Sunday, 16 September 2012

'Not back to school' week

Every year, as a home educating family, we celebrate 'not going back to school' as the parks, libraries, zoos and museums become less full. Usually we have a quiet picnic somewhere in a natural setting and the children have time to explore but this year we thought we would try something different. So we started off the week with a trip to a theme park, the children had a fabulous time and we didn't have to queue for a single ride.

The week coincided with the Heritage open days, and many historical places were open to experience absolutely FREE of charge. To take advantage of this opportunity we chose four activities or places to explore and got set for a very busy few days. 

The photograph above shows the booklets we have collected from each activity for the children to keep and read to help them remember our days out. The first place we visited was a church from our area which had recently had restoration work completed, we had a member of the church take us on a private guided tour and tell us the history of the building and answered all our questions.

Then to the great delight of the children we took a open topped bus tour of our city usually aimed at tourists, so the commentary told us the historic facts of all the places we passed. This was very exciting for the children and not something you usually do when you have lived somewhere for a long time.

Next we took the chance to visit a museum which has been closed for several years having refurbishments done, so the children had never been. we loved this museum it told the history of our city, with many stories of the local people and industries through the ages. We explored an amazingly reconstructed old pharmacy, our city through WW2 and even spent some time relaxing in a 1950's lounge. 

Lastly we went to the castle museum and art gallery, we visit here quite regularly and really enjoyed the costumed characters that were walking about on the open day. My favourite section is the celebration of the Victorians and their collections and documentation of the world around them. Also the food available to the castle occupants in medieval times which was laid out for us to see today. The children loved all the interactive displays and things they are allowed to touch and they also got the chance to ride in a chariot in the Boudicca section.

Overall we had so much fun and had the chance to learn so much about the city we live in, surprisingly, we have decided to visit some more places. I have also managed to get a book from our library about the history of our city from a children's perspective, which is proving very popular.


  1. When S was really into second world war in the spring we found all sorts of local connections to the war in our village - we found that a Peckham school was evacuated here and some of the children stayed on - our local librarian knew them and so we talked to them. I love how my children talk to all ages in our local area. It puts many things in context to see them as relevant to nearby.

    1. The children are quite interested at the moment, we have also been watching wartime farm :)

  2. Sounds as though they had a grand few days :) It is really interesting to see the area you live in 'as a tourist' every so often.

    Hope all are well :)

    1. oh we definitely did and we are all very well, hope you are too, ...:)