Thursday, March 16, 2017

Field Trip: Audubon State Historic Site

Speaking of field trips . . . I'm still catching up . . . the Audubon State Historic Site hosted Jane Austen Day for our homeschool group last month.  It's the location of Oakley plantation house where John James Audubon lived while tutoring and painting his famed Birds of America collection.
The house itself is a bit different from the image that might come to mind at the word "plantation."  It's a classic example of Anglo-American architecture.  We've had such a warm, nonexistent winter that the azaleas bloomed really early this year.  They were particularly beautiful on this mid-February day.
The site is located in one of my favorite little Louisiana towns, St. Francisville.  I love the drive, and the town is absolutely beautiful.  I consider it Louisiana's hill country, but I think most would probably think of it as plantation country because of the many plantations there.  It was actually a bit cool and overcast on this particular day, but it was a perfect day for a field trip.  The kids rotated through different stations demonstrating what life was like during Jane Austen's day and the early 19th century.
Our first stop was a gun demonstration likened to the War of 1812.
Mason said he really couldn't choose a favorite station because he enjoyed several of them, but I'd have to say his favorite was the games.  He spent most of the morning here and kept going back to this one.

The girls enjoyed this one as well.

This was Mason's favorite game, and he actually excelled at it.
While Mason was still playing games, the girls and I visited the food station.  A whole chicken and a pot of beans were roasting over an open fire.  I'm just so thankful for the open fire on my indoor gas cooktop, my oven and my microwave.

I found this next one to be super interesting.  I missed the beginning of his little presentation, but he was essentially taking lead and melting it down and then putting it in a small mold to make bullets.  It was really neat.

Hannah Kate's favorite station, which really shocked me, was the one in which the kids learned how to stand in ranks, hold a gun and march to battle.

This was quite a process, and the guy had his work cut out for him.  After they learned how to correctly and properly manage their guns, he taught them the different marching commands and then instructed them to march accordingly.

I think they did pretty good, but it took quite a bit of instruction to get them there.
And, as for Ellie, she wanted no part of it.  She kept thinking they really were going to shoot a gun so she stood there most of the time with her fingers in her ears or there about.
And, by the time the marching commenced, she was as far away as she could possibly get while still keeping us in eyesight.
We stopped by the plant and medicine station for a minute, but Mason quickly returned to the games.  The girls and I headed over to the courtyard garden.

The last activity was a tour through the first two floors of the house.
I'd love to eventually tour all of the plantation homes in St. Francisville.  This one is now closed for a year because they're beginning a huge exterior restoration project.  I'd love to go back when it's finished.

On the drive home, the kids said this was another field trip they really enjoyed.  My favorite part is having fun while learning.  And I get to do it with them!

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