Hands-on Homeschool: Living History Days

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Today my family attended Living History Days hosted by Vision Heirs in Colorado. They are offered twice a year in our state, and I know that similar opportunities take place all over the country. If you have the chance to attend one, I highly recommend it! I can’t think of a better way to give your children a hands-on homeschool experience in a well-organized historical setting.

Living History Day

Our Living History Days this spring was set in the spring of 1780, featuring 18th century costumed interpreters, more than a dozen hands-on activities for children and adults, a period drama, and two live battle re-enactments. So many different aspects of colonial life were brought to life for the chidren to experience — from agriculture and woodworking to blacksmiths, gunsmiths, trappers, camp “followers” and cooks — and each tent included demonstrations and story-telling by lively colonial characters. We even got to take a family photo fully decked out in period clothing!

Living History Day Period Clothing

Getting dressed in our colonial best before our family photo

Even though we’re not currently studying this particular period in history, we did recently study the Jamestown settlement and are almost done with our Pilgrims unit study, so the girls related to many of the projects we got to try. When Living History Days returns to Colorado in the fall, they’ll be covering the year 1781, so there will be new dramas and battles to watch.

Highlights from our Living History Day:

 

Living History Colonial School

Attending colonial school

Living History Quill Writing

Doing copywork with quills and ink

Living History Gunsmiths

Watching the gunsmiths at work

Living History Laundry

Doing laundry with the “camp followers”

Living History Making Butter

Churning fresh butter — it was delicious!

Living History Making Cornbread

Making colonial cornbread

Living History Military Guns

Checking out military weapons

Living History Sisters Woodworking

Big sis & littlest sis woodworking together

Living History Woodworking

 Drilling holes the old-fashioned way

My girls enjoyed every minute of this experience, and now that I know what to expect, I plan to do a little history prep at home before we attend the next one. I’m also thinking about period costumes — but I’ll have to learn to sew first!

Have you ever attending a living history day? What were some of your favorite activities? If not, how have you brought history to life in your homeschool? Let us know in the comments below!

Renée Gotcher is a wife, writer, editorial consultant, and home-educating mother of three daughters. She has been married for 26 years to her best friend Kenny, whom she met while attending Oral Roberts University in the early 90s. Renée was homeschooled during her last two years of high school and started homeschooling in 2010. A former journalist, she is currently editor of NextGen Homeschool and blogs on personal topics at A New Chapter. Her family lives in Castle Rock, Colorado.

6 thoughts on “Hands-on Homeschool: Living History Days

    1. I’m trying to get us out more… we have missed two of these already and now that I’ve been to one, I am sorry we ever missed them! Glad they do it twice a year near us. It’s such a wonderful learning experience and the best part for me — all the supplies are there! 😉

  1. Great pictures! We love doing these kinds of things, but haven’t dressed up for them before. We’ve saved that for our co-ops. That’s probably good because my boys may have rebelled. 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up.

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