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Friday, February 6

Wayward & Weary (Tift Merritt)


Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia, explores the world of America’s first permanent English colony.  The colonists spent several months on a boat, sailing to a world they knew nothing of....how wayward and weary they must have been upon arrival!
This past fall, my family and I had a great opportunity to visit the historical landmark of Jamestown, VA.  We did not have a chance to see every single sight, as there is a lot to see in Jamestown, but what we were able to experience was wonderful and enchanting.

We have six children that range from 1 to 9 years old, and every single one found something to enjoy and delight in.  As a homeschooling family, we are well aware of the fact that the more engaged a child is in the topic of study, the more likely it is that the information learned will stick.

This is what Jamestown provided for our children; a memorable experience where we had the chance to participate in history.
First we visited the village of the native people during the time of colonial America.  It was fascinating to see their huts and the way in which the people lived.  We observed a communal fire, which is where the village women would all cook together, and learned about the use of stones and bones to make sewing needles and other useful tools.

We participated in the preparation of a hide to turn it into a warm fur jacket, and tried our hands at basket weaving, too.

Every which way we turned the was some new experience to be had, and it was all we could do to keep the kids orderly and calm so that they did not go every which way with all their excitement.
We then were able to go on board a colonial sea ship and explore the top deck and below.  We took note of the amount of space afforded those on board the ship, discussed what life on board the ship might have been like during a storm, and even listened to a discussion on what would happen in the event of an attack and overtaking by pirates.  The information was fascinating, and the older children especially were captivated.

We continued on to the Colonial town where I gawked over their lovely garden that was cultivated right outside the town wall, and the little ones pointed energetically at the roaming chickens grazing nearby.

We learned about mud walls and thatch roofs, as well as why these things cannot be used as much today with land ordinances and protection laws.  We watched ironwork, needlework, army member practicing, and discussed the atmosphere of the community at the time with the gunsmith of the area.  We walked through the storehouse and took note of what goods were the commodities of the day, especially tobacco, and pointed out to the kids the changes of the time from then to now.
There are some key days to go to Jamestown as a homeschooling family, since discounts are available a few times a year.  I have seen discounts during the Homeschooling Weeks in the spring and fall, which also discount other local sights like Yorktown and Colonial Williamsburg

We are also a Navy veteran family, which is what allowed us to visit Jamestown when we did, since we went on Veteran’s Day and were all (8 of us) allowed in for FREE. 
Ideally, we would have given ourselves 2-3 days to really take in all that Jamestown had to offer, and would likely want the same for any and all of the other area sights, since there is so much to see and do.  You know we homeschooling families like to get every educational moment we can.  :::wink wink:::

We enjoyed our Jamestown experience immensely and can’t wait for another chance to return once again.  If you are ever in the Williamsburg, VA area, it is definitely a must see experience!

Jamestown resources :
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Julie Ann Filter homeschools her six children from their 240 sq ft travel trailer.  They have been on their traveling adventure since August 2014, which has provided a place to live during a season of unemployment that is ongoing with her husband.  She has a passion for faith and living out a Biblical visionary life, which is what led to their homeschooling choice in the first place.  You can find her at www.SavvyHomemaking.com, where she writes to encourage marital unity, life balance, and the occasional recipe addition.
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