Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Little White House

I am loving the opportunity to go on so many field trips with the girls while we home school! They love the variety and the experiences. Recently we went to Warm Springs, GA to visit FDR's home away from home, the Little White House.

Before you tour the house, you go through a museum.  After watching a 12 minute movie, we saw some interesting exhibits.  They saw FDR's leg braces:
Catherine loves pushing buttons, even if she has no idea what the buttons do.  Nor does she spend more than two seconds waiting to see what happens when she pushes the button:
My father came on this trip (poor Robby has to work every day and misses nearly all of these field trips). He tried to explain to the girls what an icebox was:
Catherine saw the carriage from afar and ran over to it, hoping she would see a princess:
The girls were not impressed by FDR's cane collection, but I was.  Some of them were intricately carved with images like FDR's portrait, the presidential seal, etc.
The girls were impressed with the fountain.  My Dad tried to teach them the "proper" way to throw a coin in a fountain, with your back to the fountain and over your shoulder (this technique is used at the Trevi Fountain in Rome).
Sabrina kept turning around as she was throwing the coin, which meant that half the time the coin ended up at my feet instead of in the water.
Catherine was able to throw the coin behind her, but she still turned around to see where it landed:
 I loved the little Secret Service huts on the grounds:
 And the Marine Corps huts (I am not sure why both those organizations protected FDR?):
 My Dad tried to explain to the girls how these houses were heated by stoves instead of central heat:
Catherine pledging allegiance to a 48 star flag.  We tried to explain the historical signifigance of the 48 star flag, but she would not stand still long enough.
 The girls running up to the Little White House:
 Another ice box!  This one was open, so I think the girls could understand better how it worked.
 FDR's bed:
 Elanor's bed:
 Sabrina trying to read the map:
After touring the house, we went to the Pools and Springs.  This is one of the wooden stretchers patients laid on in the pools:
There was no water in the pools, but it was very neat to be able to tour them.  They looked very sophisticated for the time period:
 The highlight of the trip for the girls was playing in the spring:
 The water is 88 degrees coming out of the ground.  The girls loved it:
 They both got soaking wet:
Sabrina especially got soaked.  I was not prepared for this and they had to wear wet clothes the rest of the day.  I didn't even think to bring a change of clothes.
My Dad found an old fashioned towel squeezer next to the pools, so he tried to get some of the excess water out of Sabrina's t-shirt:
I love to visit all kinds of museums, parks, historical places, etc.  I always have.  I can't wait until the girls are old enough that we can take them to Europe and I can show them all the places I have traveled.  But, I never know if the girls get anything out of the trips.  They seem to enjoy them and I know that exposing them to a wide variety of experiences is beneficial.

But, we all have a finite amount of time.  I always wonder if a particular field trip is the best use of our time or not.  Is it truly educational?  Will they remember any of it?  Should I wait until they are older?  Should I wait until we actually study American History?

Fortunately, with this trip, I soon got my answer.  The very next morning after this trip I grabbed a t-shirt out of my drawer without thinking.  It happened to be one of my mother's old Washington DC shirts, with drawings of a bunch of DC sights on it.  Catherine saw the t-shirt and immediately pointed to the White House on it and said "The Little White House - that's where we went yesterday!"  I was so impressed.  I had to explain to her the difference between the White House and the Little White House, but I was still thrilled that she recalled something from the trip.

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