Sienna is currently in her bedroom working on a Latin assignment. On a Sunday. Without being prompted. I’m so tickled by this development. While this time of shutdown has been challenging in ways, I’ve been blown away by the good qualities growing in our family, especially the kids. Sienna and Mateo have been diligent about their school work and are taking greater responsibility for completing their work each day.
As a family, the slower pace of life has given us time and space to linger with thoughts and follow our curiosities. One fun way to indulge this urge is to take a “deep dive” into a topic together. Sienna is studying the Revolutionary War and our Founding Fathers and Mothers right now. She loves history and storytelling, so our family conversations are peppered with stories of the battles and the characters (real and fictional) that she’s recently read. On a walk one afternoon she narrated to me the story of Johnny Tremain for nearly a half hour! I’d never normally have that long an attention span to listen to a retelling of a story.
So that we could better engage with Sienna’s historical accounts, Teo and I read Who Was Alexander Hamilton? during our bedtime readings in early April. It was helpful to remind myself of the struggles between the northern and southern states as they formed our Constitution and figured out how to govern a new nation, especially as Sienna continued her study of the Constitutional Convention.
Typically I’ll listen to Broadway musicals after seeing the show on stage. But, all this information about Alexander Hamilton made me curious to hear the Hamilton musical songs. I played a couple for the kids while we hung out Saturday afternoon, then today I ran for over an hour to the music of Hamilton. So fun! Having the basic biographical info about Alexander Hamilton fresh in mind from my recent reading with Teo made the musical so easy to follow!
I’m in the middle of reading a very interesting Bill Bryson book called At Home: A Short History of Private Life which covers a very wide variety of topics. Today’s section detailed the architectural significance of Monticello and Mount Vernon, the plantation homes of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, respectively. Sienna was supposed to visit both of these historical homes during her class visit to Williamsburg and the surrounding ares this past month. Unfortunately the trip was cancelled. Her class spent the last week of March doing research projects on the areas they had planned to visit including online virtual tours of Colonial Williamsburg and these Presidential homes. Having just been to Paris, she was obsessed with Monticello because of it’s French influence. She showed me the immense canopies over the bed and asked if she could have one for her room!
There are an endless number of topics or areas of study you could take a deep dive into as a family, especially during this time of quarantine. Getting everyone involved in exploring a topic and learning together as a family is such a joy!