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February 3, 2012

Home Educators Customize an Educational Itinerary for Their Families during Colonial Williamsburg’s Homeschooler Experience Feb. 11-26

Homeschoolers and their families can participate in hands-on history lessons during Colonial Williamsburg’s Homeschooler Experience Feb. 11-26. Colonial Williamsburg’s programs incorporate art, culture and science with history, allowing families to create a broad educational experience.

During “Pastimes, Work & Play” at the Benjamin Powell House, experience a slice of 18th-century domestic life during tours on selected days at this original home open exclusively for homeschoolers.

Students explore the shops of Colonial Williamsburg’s historic trades such as the blacksmith, cabinetmaker, silversmith, milliner and tailor to discover what kind of work was available in the 18th-century capital of colonial Virginia and discover the role that math and science played in the trades of Williamsburg.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg offer home educators and their families an opportunity to tour the galleries and participate in hands-on activities.

  • Seek the Declaration of Independence through objects on display and create and object to take home during “Explore the Declaration of Independence.”
  • Create cards inspired by objects in the collection during the drop-in program, “Love Notes.”
  • Explore the galleries for griffins, phoenix birds, mermaids, dragons and unicorns, and then illustrate a book to take home during “Magical Creatures.”
  • Discover how museum conservators deal with bugs in museums during “When Insects Invade: The Unwanted Museum Visitor.”
  • Examine what it was like to be a child in the 18th century during the program, “Growing up like George Washington.” “Crack the Code” investigates secret codes used during the American Revolution.

    Home educators and their families can add programs just for homeschoolers to their itinerary.

  • Discover how ladies and gentlemen improved upon nature with powders, pomades, perfumes and more during the program, “The Art of Beauty.”
  • Take a walking tour to visit and learn about Colonial Williamsburg’s modern stable and rare breeds program during “Bits and Bridles.”
  • Compare and contrast the new light Baptist religion with the established Church of England in a discussion with Gowan Pamphlet, free African American Baptist preacher, and Anglican clergyman Rev. John Camm during “Amazing Grace.”
  • Visit Margaret Hunter’s shop and learn about not only the skills needed to keep Williamsburg fashionable, but also partake in a geography and economics lesson as you trace the origins of the cloth that made a business during “Thread the Needle: Arts and Mysteries of the Milliner and Tailor.”
  • Learn the latest steps from London with Colonial Williamsburg’s very own dance mistress during “Take a Dance: Lessons from the Dance Mistress.”
  • Discover how a skilled engraver uses copper, sharp tools, a mirror, ink, paper, wool blankets, a press and paints to make images that changed the course of history during “The Art of the Copperplate Engraver.”
  • Meet some of the women who made their home in the 18th-century capital city during the “Women of Williamsburg.”
  • Experience the sights and smells as raw cocoa beans are processed into chocolate and learn how chocolate was enjoyed in 18th-century households during “The Secrets of the Chocolate Maker.”

    Programs cost $5 per person per program. To purchase a ticket, call 1-800-280-8039 or visit

    Additional February Programs
    Home educators can take advantage of special programs for February.

  • Breakfast with the Presidents, 8:30-10 a.m., Feb. 18, Williamsburg Lodge with Presidents Washington, Jefferson, and Madison. Enjoy a sumptuous breakfast buffet and a chance to ask the presidents about their time in office. Then follow the Fifes and Drums to the Capitol for a special interactive program. Cost is $29.95 for adults and $14.95 for kids, including tax and gratuity.
  • Black History Month. Explore the story of a people who challenged the political and societal norms to make a better future for themselves and the next generation. Programs include “Freedom to Slavery,” which tells the story of Elizabeth, an enslaved African American woman, forced back into slavery after living free with the Shawnee Indians on the western frontier, and “African American Folk Art,” which examines 18th- and 19th-century folk art created by or depicting African Americans and discover what the art tells us about their lives. A Colonial Williamsburg Homeschooler admission pass is required to attend these programs.
  • More Than Slaves, Feb. 24-26. New this year, this three-day program presents the universal story of people seeking political, economic and social change. Programs include: “Ain’t I Free?” which introduces Edith Cumbo as she discusses what it means to be free and black in Revolutionary Virginia; “Change Is Coming!” with preacher Gowan Pamphlet delivering a sermon proclaiming that American freedom cannot thrive without ending slavery; and “Defying Slavery,” which explores the evolution of slavery in Virginia and how African Americans challenged notions of liberty and freedom. A Colonial Williamsburg Homeschooler admission pass is required to attend these programs.

    Colonial Williamsburg has offered Homeschooler Weeks for nine years. During the year, Colonial Williamsburg designates special weeks as Homeschooler Experiences. In addition to the variety of activities and programming throughout the Historic Area, special programs are scheduled for homeschool participants including a variety of hands-on opportunities. In 2011, 12,000 families attended these programs.

    For more information on homeschooler programs, visit

    Special Tickets Offer Just for Homeschoolers

    Families can purchase special admission passes and save in advance of the Homeschooler Experience. This ticket includes admission to Historic Area exhibition sites, including the Capitol, Governor’s Palace, trade shops, homes and the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg.

    To purchase a homeschooler ticket, call 1-800-280-8039 or visit us at to print off the order form to mail or fax back.

    The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program. Explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670 – 1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Colonial Williamsburg Hotels feature conference spaces and recreation activities from spa and fine dining to world-class golf. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

    Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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