Sunday, 1 July 2012

Experiencing and Learning Together

Hooray for a successfully planned fun day :)  We went to our church group this morning - was lovely to see everyone as always - even if the boys' socialising there does seem to comprise almost entirely of heads bent over the various nintendo d/s consoles... :/
This afternoon there was a big 'birthday party' to go to: Mill Green (Hatfield) was 250 years old (in its present guise), so there was a big celebration with children's activities, re-enactments, demonstrations of Georgian crafts and music, and an exploration of the working watermill... it was all fascinating and we had a lovely time there. 
We heard some very noisy guns as we arrived (the boys couldn't wait to see them but Youngest was glad they didn't fire them again - he's really not keen on very loud noises). Inside the building, we really liked the model of the whole mill so we could see how it all linked together. 

Youngest was utterly enthralled by the perspex panel in the floor at the top of the mill, that allowed you to look through between your feet, and see the watermill going around.  All three boys were fascinated by the crafts being demonstrated around the place especially the spinning wheel; Eldest also enjoyed the bread-making (and I was a bit in awe of the cooks in those days who had to prepare the oven four hours before they could use it - and then had to get the week's cooking and baking done in the folowing 24hours!); Middle liked watching the woman churning butter, and they all had fun making their own paper crafts in the children's craft area:)  Finally just before we left, to Eldest's joy, we finally found the brick that we'd been looking out for, laid by the chap who restored the mill 250 years ago...

Given that none of my children seem to be that bothered about history in general (so far), the costumes and demonstrations of today certainly held their attention for a good while.   As usual, we grown-ups learned lots too (e.g. did you know that British people were eating curry and kebabs 250 years ago?) - I do love learning alongside the children, and I personally believe that showing them our own enthusiasm for learning is one of the best ways to get them interested as well!  If I was more confident in structured Home Ed, I'd probably be able to get a good few extra 'lessons' in next week off the back of today's visit.  As it is though, I'm just glad that they had a really good time today and  that Eldest and Middle were really interested (Youngest was too, but just not for as long, which is understandable given his age).  Anyway, we'll definitely go back another day (and hopefully it'll hopefully be quieter which will give Mummy an excuse to indulge in a cream tea)!

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