Saturday, April 14, 2012


I finally managed to narrow down and edit our photos from our trip to the George Washington Carver National Monument! When we're in Missouri (or traveling anywhere for that matter), we always like to fit in some educational outings. I truly believe that traveling and visiting places like this make a huge impact on learning. You can learn a lot from books, but sometimes it takes travel to really make things real to you and spark you to learn more. Through homeschooling, we had read a lot about the civil war, but it really became real to the kids when we visited the battlefield last spring break. Alex loves the show How it's Made, but got so much more out of visiting an actual working factory last summer. This trip we decided to visit the George Washington Carver National Monument. Clara hadn't really studied him yet, but Alex had.

We happened to have really good timing this visit. When we walked in, we were informed that the movie would be starting in about 5 minutes. We took a quick bathroom break and then settled to watch the movie. It was extremely informative and kept everyone's attention. After that, we went to the desk to pick up the Junior Ranger booklets (or did we get those before the movie? hmmm... not sure now). The kids immediately started working on the activities. At this point we were the only ones in the whole museum area! We had the place to ourselves!

After hitting the main floor, we headed upstairs to the discovery area.

First stop was the model of a period one-room school...

Next Clara went to listen to one of George Washington Carver's speeches...
A model of The Jesup Agricultural Wagon in the discovery area...
Their favorite place though, had to be the model of one of Carver's labs at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama...
They played with the weights for a while...
And then ended up spending a lot of time looking at the prepared slides through the microscopes provided...

They had plenty of room to spread out!
But, thankfully, they ended up close together since they liked showing each other their slides...
As we left the lab, we heard the announcement that the guided walking tour of the grounds was about to begin. Perfect timing again! There was just one other family on the tour and the weather was beautiful!!

Our first stop was the spot where the slave cabin once stood. This was where George was born and lived.

Next was the spot in the woods where George had his garden that he experimented with as a child...
The Carver's (who had owned George) main house...
If I remember correctly, this was not the house the Carvers lived in while George was there, it was built later after the previous one was destroyed in a storm.

We saw some other locations, such as the family cemetery and the pond, but ended up at this bust of George...
Clara was chosen to push the button on the base. When she did, we heard George's favorite poem recited by George Washington Carver himself.

It's a pretty inspiring poem...


Figure it out for yourself, my lad,
You've all that the greatest of men have had,
Two arms, two hands, two legs, two eyes
And a brain to use if you would be wise.
With this equipment they all began,
So start for the top and say, "I can."

Look them over, the wise and great
They take their food from a common plate,
And similar knives and forks they use,
With similar laces they tie their shoes.
The world considers them brave and smart,
But you've all they had when they made their start.

You can triumph and come to skill,
You can be great if you only will.
You're well equipped for what fight you choose,
You have legs and arms and a brain to use,
And the man who has risen great deeds to do
Began his life with no more than you.

You are the handicap you must face,
You are the one who must choose your place,
You must say where you want to go,
How much you will study the truth to know.
God has equipped you for life, but He
Lets you decide what you want to be.

Courage must come from the soul within,
The man must furnish the will to win.
So figure it out for yourself, my lad.
You were born with all that the great have had,
With your equipment they all began,
Get hold of yourself and say: "I can."

--Edgar A. Guest

After the tour was complete, the kids went in to have their booklets inspected and they received their badges and certificates!

My Junior Rangers...
They're beginning to get quite a collection of these!! They've actually become quite addicted and want to travel more and earn more badges! I think we may try to get another one this summer!

1 comment:

  1. Jocelyne8:35 PM

    I agree 100% about things coming real through seeing and being there. I really learned that when we did our big trip almost two years ago. Love when you can match education with travel. We too always try!