You are so right. This is a very important part of Florida history that was lost or almost lost. I have a good bit of history of the people who inhabilited the lost town of Ethel and am gathering more as I have time. Ethel was made up of people who got their land by homestead (called land patents in that time). I have copies of the homestead papers of the residents of the area from that time (1860's). These people made their living off the land and river. The town was abandoned because of a major freeze in 1895 which killed out the citrus groves. The town also was a fuel stop for the railroad. After the freeze, there was not anyway to continue making a living and it was told to me that some of the people left in droves, leaving their livestock and property behind because they were desperate. My ancestors did not leave there when the majority left. Some stayed on even after nothing else was there. My husband's grandfather and grandmother moved into Sanford after selling their land but she brought him there and buried him when he died in the 1918 Flu epidemic. I was told that the cemetary is actually about five acres and is full. Someone vandalized the headstones that were there and some markers were wood so had deteriorated. They carried the stones away and threw them in a sinkhole someplace on the property apparently.
Sounds like you have many interesting things for the homeschoolers to do. That is good. I will be glad to share more info with you when I have time.