Yesterday I took all of the kids to a living history museum, where they were having a special all day program of hands-on activities, demonstrations, and crafts. I told a friend who I first met a year and a half ago when shopping in PA that we’d be going, and invited her to join us with her family. She was able to come, and it was really nice for all of us! It definitely added to the fun for my kids to be able to spend the time with her children – we haven’t gotten together since December.
I often have a sense that our homeschooling ‘subjects’ come together with very little effort on my part. I’m currently in the middle of reading Farmer Boy (from the Little House series) to my younger set of kids, ages 9 and down, which is set in the late 1800s. Yesterday at the living history museum, we enjoyed a number of activities, one of which was a ride in a horse drawn wagon. I asked the driver what kind of horses they were, and she told me they were Belgians, which we had just read about the day before in Farmer Boy! It really makes history come alive to read about and then experience things that occur in the same time period (like the tour of the one room schoolhouse, the general store, carding and spinning their own wool). Suddenly, it’s not just far away stories but it makes it all more up close and personal, and that’s what the study of history should be about.
I ordered a dvd from the library called Frontier House and my dh brought it home just the day before our outing to the museum. I started watching it with the kids last night, and it is fascinating! Wouldn’t you know, it’s about about the late 1800s and what life was like then? The focus is on 3 modern day families who were chosen to ‘travel’ back in time and live as 1883 homesteaders. Again, it all ties is so beautifully, with the book, the dvd, the museum, and the activities all highlighting and reinforcing one another.