Walking Boston’s Freedom Trail

Walking Boston's Freedom Trail

One of the things I really love about homeschooling is the flexibility to travel and learn on the road. I have been traveling a lot with my kids this year and think that travel is such a great way for them to learn new things and also learn to appreciate history. I’m always amazed when I hear how many people hate history. I have always loved history, but when I was a child I was lucky enough to travel a lot and learn about history in an authentic and hands-on way – instead of only by fact memorization. I really think one of the reasons I love history so much is because of all the awesome travel experiences I had as a child.

So I am so thrilled that I am able to travel with my own kids and give them some of the same opportunities I had as a kid. My kids and I are in New York right now, staying with great friends who also homeschool. Last week, all of us – 7 kids, 2 moms, and 1 dad – took to the streets to walk Boston’s Freedom Trail. We were quite the sight and my husband made sure to call out to his “wives” several times {in jest, of course}.

Since all 4 of my kids are back to home schooling, and since the hubs and I had business meetings in Boston this fall, I decided it was the perfect time for us to study the American Revolution.  In preparation for our trip to Boston, we’ve been reading books, learning about the history of the period, and reading about influential revolutionary Americans. To really bring it all home and make the learning experience more authentic and memorial, we also headed to Boston for some experiential learning.

Walking Boston's Freedom Trail2

Walking Boston’s Freedom Trail

Boston’s Freedom Trail, if you’ve never heard of it, is a 2.5 mile walk around downtown Boston – marked by either red bricks in the sidewalks, or painted red lines. All you have to do is follow the red brick road for a hands-on and interactive tour of 16 famous Revolutionary War sights!

Old South Meeting Hall Boston Freedom Trail

We started our tour at the beginning – Boston Common’s Park  – and then walked to historic buildings like Faneuil Hall, Old South Meeting House and Paul Revere’s Home. You can start anywhere you see a red path, though – going to the beginning is not necessary.

Boston Freedom Trail - Granary Burying Ground

Along the way, we used the smart phone app, brochures, and books we bought to learn more about the people and the Revolutionary War events. At Granary Burying Ground, for instace, we saw the graves of Benjamin Franklin’s parents, Samuel Adams, Mary “Mother” Goose, and more.

Becoming a Junior Ranger at Fanuel Hall - Boston Freedom Trail

At Faneuil Hall, the kids earned a Junior Ranger Badge by filling out the Downtown Boston Junior Ranger Activity Book. This booklet asked questions about the sites we had seen on our walk and reinforced what life was like during the time period. It was a little hard for some of the younger kids, but the oldest, my 10 year old, had no problem reading and answering the questions.

Paul Revere's Home - Boston Freedom Trail

The highlight of the walk was seeing Paul Revere’s House in Boston’s Historic North End. His house is the oldest standing house in the North End and was really interesting. I had no idea Paul Revere fathered 16 children {five died in childhood} by 2 different wives. I was also fascinated to learn about the difference in life experiences his first set of  children had (when Revere was less prosperous) than his second set of children had. And I must admit, my uterus just hurt thinking about bearing eight children – both of his wives had 8 each! Holy moly.

Walking The Freedom Trail in Boston
All in all, the walk was definitely more interesting for the three grown-ups than for the seven children. You can imagine there was a bit of whining, but we stopped at enough parks and found enough interesting things for the kids to do to make it a great day for everyone! And I know my kids will remember quite a lot about the Revolutionary War and the people who lived during that time period. And that makes me a happy homeschool mom!

Have you ever walked Boston’s Freedom Trail? What did you think?

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Comments

  1. I am a huge fan of Boston because its a most important historic place in USA and i am a history lover.I really want to visit all those places where i can find and learn all about the American history.I am planning my trip to Boston soon and i will surely visit Freedom trail. Thanks for sharing such a nice information.Also people if you want to make a trip to Boston and want more ideas about how to do it.Here is the right way http://goo.gl/i9pscn

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