Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Day in Olde Yorktowne

I don't consider myself much of  a history buff, but I do find delving into history with the kids somewhat more interesting than I ever did when I was in school.   That interest increases significantly  when we can visit some of the places that we're  learning about.  We are doing American History this year in our homeschool,  which means that we can take a bajillion  relevant field trips without driving too far from home. It's one of the joys of living in this neck of the woods…we are surrounded by places of historical significance! 

Our first big field trip of the year was last week to the Williamsburg area to take advantage of their reduced admission rates for homeschoolers in September.   We left last Tuesday morning and headed straight for a tour at the Yorktown Victory Center.  Situated right on the banks of the York River, Yorktown is best known for being the place where the British surrendered to colonists in the final battle of the Revolutionary War.  

We got to see up close and personal what a Revolutionary War encampment was like.  It was humbling to learn how meager their supplies were, how the soldiers' pay often didn't come through,  and how up to six soldiers slept in one of these tents.   

 It is crazy to think of the odds the Americans were up against trying to fight and gain their independence from the most powerful military power in the world.  There's no other way in my mind to reconcile the US's victory over Great Britain, other than it was God's will to establish a land of freedom, equality, and justice.

George Washington, like the other Founding Fathers, is an inspiration of bravery and sacrifice for the greater good.     

We watched several reenactments (one of which Ellie assisted with) and were surprised at the noise just one musket or one tin foil cannon ball made.   I can't imagine how deafening the battlefield must have been!

This encampment oven was pretty cool to see.   They didn't often have enough to eat, but my guess is that cooking it in here at least made it taste a little better.

Our tour guide  showed us some of the medical supplies that were used in that era.  Yikes!   I am grateful to live an era of modern medicine!

We also got a glimpse of the average Revolutionary War era farm and the way they preserved their foods using salt or the sun.   

If you visit Yorktown in a couple of months, try to eat a carrot there.   
My guess is that it will be an extra crunchy and flavorful carrot, in which case you can thank my kids who helped plant them with great skill.   If, on the off chance,  the carrot ends up floppy and tasteless, just keep in mind that there were other kids there helping too. ;) 

It was a great way to kick off our year of American History.  

I am grateful to live in a place close enough that we can visit many of the  sites that I only read about in my history books!    It's fascinating to see the the past come to life and to see a small glimpse of the legacy of hard work and passion for liberty that our forefathers (and mothers) have bestowed upon us.   

Stay tuned for more about our American History field trip coming soon!


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