Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Living History

As a homeschooler the term, Living History, has become a part of our vocabulary. Because of our flexibility and small class size, we can travel fairly often to experience history first hand (well, maybe second hand!). (The above is a picture of the first Governor's Mansion in Williamsburg.)

We had one of those opportunities last week as we travelled to Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown. They were hosting a homeschoolers event and we had special hands on classes and tours! It doesn't get much better than this when it comes to learning about history.

One of our favorite tours, was this tour of Historic Yorktown. Here, we are being taught how the farmers lived. My oldest daughter is being taught how to turn the flax plants that the farmers would have grown into thread to use for sewing clothes. This was such a fun tour!

The tour guide showed us how the farmers were living and then explained to us why they would have even considered going to war against the Europeans. She really gave it 100%!

Next we were living the life of luxury as we toured the Indian's long houses in Jamestown. My 6 year old is enjoying the many furs that they had for bedding! She told me that she wanted to be an Indian, she reads every book about Pocahontas that she can get her hands on.

Then we learned how the Native Americans made their canoes. They would carefully burn a large tree trunk and then they would scrape out the ashes with oyster shells. We are given the opportunity to try our hand at scraping.

Here we are able to get onto one of the boats that they first brought over to America. We learned that they didn't have much space, and they had a 10yr. old boy who would clean out their chamber pots! YUCK!

Here's a picture from inside this very small boat. I don't know how they could stand being aboard this ship for six months!

Now we had to become soldiers marching into war.

The armour that they had to wear was very heavy! Glad we've come so far with technology today.

Of course, no trip is complete until you've cleaned the place up!

If you haven't been to Williamsburg/Yorktown/Jamestown, Virginia, I highly recommend that you take the time to visit. It is really fun to live in the moment of history.


Edie said...

You know History was one of my least favorite subjects when I was in school. Now I know I just needed you for my teacher. How fun this all looks, and how cute your kids are too.

Kathy S. said...

I have always wanted to go there. I love history, and especially Early American.

You have a sweet family.

This reminds me a bit of my homeshcool days. I enjoyed that time so much.

sailorcross said...

Thanks for sharing all your pictures and how much everyone learned!

I love this area--have been there quite a few times--and everytime I go I learn something new!


Have you ever been to Mt. Vernon or Monticello? They're also very nice and educational, too!

Chatty Kelly said...

Glad you all had a fun trip!

The Patterson 5 said...

Mr P and I felt we did not apply ourselves while in our high school history classes. Since moving to this area we have taken advantage of the many historical sites and think we'd probably would have done better in school had we had these unique opportunities! I am so glad your family had a wonderful trip!

Sue J. said...

D#1 is always saying, "Mom, didn't you learn about the regions of Virginia (or some such subject) when you were in school?"

Well, no, I grew up in New Jersey, and we didn't study New Jersey history either.

I love that Virginia says that it's really important to learn about the origins of the state and that there are so many places to visit here. I'm sure if the other states thought about it, they could put as much emphasis on the history as Virginia. (Although, got to say, Virginia was involved in a LOT of important national history!!)

Lessons your kids will not forget, because they "lived" them.

On Purpose said...

What a great and awesome experience for your "students"

Thank you for sharing the pictures! This kind of field trip I am sure would have helped me to appreciate history more!

Cheryl Barker said...

Wow, you can't get a much better field trip than that! I've never been further east than St. Louis. I would love to see all the historic sites back east. Maybe some day...

Bonita said...

One of my best friends is a third grade teacher and history buff who happens to love Williamsburg. She's been there nine times and hopes to move there one day to work.

It looks like ya'll had a wonderful "field trip".

Pennies In My Pocket said...

I've been there and I think ever kid should be blessed with the chance to go! Absolutely FABULOUS photos! Look like you all had a wonderful time! The kids will remember it for a life time!


Michelle said...

I'm a bit delayed in stopping by and thanking you for introducing yourself. You have a beautiful family!! It looks like you and the kids have had a great time in Williamsburg.

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

So many of my friends went...we almost did. It would have been fun to meet. I direct a Classical Conversations group and they hosted a thing for CC.