Sunday, June 30, 2013

Washington D.C. Part 2: The Art Galleries

The next few days in the Washington D.C. area were pretty much filled with the usual tourist sightseeing hot spots.  I have to admit that I knew my nature girl would be very attracted to the green and natural places, like the U.S. Botanic Garden and the Butterfly Pavilion at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History:

I was a little surprised, however, at how many Art Galleries and Museums she chose to visit.  Or maybe I just didn't realize how including artist and picture study in our days has become another amazingly wonderful natural part of our lives.  Days in which she now can appreciate and seek the beauty for herself:


She was tickled about "Miners in the Sierras" it was part of our CA History year.

Her appreciation did not stop at the galleries either.  We visited places where she would comment on how much she enjoyed statues, murals, mosaics, and structures:


I'm always pleased to see my children enjoy themselves this way, but I have to admit my favorite part is when they want to share the connections they've made with other areas they've feasted on as well.  This makes for such delightful and pleasant days ; )
"We cannot measure the influence that one or another artist has upon the child's sense of beauty, upon his power of seeing, as in a picture, the common sights of life; he is enriched more than we know in having really looked at even a single picture."
-Charlotte Mason, Volume 1 Home Education, pg 202 in the 2008 Wilder Publication

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Washington D.C. in June Part 1

My 9yo daughter and I recently returned from a memorable trip to the east coast.  It started with some wonderful time spent in the very green and cozy Ferrum College campus in Ferrum, Virginia; site of the Charlotte Mason Institute Conference.  This was a great event.  Both my daughter and I found comfort and comradery in an amazing CM community.  Everyone we met was lovely and I'm, honestly, still mulling over the abundance of thoughts and wisdom I gained.

The lake was her favorite spot on the campus.
Energized and refreshed we headed to D.C. for a special mother-daughter sightseeing vacation.   I've done this trip before with my oldest daughter and knowing well that my girls are two unique individuals I wasn't quiet sure what our destinations points would be this time. Well, I was right.  I ended up visiting different places because my nature girl had a few things already in mind ; )

After attending mass at the nearby church of St. Mary in Alexandria we headed to George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate (just a gorgeous drive down the Parkway along the Potomac):

She's trying to figure out what she wants to add to her nature journal

 She chose the Cone Flower ; ) because it was the pinkest one there

"Look he practiced copy work too!"  She couldn't get over that.


Next, we spent some time near the National Mall and nearby monuments; as well a quick look at the White House:

Thus, concluded our very busy first day in the D.C. area.  I'll leave you with this friends:

There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.”  
-George Washington
address to Congress, 8 January, 1790