Friday, October 10, 2014

The Adams Family

Not the TV Adams Family.

The John  and John Quincy Adams Family.  

Until recently, I was oblivious to the fact that there was a very nice, nearby, almost free opportunity to visit three homes that were lived in by the Adams family.  Well, that needed to be remedied and made into a field trip.

I want to share a fun tidbit with all the mom's - especially home schooling mom's - who are looking for a fun way to teach some history to their kids.  The National Park Service has the coolest programs for kids!  If you go to their website, http://www.nps.gov/findapark/index.htm you can find parks in  states that have a junior ranger program.  

The Adams National Historical Park has once such program.  The park service provides the kids with a booklet that asks them to find out historical information about the park and complete the pages.  Ours was about the Quincy family and their role in shaping America.  The park service even provides pencils.  If you finish your book, you are given a prize (a patch or pin).  You might as well get some pay back from your tax dollars!

The kids were free and I only had to pay $5 to to taken from home to home in a trolly, where we were given a guided tour of each.  Sweet!!

First we viewed a 26 min. movie at the visitor center while we waited for the trolly.  It gave a good overview of the family history.  

Once we had some facts, we were ready to work on our books while we waited for our turn to tour.  There was a nice gift shop and a few chairs and tables for us to use.

Jake is all about prizes which motivated him to get started.
Zoey and Kate just generally enjoy school work.
The older kids had a harder version of the book to complete.
Jordan meticulously worked on his.
The inside of the books were nicely done.
They worked hard until it was time for the trolly.  It was fun work because it is kind of like a treasure hunt finding all the answers and helping each other.
First Trolly ride!
My heart babies having a great time!
Jordan continues to work on his book while the others just enjoy the ride. { Smile.}
Even Jake was still attempting to fill in some blanks.  Can't miss out on a prize!
First stop were two houses.  One was the birth place of John Adams and the other, John Quincy Adams.  They are only 75 feet apart and sit on their original foundations (the upper parts of the homes have been rebuilt so are not original).  This home was the birthplace of John Adams.
This one was the birthplace of John Quincy Adams and was so close to the street that I couldn't get back far enough to get a shot of the entire house.  No photographs were allowed inside either home.  
The third and final home was the home that John and Abigail moved into after coming home from years of service abroad.  It was built on 75 acres and was only a mile from their original farm house.
There were beautiful gardens around the house.  To the left, is a fabulous library separate from the house.
Meeting our guide as she took us into the Stone Library.  I wish I could have taken pictures inside.  It was an amazing two story room with an incredible number of books.
Chloe had a few blank spaces in her book so she was anxious to complete it and  get her questions answered by one of the park rangers.  The other kids also gathered round to get answers.  Jake clearly has lost interest.
One of the beautiful gates in front of the house.
A nice park ranger offered to take our picture while we waited for the trolly to come and take us back to the visitor center.  They seemed rather fascinated with our large group.  
When we arrived back, the Park Ranger checked all their books, gave them plastic park ranger badges and had a swearing in ceremony so that they could become junior park rangers.   So cute!
It was a very enjoyable afternoon that gave the kids an opportunity for some hands-on history learning.  I highly recommend looking in your state for parks that offer the junior ranger program.

2 comments:

sara said...

looks so fun! I cracked up at the picture of Jake losing interest! :)

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