Isle of Wight County is welcoming all of the county homeschoolers to it’s annual Home School Day.

Since 2010, homeschoolers in Isle of Wight County have been offered to participate in the county organized Home School Day that takes place once a year. The program was created to give the Isle of Wight County homeschoolers an annual opportunity to experience a public school style field trip. The ongoing success of this event has carried it on for almost ten years.

The Isle of Wight County Division of Historic Resources in coordination with the Home Educators Association of Virginia organize and plan this special day each year for the county’s homeschoolers. The field trip day consists of educational tours and activities at many of the local museums and historical sites.

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Before 2010, the museums and historical sites of Isle of Wight had many homeschooled children visiting them at random throughout the entire school year. Some of the museums and historical sites even had designated home-school days dispersed throughout their calendar year. “There’s a lot of home-schoolers coming through the sites, and a lot of museums have home-school day,” stated Jennifer Williams England, the county’s historic resource division manager.
However, homeschooled children in the county were not receiving the same benefits from field trips as public school children. Wanting to better the overall field trip experience for its county’s homeschoolers, the Isle of Wight County Historic Resource Division stepped in to help. “We wanted to get on board with that and started the program four years ago.” Jennifer England stated in 2014.

Home School Day, essentially a county-wide field trip day was created in 2010 as a free program for the Isle of Wight County homeschoolers. Home School Day provides involved homeschoolers with ample time to learn and grow with other children in educational environments similar to that of a public school field trip.

“Most of our sites are going to be geared toward the Civil War, because all the sites are related to it in some way,” said Jennifer England.
The majority of the museums and historical sites available for visiting on Home School Day center around Civil War education and history. The museums and historical sites involved will have Civil War-themed educational games and activities set up to engage and entertain the visiting children. Younger children visiting the sites will enjoy games such as i-spy that incorporate Civil War education. Visiting older children will be approached with educational questions and activities that will require a higher level of thinking.

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The sites are available for visiting on Home School Day:

Isle of Wight County Museum, 103 Main St., Smithfield; Boykin’s Tavern, 17146 Monument Circle, Isle of Wight; Fort Boykin, 7410 Fort Boykin Trail, Isle of Wight; Fort Huger, 15080 Talcott Terrace, Isle of Wight; and Nike Park, 13036 Nike Park Road, Carrollton. Participating sites not under the county’s jurisdiction include Historic St. Luke’s Church, 14477 Benns Church Blvd., Smithfield; The Schoolhouse Museum, 516 Main St., Smithfield; and The Old Courthouse of 1750, 130 Main St., Smithfield.

Although Home School Day is a free program offered in the county, all participants must register for the event. Once registrations are completed, they may be emailed to tneikirk@isleofwightus.net.
For more information on Home School Day, the museums and historical sites that it includes, or the Isle of Wight Historic Resource Division, please visit http://www.historicisleofwight.com/.

England, the historic resource division manager, says the best place to start when attending Home School Day is at the Isle of Wight County Museum. Then, to coordinate trips to other museums and sites from there.

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