Once upon a time, for seven years, living history was a part of every Wednesday through Sunday. From April to October, my boyfriend then husband, would leave the house around seven dressed for the 1600s. In the evening he'd return smelling of fire and covered in the project of the day. Cattail pieces from weaving mats or bark or something we couldn't identify stuck to his long brown hair, red Virginia clay permanently took up residence under his fingernails, blood from skinning a hide or walnut dye or bloodroot had dried on his linen trade shirt. A new wound probably joined the scars on his hands. Building and maintaining, interpreting, leading school groups, in a full size village, ALONE, was not simple feat. He'd kiss me and smile, because though this job had its trials, there was no where else he'd rather be, and I'd sweep up the size 14 dirt prints that followed him from door to shower.
Last week we joined hundreds of other homeschoolers for Conner Prairie's homeschool days. We (seven kids and three mamas) walked back into the 1800s to meet traders and naturalists, other mamas roasting squash and tending to gardens, play games made from corn cobs and pieces of leather, relive a civil war battle, share our lunch with bees, and look for suspicious characters because we, it turns out, were the law around those parts.
While four year old feet (and a 36 year old back from carrying a backpack and four year old with tired feet) were tired, it was hard to step back into 2014. Learning through living history engages each sense and cements ideas, facts, story onto us in a way other types of learning just can't.
It's the best kind of learning, you know, the kind where you are so caught up in being present (or past- HA) and engaged that you forget you're learning.
I guess it's called living, although I'm not sure I felt particularly alive for most of my education.
Thankful for a chance to learn differently and for the chai that made the long drive home the perfect end to a truly wonderful way to spend a day.
Be well and happy beginning of the week,