As a fairly new homeschooling family, I’ve been amazed to discover how many learning opportunities there are for children beyond traditional book learning. We left public school at the beginning of last year and immediately began an online curriculum with teacher support. I believed there had to be structure, and to me ‘structure’ meant textbooks, essays and tests. Boy, was I wrong.
It has taken me two full ‘school’ years to fully realize book learning isn’t all there is. While we have experienced an amazingly wide range of hands-on activities – one more exciting than the other – I would have to say the best, by far, is the most recent. It’s called The Archaeological Perspective and it is a 4-day archaeological camp.
When my daughter was too young to even pronounce the word ‘archaeologist’, she knew that’s what she wanted to be. She called it being a ‘bone hunter’. She’s realized that dream this week in a very small but significant way.
During the camp, the children attending are taught a brief history of the period they will be unearthing. In this case, it is China’s Ch’in Dynasty – 3rd Century BC. Actual artifacts from that period (as well as earlier and later periods) are buried and the children are taught how to properly excavate the area, uncover stunning and fragile objects, handle them carefully and clean them thoroughly.
This is how their site was set up –
And here are some of the remarkable artifacts they unearthed – keep in mind, these are NOT reproductions. They are the actual artifacts.
Daughter is enthralled. She cannot wait each morning to get up and get out there to see what else she’ll discover. She’s actually handling objects made thousands of years ago – THOUSANDS of years ago!!! – and has learned the history of their creation.
After digging for three days, there will be a ‘museum’ presentation of all the artifacts the children have uncovered, and a reception with foods of the region. This is one week out of 12 1/2 years that I’ve actually been happy to have my daughter playing in dirt… and looking like she’s enjoyed every second of it.
Indiana Jones… move over, handsome… there’s a new Indy in town.