Saturday, October 27, 2007

Concord and Lexington

We read a great book called Louisa May and Mr. Thoreau's Flute. Ella read Little Women last year, and saw the play with Boston and Nana. We had never been to the house that the book was set in, however. We went this week and it was great. It is called Orchard House, and has a school of philosophy attached. Apparently, Bronson Alcott, Louisa's father, had to start his own school since at the time he kept getting fired from teaching jobs for being to radical.

He was really obsessed with letting children ask questions, explore nature, and learn what they were interested in. What a concept. Interestingly, Horace Mann was also a neighbor for a while, but he was not a friend of Nathaniel Hawthorn and Thoreau (also a fired teacher) and Bronson. I have more research to do.

In fact, a young man who was a homeschooler and now plays Nathaniel Hawthorn's son (who was a friend to May Alcott, Amy from the book) was our guide. The house is just like you see in movies and plays. And our guide was a phenomenal source of information.

We learned that the man who sculpted the Lincoln Memorial was named Daniel French and he was given his first sculpting tools by May Alcott (she was married by that time, but her married name escapes me right now).

This is the museum of National Heritage not far from the Alcott house if you take Paul Revere's Midnight Ride route.
Declan loved the idea of making butter. This museum is very kid-friendly and has loads of stuff to touch and explore. It is a great find, and free which makes it even better!

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