Posts Tagged With: history

Archeology and Stuff

So, I emailed the kids’ teachers today for the first time since we left. I wanted to check in to see how what we were doing compared with what they were doing. Because if I’m honest, I don’t feel like we’re doing much. Weeks where we are on the road, nothing really gets done, and even now we are settled in one place for a few weeks, it’s hard, somehow, to make the time to do “school”. Yes, I know travelling is an education in itself, but as I think I may have mentioned before, I don’t want them to return to school feeling lost in any way. Hence the need to check in.
One teacher got back to me almost immediately with a pretty detailed run-down of what they were doing, and he happened to mention that they were doing an archeological dig in class tomorrow using rice as soil, and with real artifacts supplied by Parks Canada so they can learn how we discover information about the past. Excellent idea – what an exciting hands on lesson for a grade five class!
It occurred to me as I finished reading the email that we had been to the “Dig” archeological museum in York where our own little students had a similar experience. They were able to dig up real artifacts from York’s Roman occupation, it’s Viking era, and it’s Tudor period. I was pleased to make the connection, so I started to tell the teacher about it in my response email. Then I remembered we had also been to the current Roman excavation of Vindalanda near Hadrian’s Wall. Then I thought about our brush with The Acropolis, our tour of The Roman Colosseum, and finally our visit to ancient Akrotiri in Santorini where we actually walked on the streets that had been buried in volcanic ash for the past 3,500 years.
Then I stopped writing the email because it sounded braggy. I just deleted it and said instead that she was familiar with archeology from our trip, so she should be ok for social studies.
The great revelation for me, though, was the fact that even when I think we aren’t doing any “school”, we are, of course, doing all kinds of it. It’s just not the kind where we are in a classroom or sitting at a table. I need to make sure I remember that more often. The experiences our kids have had with just that one topic in the past two months are more than many will have in a lifetime. It reminds me how lucky they are. How lucky we are. What an amazing gift to our family and to each other this year is, despite it’s ups and downs. In fact, there aren’t really any downs, are there?






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On being a Tourist

It’s amazing how much you take for granted when you live somewhere. Dev spent most of his life here in England, and I lived here for several years, but there’s so much you just don’t do or see because it’s just there and you can “see it anytime”. The trouble is, you don’t. We went back to York yesterday – not by train this time:) – because there was so much to see and do, we just couldn’t do it justice. And yet, it’s so close to where we both lived. It is a spectacular city, one of the most impressive walled cities in the world, filled with history you can’t even imagine being from a country as young as Canada. The city was Roman until 400 AD, and there is evidence of this everywhere, along with the following Viking reign, then Anglo-Saxon, and Norman…and so on. You can actually dig up artifacts at Dig, a kid friendly excavation site turned museum with hands on archeology adventures (including a real Roman skeleton found in York). And just opened this year is The Sweet Story, a museum of the origin of chocolate and other confectionary in York – the birth place of the Terry’s chocolate orange – with treats all the way round! We learned there that there are 4 million kitkats made in York per DAY! I didn’t even know the kitkat originated in York until yesterday! We also went to York Castle, a museum which features a Victorian street where you can see what York was like during that era. Just walking around the 2000 year old city walls is amazing enough. You could spend a week there. And you can even get your youngest kids to appreciate it. If you tell them there’s a sweet shop there!






For more on trip visit to York, check out my article at

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