Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Mariner's Museum

Every so often, I spend a day or two making lists upon lists of things for which I am thankful. Right now I am making a list of all the things I am thankful about homeschooling. As I've mentioned before, Hampton Roads is a killer place to homeschool. We're surrounded by museums that understand kids and the needs of homeschooling families.

Another favorite museum of mine is The Mariner's Museum in Newport News.

They are holding their next homeschool day on May 15th from 10am to 4pm.

Their pirate's program is a great enticement for the Silverberg twins
Pirates! The Love & Lore
This sample program introduces young students to the lives and adventures of pirates. Typical pirate weapons and examples of the money in use during that time are presented, as well as slides of the pirates and their signature flags. This program is offered every hour, on the half-hour from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and is limited to 30 students each. Appropriate for K-4th graders.

As an immigrant, I couldn't be happier to have landed in Virginia, this state so steeped in American History. When I arrived in the US, I immediately started learning about the revolutionary war and the work that went into crafting the Constitution. Now that I am a citizen, I am learning about the war between the states.

I've always been fascinated by how great leaps in technology happen during times of war. Here at the Mariner's Museum we have the world's premier exhibit of the civil war era iron clad ships.

The Exhibits
At the heart of the USS Monitor Center is the exhibition—a melding of artifacts, original documents, paintings, personal accounts, interactives and environments that will pique all five senses. The strategies, people, technology and science behind the historic circumstances surrounding this story will be displayed in a way the public has never before seen.

Visitors will be able to:
• Maneuver a sailing frigate in battle
• Walk down a mock dock between a wooden sailing frigate and CSS Virginia
• Step inside the “battle theater” and experience the action during the Battle of Hampton Roads
• Visit the living quarters of the sailors, see inside the real turret or walk on the deck of a full-scale reproduction of the vessel that changed naval warfare

The Conservation Facility
This state-of-the-art facility will provide visitors with a front-row seat in watching the delicate process of preserving history.

The conservation facility will offer visitors:
• A first-hand look at conservation of the turret, steam engine and much more...
• A much needed resource for training, research and consultation in the conservation field
• Exhibits on the fascinating blend of the art and science of conservation

We discovered the perfect book to compliment a visit to the Mariner's Museum, Iron Thunder

The I Witness books are accessible, action-packed, first-person historical narratives illustrated with primary source material -- period illustrations, photographs, and maps -- to make the history concrete and vivid.

When his father is killed fighting for the Union in the War Between the States, thirteen-year-old Tom Carroll must take a job to help support his family. He manages to find work at a bustling ironworks in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York, where dozens of men are frantically pounding together the strangest ship Tom has ever seen. A ship made of iron.

Tom soon learns that the Union army has very important plans for this iron ship called the Monitor. It is supposed to fight the Confederate “sea monster” -- another ironclad, the Merimac. But almost no one believes the Monitor will float!

Meanwhile, Tom’s job at the ironworks has made him a target of Confederate spies who offer him money for information about the ship. Tom finds himself caught between two certain dangers: an encounter with murderous spies and a battle at sea in an iron coffin. . . .

As with Nauticus, my kids also enjoy the peripheral activities at this museum. We love to meander through their magnificent 550 acre woodland park and to row upon Lake Maury. Not to be missed is the famous Lion’s Bridge, a dam that provides a breathtaking view of the James River. I

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