As homeschool parents we feel it is our duty to our children to offer them the best education possible. My goal, as teacher, is to make every lesson a reality. I know that a history lesson can be brought to life by reading great literature, or reenacting the lesson but history becomes personal when it is experienced.
We have saved for nearly a year to take this trip and by we I mean the entire family. We have cut way back on eating out and buying clothes, if change was found in the wash or in the couches or on the ground, we have put every penny of it in our vacation jar. The children took odd jobs like raking yards and washing cars and I have to say we had a wonderful time.
Yes, this is a shot of the rotunda of the capital building. For others planning to visit, be sure your school supplies are not in your back pack when you check in. Long story but a lesson we will not soon forget.
We visited Washington DC on the February 12 and inside the capital a celebration of Lincolns birthday was taking place. There were Secret Service, black "SUV"s all around and men in black suits with holsters and sunglasses and earpieces. "It's just like being in "24", our son said.
We walked on and on until our youngest had had enough. After the Air and Space Museum and the Capital, our youngest looked up at her daddy and asked, "Is this all that Washington DC has? Just a bunch of history stuff?" This was our first clue that it could be a long day but my very wise husband said,"Would you like to see the Declaration of Independence?" Oh, he's brilliant.
Off to the National Archives building we went. My children Oohed and Aahed over the Emancipation Proclamation, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. "C" our youngest was pointing out different "important people" that were pictured on the walls.
I enjoyed watching the children so much that I forgot to take pictures.
Then "C" said, I want to see the "Leaning Tower of Pizza". Ugh, thanks to my teenagers, "C" thinks it is funny to say that when referring to the Washington Monument. Again, my brilliant husband saved the day. Without saying a word to correct her he excitedly said, "Let's go see it!" and off we went.
During the walk from the archives building he and "C" discussed the big wonderful pointy building. I overheard questions like -
"Did you think it was this tall?"
"How far is it?"
"Who do you think it is named after?"
"Hold Daddy's Hand?"
"Can we see the top from the bottom?"
It was too windy for us to take the tour and actually go up into the monument but that did not matter to "C". She stood at the base with her daddy and looked straight up to "see what she could see".
("K" our 13 year old laid flat on her back and took a picture so she could always remember. The above picture is the result.)
One day was all the time we had to spend here. At the end of that day our feet ached, our bodies needed rest, every park bench we passed beckoned us to sit, but we had enjoyed our day together as a family. We had learned so much about things we thought we already knew. History was alive! Questions were answered when possible and new questions arose, questions that sparked curiosity, questions that made our children think, questions that made them want to know. So, learning continues!