If I had been a more organized, prepared homeschooling mother I would have checked out books from the library about colonial America and read them to the children last week. I would have researched the history of Williamsburg and astounded the children with my knowledge of crafts, games, architecture, and trades. However, with all that is on my plate I didn't do any of those things- we simply packed a picnic lunch, got everyone a coat, hat, and gloves, tidied the house for the realtor, and drove up in the spitting rain and cold to the Visitor Center for Williamsburg Homeschoolers Week.
The weather quickly improved with the rain stopping and the sun coming out so we spent the day traipsing from the weaver to the bakery, the cabinetmaker to the blacksmith shop. The Powell house was set up with hands-on activities for homeschoolers so Will and Mary made scent bags, played colonial games, played the harpsichord, set the breakfast table, and helped a lot in the kitchen. Even Maggie and Charlie enthusiastically scrubbed carrots and fetched water. Overall, it was hard with the little ones in tow, Charlie was only content with an enormous cookie in hand, but he couldn't enter any of the buildings with it. Luckily, my gracious sister-in-law stayed outside with the babies while I showed the older children the inside of the gunsmith's shop as well as the shoemaker's store.
The animals were a huge hit. Charlie ran up to stroke woolly sheep and patted horse's heads with no fear. They also saw cows, oxen, chickens and avoided horse droppings down the middle of Duke of Gloucester Street.
The other excitement was riding the bus because it was the first time any of the kids had been on one. When we got off the bus for our afternoon stroll poor Charlie had the doors shut him inside the bus with all of us on the sidewalk. I turned around after setting up the stroller, finding him missing and quickly banged on the door. The driver was oblivious and I ran to the front to yell, "Open the back door! There is a a 2 year old still on the bus!" Charlie was tearful and frightened and wasn't quite so enamoured of that mode of transportation for the rest of the day.
Visiting Williamsburg with lots of little ones in tow is certainly a challenge, even with no crowds. However, since we only paid $20 for 7 of us to visit (under 6 were free) we didn't feel any pressure to see every single exhibit. I am glad we went for the day and would recommend a winter trip to the colonial capitol, especially during homeschoolers week.