Tuesday, December 18, 2012


We recently visited the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, GA as a field trip.  My father and another home school family joined us.  It was a rainy, dreary day but the children had a great time and were introduced (a little) to monastic life.  They loved the fountain:
The museum included a brief history of Christianity.  It is hard to tell in this picture, but there is a painting of the Christians being killed by lions in the Colosseum.  The exhibit described how Constantine legalized Christianity and Pentecost caused the early Church to spread.  These events are detailed in the Timeline we are learning in Classical Conversations, so the kids loved it:
This section talked about Saint Benedict and the beginnings of monasticism.  We just finished studying the Middle Ages and the role of monasteries in spreading the church.
This particular monastery is apparently famous for its bonsai gardens.  The kids loved all the miniature trees:
 Part of the monastery included a museum about monastic life, with a sample monk's room:
These monks, according to the video, built the monastery themselves.  Some of the construction supplies used were on display.
Here was a great display about a typical day in the life of a monk:
 Our kids completely ignored this sign:
Fortunately, there were very few people in the museum while we were there.  This display altar had kneeling benches.  We taught the kids how to kneel & pray before an altar.  Sabrina prayer was quite succinct: "Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for me.  Amen."  She then got up and started running again.
As part of the emphasis on Bonsai trees, there was a huge garden center of supplies, including tons of different types of wire for Bonsai trees:
 Lots of Bonsai pots:
 And, of course, tons of trees:

 Some of these trees were several hundred dollars, and a few were over a thousand dollars.

 They had some sample "fairy gardens" on display:
We also got to tour the church:
 They had a neat stable display:
 And tons of stained glass:
This was a fun, informative field trip.  My girls were disappointed that we did not get to see any actual monks (other than in the video).  The Visitor Center, Museum, and Gardens are all public friendly.  The monks apparently isolate themselves from the public.

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