We love learning by doing. This year we had the idea to put together a Christmas Play, together with some other Homeschoolers. It was a good way to learn about religion, history and to work together as a group. It was also a good way to get to know some other Homeschoolers better.
The United Nations building in Copenhagen is open to visitors, if you book a tour with them. So we did just that. Gathered 16 homeschoolers and had a look around the building. Before the visit we talked to the children about the purpose of UN, and how, and on what basis it was founded in 1945.
Our oldest child was researching to find a map of Copenhagen from the 16th Century, and found that it was possible to look at one in real life, in the Copenhagen Town Hall public library. She asked for help to find out how to visit that library and it resulted in us all going there on a tour of the whole town hall and the tower. It was a good way to learn about the democratic process in Denmark, and to understand the way the councils work. The Copenhagen town hall is open to the public, which in itself is quite unique, and you can pay to get a tour of many of the areas not open to the public. You can also pay to get a tour of the tower, which has a unique view over the city. Copenhagen has many towers and we want to climb all of them. We have gone through quite a few of them by now, but this was our first time in the Town Hall Tower. The Town Hall is full of wall paintings, many by famous artists. It also has a room full with unique woven tapestry, with motives from Danish history. As our oldest daughter said:”We just didn’t have enough time there” 🙂
Esrum Monastery is a great place to visit and learn about the reformation in many different hands on ways. There is a game room, where you can play a game where you can choose to represent or support the church or the king. Then you play against each others teams and learn about the different influences and powers which ruled then.
It is also situated in very beautiful surroundings. There is a large playground and a medicinal garden.
As a child I really loved to play with Barbie dolls. It was an amazing universe for me. I build houses and made clothes for my dolls. Actually it was my start into learning to sew. I keept most of my dolls and their accessories until I got children of my own. When they were old enough, they were allowed to play with them.
My children has continued the fondness for Barbie and I get so happy when I see them play. When we found out that Lene Darlie Pedersen had collected more than 4000 dolls, we had to go see her amazing museum. http://barbiemuseum.dk/
The dolls shows fashion through the past 50 years and Barbies development. The owner took us through the exhibition on a personal tour, where we could ask questions and was also allowed to have a look around on our own at the end of our visit. It was truly amazing.
The owner had started out collecting porcelain dolls, but found they were too expensive. But Barbie was affordable, so she could add new dolls to her collection frequently.
Once a year you can go meet the Sikhs in Denmark on the main public square. They call it Turban Day. You can get free food, try getting tied a turban on your head, listen to music and ask in general about the religion.
We find that it is a great way to get hands on experience of the different religions practiced around the world. To go out and meet the people who live by the rules of different religions and are willing to tell about it.
To be a parent, means to be a role model for your children. Being the one to dare try new things, like going forward and trying on a turban, can be one of those things. But also being able to accept that the children find it quite enough just looking at you doing new silly things, is a parent job.
After life is always interesting to talk with the children about.
Religion often can be tied to different languages too. So language can also have a great influence on religions, which can be interesting to talk with the children about.
Where is the religion practiced geographically? Another area of learning, when you are dealing with religion.
Educational lecture on the Jews in Denmark, during the Second World War. This was our first visit to the Jewish Museum in Denmark. It was a pleasant experience with dedicated staff. They opened the museum just for us. The building was made to simulate the travels of the Jews and the persecution of the Jews through time. The floors was uneven to make you feel seasick, as most of the Jews in Denmark escaped the concentration camps, by being shipped to Sweden by little fisherman boats.
The Jews in Denmark was never made to wear the famous star, but it still was quite a sickening feeling to hold a real one in your hand.
99% of the Danish Jews managed to escape to Sweden or hide in Denmark. But the ones that got caught, was sent to the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp. It was a propaganda Concentration Camp where a part of it was a studio made to record how great life was in the Concentration Camps.
In the Concentration Camps they were paid monopoly money for their work. They had no real value.
The famous frontpage from when Denmark was freed from the Nazis 5th of May 1945.
After having lived out the Iron Age two times (Our Iron Age experience). The children started talking about wanting to try living as Vikings in Sagnlandet Lejre. It was a bit more expensive than the Iron Age trip, but included a bit more survival luxury, like having trips arranged for us and more staff to help us. We even sometimes had help cooking our food over the fire. Included, was also a trip on a vikingship in Roskilde ￼Inlet. Also a 1½ hour horse carriage trip around Lejre. In the mornings the staff did story telling around the fire, and that was so much fun. There was also many craft opportunities. We did tin jewellery over the fire, Straw dolls, carved spoons and knives, dyed wool and spun yarn with it, forged kitchen equipment and knives.
The whole family were equipped with Viking outfits, which we wore the whole week.
We sleept 6 people in this tent. It was very little space, but waterproof.
Our youngest son enjoyed the outdoor freedom.
Every day, we had 1 hour fighting strategy training.
There was time to chill out with a knitting project.
There were goats right by our tent, and the children liked to drop by and feed and pad them.
There were blacksmith facilities and you had to work together to make a knife.
One evening we were attacked by the nearby Iron Age inhabitants and challenged to a burping duel. We lost. But the next evening we took revenge! We had a bulls horn that we had gotten quite good at blowing in. So we won, this time.
Sailing in a Viking Ship in Roskilde .
Our oldest daughter is very fond of languages and particular Antiquity and the Viking Age. So when one of the employees said he could teach her runes, she was very exited.
That is the horn we won over the Iron Age people with 🙂
The main difference we experienced between the Iron Age and the Viking Age, was the improvement in the cut of the clothes, better weapon, better knives in the kitchen and it seemed that they generally had become better trade Merchants.
August, 2011 we went for the first time to live one week in Sagnlandet Lejre, as they did in the Iron Age. We had 3 children at that time, and they were 7, 4 and 3 years old. I thought it could be great history lessons, learning by living as they did then. The village was build to fit the time period 200 B.C. until 200 A.C. When we first arrived we were given clothes as they would have been worn then. So we put all our present things away and lived with one outfit for the rest of the week. We also put away our phones and computers for a week.
There were 4 houses in the village and we were 4 families living together there in the village. We had no running water og electricity. We were given food to prepare every day, and everything had to be cooked over a fire or in an oven which took hours to heat up. We had no watches, so had to start estimating time in a new way.
We had a ritual area where we did a sacrifice while there, as they would have done in the iron age.
There was a lot of animals loose the area and the children got used to walk near them.
We had a witch doctor who would walk around in the local area with us and teach us which plants could be eaten and we picked them and put them in our food.
More animals. Most of the animals they keep at Sagnlandet, are original breeds that can be traced back to the iron age. These are wild pigs.
We did yarn dying with natural colours, picked in the area. We dyed yarn from the local sheep. We then spun it and made belts.
We made sushi from salmon and then smoked the rest over the fire.
Lovely to spend your time watching the fire at night.
The small kids LOVED the outside toilet 🙂
The geese and the wasps pestered us quite a bit, but was also a part of the real life experience of the iron age. This holiday has meant a lot to our children. It but a lot of the things we do today in our life, into perspective. Brought out our grateful side for having running water, water closet, hot showers, a potato pealer and so on. When we talk about history now, they often say “is that before or after the iron age, mum?”. We actually repeated our trip to the iron age 2 years later. In 2017 we went there again, but then to their viking site, but more will follow later in a new post about that experience.
When we first started out Home Schooling 1st of April 2009, one of our intentions was to follow the children interests as much as possible. For history, geography and social science, that meant taking a lot of interest in
indigenous peoples and past cultures. Particular Native American, Eskimos, Asian and Egyptian culture. The project shown, is a tipi that we build out of 4 poles, 4 meters long and a half circle that we sewed and painted to complete a huge tipi in our garden. We also designed and made Native American costumes for the children to live out their Native American dream. We had this tipi for many years in our garden. It is my largest sewing project until now.