Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

Renaissance-y Goodness

Every year, the Texas Renaissance Festival hosts 2 School Days in November. We went with our homeschool group this past Tuesday and had The. Best. Time. I remember now why I made it a policy to attend at least once every year, and am appalled that it’s been this long (YEARS. a lot of them…) since I have been back…

It’s incredible to me how many learning opportunities there are to be had at something like this. We started working on our Renaissance Lapbook on Monday, and so between the prep beforehand and then actually going and seeing history and technology ‘alive’ one the day of – it’s such a great way for the kids to learn!

We started the morning with a performance by costumed performers playing traditional Scottish songs on the bagpipes and Highland Dancing. The children all agreed that both the dancing and the pipes required a great deal of skill and were suitably impressed with the talent. After that, we went for a demonstration at the Blacksmith’s shop. He made a dinner bell and the kids were fascinated with the process. PeaGreen spent the entire rest of the day asking to go back, and when we finally made our way back around there he did end up watching for almost an hour.

After that, we caught the glass blowing demo. This was LittleBoyBlue’s favorite part (though later on he said it was the blacksmith, too). She made a flared vase. It was neat because there was a narrator explaining everything that the artisan was doing and why. Of all the demos, I think this one was where the kids really learned the most.

After the glass blowing, we wandered for a bit, looking at shops and admiring the people in-costume, then headed over to the jousting arena and had a pretzel. Bella was chosen to present one of the knights with her ‘favor’ – a ribbon for his lance.

After jousting, we again checked out some of the artisans and tradespeople, then made our way over to one of the many stages for Tartanic. If you haven’t seen these guys, I highly recommend that you do so. Their mission is to ‘bring the bagpipes to the masses’. Bagpipe dance music… that’s all I’m gonna say. The kids were all hungry by this point, so it was a challenge to get them all sitting still and cooperative, but once the drums started, the lot of them were completely enchanted.

After lunch, we took a stroll around the other side of the park and stopped by the Globe Stage to see the Pirates perform. They told a bunch of really bad jokes (that were funny anyway) and sang pirate songs. It was quite the pARGH!ty, if you’ll pardon the pun.

After that, we split from the group and snagged souvenirs – the kids both got magic stones and I snagged an awesome coined scarf (mush like the one below) that I have been wearing all day today, jingling everywhere I go.

The kids also got a last-minute demo and briefing on Chinese weaponry from a passing pirate (who took offense at Bella’s use of technology during a Renaissance Faire). He teased the kids a bit and was, in all, a great way to end the day.

I had an absolutely unparalleled day of goodness and fun. I have made a renewed commitment to myself to go out there again soon (though I think without the children). I forgot how much I enjoy stuff like that.

…and so endeth our Renaissance Festival field trip, but the lessons don’t stop there! PB&JMom made a RenFaire Lapbook that we’ve been working on and adding into our Renaissance Lapbook (which will all be posted maybe tomorrow). It was really surprising to me how much the boys took in yesterday. We’ve had such a great couple of days, and it’s days like this that reinforce my decision to be a homeschooling mom.

Warmly,

~h

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7 responses

  1. Oh I miss Texas RenFest! We haven’t been since the kids were born. I’m planning our renaissance unit for next fall, so it will all be fresh in Ella’s mind when we make a trip out there.
    Did you guys just schedule a trip or was it an actual Homeschool Day? I’m wondering how it compares to going on the weekends.

    November 4, 2010 at 8:19 am

    • It’s not a ‘home’ school day – just school days. There were a ton of school kids there, but mostly high school aged – not a lot of littles.

      Personally, I’m not bothered by the more adult content during the weekends, but many are; school days have less skin showing and less weaponry and adult beverages and such. Some of the charm is perhaps lost, but a good overall experience if you’re more conservative.

      I’d take the kids anytime 🙂 Our group is going next year for school days if you’d like to meet up. The details are up on the TXRenFest website and our plans will be on our group calendar http://www.trianglehomeschoolers.com as soon as they post the dates for next year.
      ~h

      November 4, 2010 at 12:21 pm

  2. We did the Maryland Renfest twice this year and both times it was awesome. We also saw about a million things that we’ve tied into school. Since we’re doing the middle ages and the Renaissance this year, I even let the kids rent costumes as a treat.

    November 4, 2010 at 9:37 am

    • Oh, fun! I’d love to dress the kids up, too, but they’re like their Dad – not so much into the costuming goodness, lol. Maybe one day 🙂
      ~h

      November 4, 2010 at 12:38 pm

  3. PB&J

    Me thinks it was a grand day lassy.

    November 4, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    • Aye. I’m inclined to agree 😉 You haven’t blogged about it yet. My readers (and yours) are used to 3 perspectives on the same event by now… we can’t disappoint them! Get to it! {whip crack}
      ~h

      November 4, 2010 at 2:03 pm

  4. it’s done, sarcastic and cheeky but done.

    November 5, 2010 at 9:16 pm

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