Every year the museum at Heritage Square opens itself up to homeschoolers for a fun, hands on and interactive field trip, and they call it Homeschool Days at Heritage Square. It was one that would be hard to do with a very large group of people. We got in and learned a lot about how life was at the turn of the 1900s.
First the staff split us all up into a few groups, to keep the groups as small as they could, since there wasn’t much space inside the Heritage Square house. One group learned the games of that era that children played, another group went on a guided tour through the house, and a third group learned the chores that were required and expected as daily life at the beginning of the 1900s.
The kids really had a lot of fun learning the various games that kids like them used to play, ya know before there was TV or video games. They realized that many of the things kids used to play with were re-purposed ordinary things from around their house. It helped them to think outside the box about things that we have in our house now.
The house tour was fascinating to us all. The kids noticed the lack of things inside, like the missing TV and electronic toys, and noted the special things that many people no longer have in their home. They also noticed the surprising color of the ceiling, and the fact they decorated the ceiling in many different designs.
When told they had to learn and perform routine chores like a child would in the early 1900s our kids were filled with dread. They wanted their field trip to be fun, not a chore! But to their surprise, they found those daily chores to be quite fun and it was a challenge for us parents to get them to stop doing the chores to go have lunch.
Overall it was a wonderful field trip that everyone should try to incorporate at some point. We are so glad that we participated in Homeschool Days at Heritage Square. The benefit of reflecting on the lives of some in the past helps to renew focus on the important things of now. The way they thought about things was so different, from how they recycled things (before it was called recycling) to how they thought about electricity, to how they functioned as a family.