Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, the Fall 2020 Home School Day will not be happening. Because of the fluidity of the situation, we can not say for sure whether we will be holding the Spring 2021 Home School Day. If you have not attended the program before, please check out the information below from a previous Home School Day. Also, please bookmark this page to easily check back for updates.
Sample Home School Day Lineup:
Home school students and their families are invited to join us for an exciting day of learning at Valley Forge National Historical Park. The event will consist of 3 parts- Curriculum Sessions, Exploration Stations, and Field Sessions.
Curriculum sessions will be 40 minutes long and held at 10am, 12pm, and 2pm. Each age group will be limited to 20 children per time slot and require advance registration. Due to the limited space of each session, please register for a curriculum session only if you know you can attend. Pro tip: Morning sessions for younger children tend to fill up quickest, while afternoon sessions for the oldest children fill up the fastest. To increase your chances of having a spot, go against the grain- put younger children in afternoon time slots and older children in the morning. Topics are as follows:
6-8 years old- Communications During the Revolutionary War- Communication today can be taken for granted; a text or email can be sent in seconds and reach someone across the world. During the American Revolution it could take weeks for a correspondence to reach the final destination. In this curriculum session students will learn about the role flags, maps, and letters played in helping win our Independence. Presented by Valley Forge staff
9-11 years old- Foodways of the 18th Century- Students are challenged to think historically using colonial recipes! Children can not only hone math skills, but also get a glimpse into the food culture of the 18th century. This will be a more in depth look than what is offered as an Exploration Station. Presented by Pottsgrove Manor 12-15 years old- The Great Cow Chase!- At the darkest moment of the Valley Forge encampment, General “Mad” Anthony Wayne led a foraging expedition around Philadelphia, gathering desperately needed supplies. Wayne’s troops played a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with British forces in New Jersey, all while driving a herds of cattle. In this program you’ll trace the movements of the American and British soldiers in this “Great Cow Chase” and see just how difficult and dangerous it was to feed the army. Presented by Valley Forge staff
Exploration Stations The stations will have hands on activities for children 3-15 years old examing a variety of educational themes found in Valley Forge. Topics include:
Tailoring Brigade- Try your hand at sewing a historic article of clothing. Presented by the Valley Forge Tailoring Brigade
William Penn, the Founding of Pennsylvania, and the Native Americans- William Penn had to forage a relationship with Native Americans living in Pennsylvania. Learn more about this relationship and the exchange of cultures with this activity presented by Pennsbury Manor.
Living History- Visit Valley Forge rangers and volunteers in period clothing as they describe the daily life of a Continental Soldier
Foodways of the 18th Century-Visitors are challenged to think historically using colonial recipes! Children can not only hone math skills, but also get a glimpse into the food culture of the 18th century. Presented by Pottsgrove Manor
Colonial Medicine- Take a closer look at the tools and techniques nurses and doctors used during the Revolutionary War with park volunteer Mr. Peters.
Be an Archeologist: Archeologists try to figure things out that happened a long time ago. Can you figure out what people did in the past based on the garbage they left behind? Presented by Valley Forge Rangers
Changing Hands – Land Titles and Real Estate- The land we know today as Valley Forge has changed hands many times over the last four hundred years. Beginning with the land grant to William Penn by King Charles I of England in 1681, title to the property has a legal record all the way through to the present.Explore with us the “ancestral lineage” of the Valley Forge real estate, particularly the land where Isaac Potts house sits, the house now known as Washington’s Headquarters at the Valley Forge Encampment. Presented by the Valley Forge Park Alliance
Iron: Industry and Revolution- Hopewell Furnace NHS will introduce families to the iron industry of southeastern Pennsylvania. Families can learn why the industry was so prevalent in this area, where the resources were coming from, and what impact the iron industry had on the Revolutionary War and beyond. Presented by Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
Meet a Collier- Join a “Collier” (Charcoal Maker) to learn about their trade and how they would have lived while working in the forests to make the fuel for iron industry forges and furnaces like the Valley Forge. Presented by Chester County Parks
Schuylkill Explorers- Investigate the Schuylkill River watershed by examining how water flows over the landscape collecting nutrients and pollutants and what critters call the river home. Presented by Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area
Birds of Valley Forge- Ever wonder what birds at Valley Forge do in the winter? This lesson will explore that and take a look at what Valley Forge is doing to provide important habitat for our feather friends. Presented by Valley Forge Rangers
Washington and the Farmstead- Before Valley Forge, Washington and his troops stayed at the Peter Wentz farm. Learn more about what happened during this period. Presented by Peter Wentz Farmstead
Reading With a Ranger- Join park staff as they read a book geared towards younger children. Afterwards, enjoy a short hands on activity related to the story. This activity will happen at 10am, 11am, 12pm, and 1pm.
Field Sessions Registration will be 1st come 1st served. Numbers allowed and length of activity will vary based on activity. Session times are 11:15am and 1:15pm. Pro-tip:If you are interested in a Curriculum Session and a Field session, please register appropriately to allow for travel time.For example: if you would like to do the 1:15pm Bird Walk, register for the 10am Curriculum Session to allow ample time to visit the Exploration Stations and travel to the Bird Walk location.
Learning to Think Like a Writer: Using Specific Details- Students will develop their idea discovery, close observation, and sentence writing skills by examining a description of Valley Forge and learning strategies to imitate its specific details, vocabulary, and similes. This program will last 30-40 minutes and be limited to 30 children ages 8-15 years.
Bird Walk- Bring your binoculars and join a former ranger and a volunteer to explore the park looking migrating birds and those that call the park home. This program will cover uneven terrain near the Pawling Farm area. The bird walk will be limited to 20 people to ensure that the group is not so large as to scare away the birds.
Soldier Life- Join a ranger for a Home School Day take on this popular school field trip. Learn about the Revolutionary War, Valley Forge, and practice the drilling maneuvers that General Von Steuben taught the troops in the winter of 1777-78.
NEW! Every Kid Outdoors (formerly known as Every Kid in a Park)is a program aimed at allowing 4th graders and their families free access to public lands, like National Parks, National Forests, and National Wildlife Refuges. Every Kid Outdoors will have table with an activity for 9-11 year old children. After completing the activity, they will be awarded an Every Kid Outdoors pass. This pass will give the child and his/her family free access to all federal public lands and waters from now until Aug. 31, 2020!
To make the experience the best for all involved we ask you to consider a few items.
We ask all families that are planning to attend any part of the event to register. If you are planning to attend a curriculum session, please fill out the additional details about your child (children) and 1st and 2nd choice of times.
For the duration of the event, we ask there be at least one (1) parent or guardian per seven (7) children.
We ask that participants wear sturdy closed toe shoes.
Due to limited parking we highly encourage carpooling.
Again, this event is for Home School families. If you attend a charter, virtual, or traditional school, please register for our ranger led education programs.