Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Visiting Mt Vernon

We braved the traffic and visited Mt. Vernon on Homeschool Day. I was delighted to see so many homeschoolers turn out for this event. We even managed to see a family we knew. Unfortunately my camera was not charged, because somebody (ehem) unplugged my camera charger unbeknownst to me.

The tour of the home was quick. You could not appreciate the swiftness of the tour, unless you were the one standing outside waiting. Nonetheless, it was full of bedrooms that hosted the many visitors Washington received. Not to undermine the nostalgia of this home, but once you've seen one historic home, you've seen them all. Though I peered into Mr. Washington's bedroom I thought it rude to intrude on his privacy, although curiosity would have killed me if I were denied the privilege.

The view from the front yard was breathtaking! The home was pefectly situated overlooking the Potomac River. The autumn leaves still cast their hues upon the landscape and reflected their glory on the river. We truly enjoyed the walk around the gardens and more than a camera wished I had pen and paper to copy the beautiful, poetic, quotations of Mr. Washington. We learned that he really desired to be a farmer and had wonderful ideas like a natural fence of trees to keep the deer away.

The most treasured moment was Sweetness paying tribute to Mr. Washington by placing a red carnation at his tombsite.

We've had a really good time reading about George Washington this week. I was thinking we should have read about him before our trip. However, the visit to Mt. Vernon peaked the children's interest and now they listen tentatively and beg for more.

One thing that strikes me in our research is George Washington's education. His formal learning began at age eleven. He basically taught himself by doing copywork and reading. He spent a lot of time outdoors. Then at age 16 he found his grandfather's surveying tools and started his own surveying business. Quite the stark contrast of what we subject our youth to in today's education system.

One unsettling, undetermined question pervades me. Was George Washington a Christian? Will Mr. Washington be in heaven, well, I don't know. I wouldn't be surprised if it couldn't be so.