 hours of work), how many bushels was he picking per hour? If a corn picker was paid a nickel per bushel, how much did he make if he picked 95 bushels in one day? How much would he make in 5 days at that rate? (Mathematics)


Students discuss the financial and social differences between people living in town and people living on farms? What was the economic impact of changing from horses to tractors on the farm? What did the change from horses to tractors mean to people who worked as blacksmiths, wagon makers, store owners, field hands? Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of neighbors owning one piece of machinery and sharing it. (Social Studies)


Farm Life


Describe why the neighbor relationship was so important to Homestead farmers. What did neighbors do to help each other in the spring, summer, winter, and fall? How did social activities differ for people living in the towns and on the farms? Identify the role of money in social activities. What were some of the free social and communities activities that people on the Homestead enjoyed? (Social Studies)


Identify the different animals on the Homestead. What did the animals eat? How were the animals used by the farm family during each season of the year? Go to a grocery store dairy section and make a list of all the products that come from cows' milk. Make a list of all the products that come from chickens and pigs. Create a chart for the products that come from each animal; note the price of the product. Which animal produces more products? Which animal's products cost the most? (Science)


“My land and my home mean so much to me. It isn't just a house and it isn't just some dirt out there that we put some seeds in. It's living- it's a part of me. My grandparents’ blood, sweat, and tears went into that land and my dad's and now my husband's and sons’ and grandsons’. We've stepped on every bit of this land and have put the seed into it on faith that it will grow. To see it from spring to fall- the crop mature and be harvested and to be used as food, or to be put back in the ground as seed to grow again and to feed us all. I just like to be part of that. It just fills my heart.” Ask students if they have ever been especially proud of an accomplishment.  Have them write a page about something they are proud of and what it means to them. (Reading/Writing)



Have Students identify the crops Homestead farmers planted. Students select a crop and look up information in available reference materials. Write a report about it -- when it was planted, what it looks like, how it was harvested, and how it was used. Students may deliver their reports orally in front of class or in writing. (Reading/Writing)


Pretty soon, amazing changes in the technology saw more and more farmers moving from farming with horses to farming with tractors. Horses were expensive to buy and costly to feed and maintain. Farmers needed around five acres of land to grow the oats, hay and fodder that each horse needed for the year. In contrast, if a tractor didn't work, it didn't need fuel, let alone oats and hay. Land that had been reserved for supporting animals could now be plowed under for cash crops to help pay for the loan it took to buy the tractor. Tractors could be operated day and night, with little daily care, and were not affected by hot or cold, insects or pests.  Discuss whether the cost of tractors was worth their rewards. (Mathematics)


Pests and Weeds


What's a bushel? Students calculate how many pints, quarts, and pecks are in a bushel. Using a bag of popcorn seeds with a known weight, students estimate how many pounds of corn are in a bushel. Students discuss how pests (bugs, mice and rats, and weeds) reduce crop yield. In the 1920s, farmers could harvest 65 bushels per acre of corn in a good year. If a farmer has 30 acres planted to corn, how much can he harvest? If bugs, weeds and pests reduce the yield per acre by 8 bushels per acre, what will the farmer harvest? (Mathematics)


First, students make a list of "good" and "bad" bugs they think were found on the Homestead. Collect insects in and around the school room and building. Using available resources, students identify these insects and find out what they eat. Did their opinion of what is a "bad" bug change? Identify other pests that destroyed crops in the 1920s. Create a food chain chart showing what eats what, including plants, insects, birds, and other animals. (Science)


Making Money


Students describe the different kinds of transportation people used to travel in the 1920s. Students identify how transportation differed for people who lived in town compared to people who lived in the country and how these differences affected the way the two groups interacted with others. What were some of the places farmers traveled to and why? What were some of the transportation problems farm families faced that town residents did not? (Social Studies)


Make a list of the products farmers took to town to sell and items farmers need to buy in town. Describe how farmers traded their products for store items. If a farmer took four dozen eggs to the town grocer and sold them for 15 cents per dozen, how much money does the farmer have to trade with? If a farmer purchased $2.25 worth of products at the store and traded three dozen eggs at 20 cents per dozen, what was the farmer's total bill? Students practice making change for products traded and purchased. (Mathematics)


Write a story about traveling—either by car or by horse-drawn buggy. Write a story about people traveling in a vehicle and where they are going. What were some of the problems travelers encountered on Homestead roads? Include details about what people saw along the way, in town or in the countryside. (Reading/Writing)




"Repair, reuse, make do, and don't throw anything away" was a motto during the Great Depression. Very few farm families had enough money to buy new clothes at a store. When farmers brought home big sacks of flour or livestock feed, farm women used the sacks as material to sew everything from girls' dresses to boys' shirts and even underpants. Many girls didn't have a "store-bought dress" until they went to high school! Show students a feed sack dress or quilt and discuss today’s efforts at recycling. (Health/Wellness)


Homestead kids were always busy. You had chores in those days to do... You came home from school, did your chores, helped with supper, get your lessons, and by that time it's almost bedtime. Have students make a daily schedule including chores, school, meals, and homework. See if they scheduled any “free time” and discuss what their free time would mean for the family. (Mathematics, Economics)




An important part of blacksmithing was the shoeing of horses and the repair of the horse-drawn machinery. As horses were replaced in the late 1920s, one of the things farmers had to do first was to convert the horse-drawn equipment to tractor use. And that did make quite a little work.  Discuss what the Homestead Blacksmith was making and the reasons his work was so important to the Homestead.  Without a blacksmith, how would farmers make repairs? (Science/Reasoning)


The next work to be done was the woodworking part. You usually had to start working on the wheels and the buggies and the wagons.  Pretty soon, there was forge work too. Now many farmers have welding shops on their farms so they can do their own repair work. Discuss how farm repairs are different today.  Do they still patch metal and wood?  What tools (if any) are different?  (Science)


Teacher Inservice Subjects


Parker Homestead is pleased to be able to present Arkansas History hours for Arkansas teachers! We can bring artifacts and lessons to your classroom, or we can provide hands on activities- such as broom making, dutch oven cooking (and sampling), soap making, corn meal grinding, kettle corn popping, animal shoeing, and more– on site. Click here for more information on an inservice credit like no other!


Subjects include:


Depression Era Cooking and Chores, turn of the century farming,  Arkansas Archeology, Arkansas Indians, Arkansas Fur Traders, Grant Information, Sorghum, Storytelling, Civil War in Arkansas, Miss Emmalyne Parker (living history character), one room schoolhouse lessons and discipline, history of Parker Homestead, and much, much more.


For links to ADE frameworks, click here.































































































NEW! ADE Frameworks!  Click here to be directed to ADE frameworks that coordinate with your Homestead field trip.


Want Homestead to come to your class?  Email us at maryanne@parkerhomestead.com to get information about Homestead’s travelling programs and opportunities.


September 24-26, October 1-3