Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Biltmore Estate

We are planning a trip to Biltmore on Sunday.  My father has never been to Biltmore and my mother wants the family to go together to celebrate my father's birthday.  So plans have been made.

I love going to Biltmore during the holidays!  The Christmas decorations are up and the house seems so magical.  The children have not seen the estate decorated, so I can't wait for them to take it all in.

Now being the typical home schooling mother/teacher, I am using this visit as an educational experience.  Can't waste an opportunity to learn!  I scoured the Biltmore website for educational material, but couldn't find any material for school groups.  So I Googled for resources.  I stumbled upon a nice packet of material and printed it.  The material was produced by the Biltmore Company.

This morning, I read the information to the children.  They were amazed at how big the banquet hall is in the house.  In fact, our house and most other houses could fit inside the banquet hall!  We learned the house has forty-three bathrooms and thirty-three bedrooms.  They both agreed they would hate to have to clean all those bathrooms.

We read about the history of the Vanderbilts.  How they made their money.  We related dates to events we had studied previously.  This set the time period for the children to better understand what the Vanderbilts were encountering.  We learned how Vanderbilt University got its name and why they are called the Commodores.  We did the math and determined how old different family members were when they died.  Then we learned why Christmas time is so special to the Biltmore Estate.

Tomorrow, I will pick up a book at the library on the Biltmore Estate.  We will be able to look at pictures and further our discussion.  The children will hopefully have new perspective on the estate when we visit.  They can be the tour guides for their grandparents, aunt and cousins.