10 Year Anniverary & New Releases Winners: Carrie Fancett Pagels' Butterfly Cottage - Melanie B, Dogwood Plantation - Patty H R, Janet Grunst's winner is Connie S., Denise Weimer's Winner is Kay M., Naomi Musch's winner is Chappy Debbie, Angela Couch - Kathleen Maher, Pegg Thomas Beverly D. M. & Gracie Y., Christy Distler - Kailey B., Shannon McNear - Marilyn R.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Reenactments as Learning Tools for Homeschoolers by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Last year I had the privilege of attending a reenactment of the Battle of the Hook which took place in Gloucester, Virginia. Cynthia Howerter has also blogged about this experience on Colonial Quills. Today I am writing about the value in bringing your homeschoolers to such events.

The picture above is the scene we were met with when we entered Warner Hall. Can you imagine, living back in the time of the American Revolution, what it would be like to wake up and find an army encamped in your fields? By bringing children to some of these events, they can see in real life what their history books are talking about (without the gore of course!)
Youth in regimental uniform
You can bet that the young fellow pictured above has learned a great deal about colonial times by participating in reenactments with his parents. We've just begun homeschooling this year, but we've been bringing our son to many of these events over the years. And he earned perfect SOL History scores in public school. God has been good in giving us opportunities, where we live, to experience "living history" in Virginia's Historic Triangle.

The adults we met were very helpful in answering questions about their regiments, which had come from all over the United States. This is an opportunity for your young scholar to hear from people who have knowledge about specific parts of the eastern seaboard. Before going to an event, ask your homeschooling child to come up with some questions they'd like answered. Have them bring a small notepad and a backpack.

Also, for moms and dads, bring your pocketbook for all the amazing shops for reenactors clothing! I was able to purchase a colonial outfit for myself at a fraction of the cost I would have paid for such an ensemble locally. Word of caution--when purchasing hand sewn items for children, double check that the stitching is tight and is double stitched. I found a gorgeous shirt for my son that tore after only one wearing. I should have known to have checked because I learned to sew as a child.

With Virginia reenact ors dressed in frontiersmen's garb, this is an opportunity for parents to ask their children why these soldiers are dressed differently. And to discuss the differences between local militia units and being part of the Continental Army. Also great chance to ask about what the militia men and their families faced by having left their homes, and potentially crops, behind.
Frontiersmen Reenactors

We also got to view an arrival by water, which was really wonderful! If you look at the water, you'll see reenact ors arriving at the battle scene by boat! I've never seen anything like that before.

Set at gorgeous Warner Hall, a bed and breakfast, The Battle of the Hook Reenactment was open to the public. But you can also come stay on these historic grounds at other times as a paying guest at the inn. Last year they also had a Christmas event with cookies and hot cocoa for the children.  Warner Hall was so expansive I had to take two pictures to fit it all in. Notice how the building extends to the right. And below I've added the picture of the left flank.
This is the main house at Warner Hall
Left flanking house from Warner Hall

Looks like a great place for Mom and Dad to come back to by themselves, don't you agree?

Here's the link to The Inn at Warner Hall (click here.)

Read more about Warner Hall here on Janet Grunst's post last year on CQ (Click here.)

Jennifer Hudson Taylor also blogged about the value of reenactments. (Click here.)

Q: Do you have a special reenactment event that you like to attend?

Bio: Carrie Fancett Pagels is the Amazon bestselling author of "The Fruitcake Challenge" and "Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance" and loves almost all things colonial!


  1. Hi Carrie! I love to attend the reenactments on Mackinac Island and Mackinac City. Though I have not attended recently I keep the memories close to my heart. The wonder of it all.
    Blessing to you and yours,

    1. I would love to go to the Voyageurs reenactments, Wendy! I need to try to plan to attend one of those on an upcoming trip home!

  2. I've been to the sites but not reenacting. Amber is our reenactor! She was at the Battle of the Hook.

    1. I don't do reenactment either, Regina. But I do enjoy watching them.

  3. When I explored Warner Hall for an earlier post, I was struck by how much happened there over the years. It is a lovely place.

    Like yourself, I took lots of advantage of "field trips" when I home schooled one of my sons. As they personally experience these historic places, these are lessons they will remember far more than reading about it in books.


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