Exploring Jamestown & Williamsburg

Trip Start Apr 06, 2009
Trip End Jun 30, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Virginia
Wednesday, April 22, 2009

After 11 days in the DR, we were happy to land back in the states. It is nice to come back to Spring in full bloom. We are staying in a cute little cottage right in the center of Williamsburg which as Luke said "this house is like in colonial times except if this were colonial times they wouldn't have books and puzzles out about colonial times." That's a curious, engaged traveler for you!

We seem to have gotten into something of a rhythm to our days, starting with a morning "routine" of sorts-- mom & sometimes dad sneaking out for morning runs, doing sit-ups & push-ups together, kids reading about where we are going that day, watching podcasts together, reading short historical story books with Lexi, doing a morning devotional/"preview" (a puritan way of envisioning the day with God)--then venturing out, grabbing lunch, site-seeing, then a little "homeschooling" in the afternoon journaling & writing assignments in their travel books, then dinner out with some attempt at a "review" of the day (reflecting back on highlights). Of course as I am writing this I am realizing that much of this is more aspirational than fully implemented...

Since we so recently visited Plymouth, the kids did seem to make some connections between the 2 settlements. The main impulse behind Jamestown was more economic than religious relative to Plymouth, & also had a third culture in the mix, African slaves from Angola. It is interesting to ponder how all the different motivations mixed together in the colonialists mindset, you see the best and the worst of the human condition. Digesting it all from a 7, 10 and 12 year old perspective... never mind an adult's... is interesting to say the least. Lexi was very jarred by all the slavery images she saw. All the books we've been reading & the movies at the museums do a very good job highlighting both friendly and unfriendly encounters between the people groups, helping you connect with one or two people (Pocahontas in Jamestown, Squanto in Plymouth) who were a human bridge between the Indians & the English, and avoiding good guy guy/bad guy depictions. The most fun learning was just running around and interacting with what they see--the replica ships the colonists came over on, and both the native american compound & the colonial settlement.

It is I have to say very rewarding exploring/learning together. There are of course the continual struggles along the way getting the kids to engage in the historical stuff (they seem to find something to fidget with wherever we are... monkey ball on Ross' iphone is serving its purpose as a bribe), to carry out a sustained conversation (while walking through Williamsburg, Ross muses "I find it interesting that there were so many similarities between the English, the Indians, and the African way of life..." barely a second and Luke says "What I find interesting is why Luke Trautwein is reading the Last Battle but never read any of the earlier books in the series"... mom and dad exchange befuddled look) but they do seem to be absorbing more than they show (at least that is our hope...) and do occasionally ask good questions ("what did it do to baptize the slaves if that is not what they believed?" "did they think that actually meant they were going to heaven?" "why did the capital change from Williamsburg?" and show some actual curiosity.

Their teachers definitely do not have a longterm calling for homeschooling & have a renewed appreciation for why we send our kids to school, but we are holding our own & finding a mutuality in working together, taking turns cracking the whip & going with the flow... two pats on the back. Off today to see friends in Richmond and then family in Falls Church.

May your mocassins
make happy tracks in many snows, in many sands, and the rainbow always touch your shoulder.
(Indian saying found by Grandmama Jones in her files from the 1970's)
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gretel_monster on

One of my favorite places. Spent several Thanksgivings there, and one time we were fortunate enough to have a private and separate dining room behind one of the houses. Our meal had to be sent out from the kitchen in the house...A real step back in time.

Great time for your fam!!!

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