Last week we had the pleasure of participating in a field trip to an 1850’s Manor and Schoolhouse. Since we are working our way through our Pioneer Unit Study, we figured a visit to this museum would be very timely.
The Craigflower Manor is one of the few remaining original HBC (Hudson Bay Company) wooden structures in North America. Built in 1856, it housed Kenneth Mackenzie, his wife Agnes and their children. Mackenzie was hired by the HBC company to manage a large agricultural farm. The farm was to provide fresh produce to nearby Fort Victoria. The Craigflower schoolhouse was completed in 1856 in order to provide education for the children of the employees who worked on the farm.
Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable, friendly and great with the kids. This was by far one of the most fascinating field trips we attended this year. One of the beauties of homeschooling is the ability to cater your child’s learning experiences to the subject you have chosen to investigate. Organizing a field trip is easy and rewarding as it provides the opportunity for community learning. Our tour guide had lots of hands on activities for the children to participate in. We did things like take a turn at hand grinding some wheat (grown on the farm), experimenting with a carpenters hand plane and even an outdoor game of pioneer style ‘catch’ with a hoop and sticks. But the best part of all was the opportunity to sit in the old schoolhouse desks and practice our penmanship on real slates with authentic slate pencils. The kids were absolutely thrilled.
I highly recommend tying in your study of pioneer times with a visit to this historic site. You will not be disappointed.