Sunday, May 20, 2012

We're Back!

We got back from our Nashville trip yesterday evening.  I am glad to be back in my own bed.  It is so hard to go from a king sized bed to a double bed!

View of the Parthenon and Centennial Park from our hotel room.

We took the kids out to eat our first night in town.  They had a blast!

We had another fun adventure on this trip to Music City.  While Hubby was in his conference, the kids and I explored the area.  (I try to incorporate as many learning experiences as possible for our homeschooling adventure.) 

The children and I visited the Parthenon in Nashville. We could see the massive structure from our hotel room.  They couldn't wait to see it up close and personal.  So we crossed the street to explore Centennial Park and visit the Parthenon.

Making our way to the Parthenon.
We learned about the park and other tidbits of history, as we walked along the path leading to the lake.  Little Man and Egee made inferences as to why the lake had so much algae growing in it.  They counted the goslings and surveyed the other fowl in the park.  We encountered several large koi at one end of the lake.  Little Man spotted a bridge, but became disappointed when he discovered it did not span over water and only led to a garden.

Geese and algae in the lake.

We approached the Parthenon and they relished in the architecture.  We entered and explored the art gallery in the basement.  I asked the children questions about the paintings and soon they were looking deeper at the paintings and coming up with stories about the paintings.

We went upstairs to the interior of the Parthenon.  There stood a forty-two foot high statue of Athena.  She is gilded in gold and the mere size was breathtaking.  The children stared at her in amazement and looked at every detail.  We referenced the size of Nike, the spear, and the shield to objects familiar to us.    This put everything into perspective for the children.

Standing in front of Athena.  She is holding Nike (he is 6'5 ft tall!)

When we finished with the Parthenon, the children found the playground and spent time exploring.  We then went back to the hotel and swam almost all afternoon.

Monkey on the monkey bars!
He just got flippers.

Water fight!

The next morning we explored Mansker's Station.  This proved to be a real gem.  Just 15 minutes north of Nashville in Goodletstville.

Sun was in his eyes.

We were given a personal tour of Mansker's Fort and the Bowen House.  It is a wonderful living history experience!  The children were able to see objects we have read about and see men create many objects like frontiersmen had done.  

They were able to help work the bellow at the blacksmith shop.  Little Man thought that it was great fun to pull on the rope to make the bellow blow.   Egee found out how single pulleys work.  The blacksmith explained how using the lever on the bellow was much more easy to use than the pulley system.

Bill, our guide, was carving a design on his powder-horn and began dyeing it in a vat of boiling water that contained bod-ark bark.  The mixture was providing a greenish antique quality to the horn.  He took his time showing the children how he carved the design and what purpose this particular horn would serve. 

We made our way from the fort to the Bowen House.  We learned the history of Captain Bowen and the other families that owned the house.  We saw three different periods of furnishing in the house ranging from late 1700's to mid 1800's.  The children were especially fond of the upstairs children's bedroom.  There they found various toys the Bowen children would have played with in the early 1800's.

Playing with Jacob's ladder.

Playing with ball and cup.

The tour lasted close to two hours and is very child friendly.  The guides encourage the children to touch objects and explore.  If you ever get a chance to visit Nashville, this is a must see!

We cannot wait to return to Nashville in the fall.  We will be exploring Civil War sites, as our studies will center upon the war between the states in the fall.  We hope to find other gems like Manskers Station.