Sunday, February 10, 2008

President's Day

The celebration of George Washington's birthday is coming up on Monday, February 18. If you're a fan of American history or homeschooling, here are some links to help you brush up on your knowledge. First, here's the site for Mount Vernon, Washington's beloved estate on the Potomac River. It consisted of five farms on 8000 acres, each with it's own overseer, workforce of slaves (who were emancipated in his will) and their cabins, outbuildings, and livestock. He planted 80 different crops and was constantly experimenting to improve the soil and output of each farm. The 500 acre site you can visit today was called Mansion House Farm and was a self sufficient village. The kitchen garden, outbuildings, and plantings remain just as George Washington planned them. A biography of George Washington can be found on the White House site here. If you'd like to read more about our first president, Joseph J. Ellis has written a fine book called His Excellency: George Washington that is considered to be one of the most important books on the subject. Elementary and middle school age children will enjoy reading the classic George Washington's World by Genevieve and Joanna Foster. The book explores what was going on in the world during Washington's life and how those events and people shaped his views and decisions.Sometimes we take George Washington for granted, but he has a fascinating story that changed the history of the world. America was blessed to have such a man as the Father of Our Country.

1 comment:

Laura said...

We were able to visit Mount Vernon a few years ago -- what an amazing experience to be where he had actually lived. My children were especially impressed by the key to the Bastille which Lafayette had given to Washington.

Visiting Valley Forge several years ago was another very memorable experience. They have Washington's tent preserved under glass.

A book I particularly enjoyed was MOUNT VERNON FAMILY, by one of my favorite authors, Elswyth Thane. She was something of an expert on Washington and her other titles included POTOMAC SQUIRE and WASHINGTON'S LADY.

James Thomas Flexner's WASHINGTON: THE INDISPENSABLE MAN is another good one. I love history, biographies, and George Washington. :)

Best wishes,