Williamsburg has become one of my favorite places for a homeschool hands-on learning day. The area has so much to offer with lots of outdoor activities for kids. We typically visit Williamsburg several times a year, and we always leave with so many fun memories as a family. As a homeschool mom, I love finding ways to incorporate learning into any activity.
There are so many easy ways to incorporate an educational lesson into a family trip to Williamsburg. Whether your kids are doing virtual learning, homeschooling, or in-person learning, Williamsburg is the perfect place for fun and educational activities. Follow along for our homeschool day in Williamsburg.
Our first stop was Jamestown Settlement for a history lesson. I love that Jamestown Settlement is great for all school-age kids. My daughter is in kindergarten, and she had so much fun with all the hands-on activities and exploring what Jamestown Settlement has to offer. Jamestown Settlement tells the story of Virginia in the 17th-century, from the arrival of English colonists in 1607 to the encounters and events that planted the seeds of a new nation. We enjoyed exploring life during the 17th century in outdoor re-creations of the Powhatan Indian Village and life-size re-creations of ships.
One of our favorite parts of Jamestown Settlement is the expansive gallery exhibits and introductory films describing the cultures of the settlement’s people. The “From Africa to Virginia” theater highlights some of the experiences of Africans in Virginia, including a visual timeline of slavery. It is a great, detailed explanation that all ages can understand. I explained what we were listening to and seeing to my daughter as we walked through the gallery.
As a homeschool mom, I’m always looking for free resources to help reinforce my lessons, and Jamestown Settlement has a wide variety of online resources for families like us. There are lesson plans based on the Virginia standards of learning, videos, and fun activities for school-aged kids. Check out all the free teaching tools to incorporate into your lessons.
Lunch at Food for Thought Restaurant
We took a break for lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, Food for Thought. This restaurant features pictures of inventors, scientists, and social leaders. We took the opportunity to discuss some of the prominent figures featured throughout the restaurant. I encouraged my daughter to look at the pictures and ask me any questions to begin an open discussion.
Having lunch at restaurants with a diverse menu is also a great way to discuss cultures around the world. Food for Thought has a wide variety of options, from American to ethnic dishes, seafood specialties, and vegetarian options. I always encourage my daughter to try out new foods whenever we go to restaurants.
During lunch time, we typically discuss healthy food choices. Here are four questions you can ask your kids during lunch:
- What is your favorite vegetable? What is your favorite fruit?
- What food on your plate contains healthy proteins?
- Name 2-3 healthy drink options.
- Discuss 3-4 reasons why it’s important to eat healthy foods.
Based on the age of your child, you can go more in-depth about healthy choices. Starting the conversation about healthy food is important so kids can be encouraged to make healthy food choices throughout their life. I recommend keeping the conversation no longer than 5-10 minutes.
Explore Colonial Williamsburg Arboretum
Our next stop was exploring the beautiful Colonial Williamsburg Arboretum. There are so many great opportunities here for homeschoolers and their families to experience revolutionary education, not to mention appreciate the gorgeous landscape. I recommend stopping by the Colonial Garden where you can meet historic gardeners, handle some of the gardening tools, and learn about herbs, vegetables, and flowers.
As a way to supplement homeschool lessons, Colonial Williamsburg has Homeschool Days. On these specific days, homeschoolers and their families can discover history at a discounted rate! You can find virtual tours, educational videos, and activity sheets here.
The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden is a fun and relaxing place for homeschoolers and their families. Their menu includes creamy milk tea, fresh fruit juice, sweet ice cream, and fluffy waffles. As a homeschool mom, I understand the importance of positive reinforcement and rewards for kids. When kids have something positive to look forward to, you will also see positive behaviors. Here is a homeschool tip that has worked very well with my daughter: Create a reward chart with stars for your child. When they get a certain amount of stars, you can reward them with something. Based on the age of your child, the reward might be daily, weekly, or monthly.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
On Fridays, we typically participate in a “Field Trip Fun Friday:” Today, we ventured to Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum. Ripley’s has the “odditorium” with over 350 exhibits, the 4D Theater, laser race, and CatFish Cove Mini Golf.
Here is a homeschool tip that you can incorporate into your weekly routine: Make a list of fun field trips that your kids would love to go on, and place them on a calendar for fun Friday activities. Your kids will look forward to these weekly adventures.
I am amazed at how much my daughter was able to learn during our homeschool day in Williamsburg. We had so much fun at all the indoor and outdoor exhibits. The trip was the perfect combination of educational and hands-on activities. We’ll definitely return to Williamsburg for more homeschool days. So, if you get the chance, definitely take a family trip to Williamsburg!