It is challenging to organize and host a monthly teen book club. The girls don’t want to work off of an assigned book list and their genre preference is so strong that choosing their own book can be frustrating. This month I suggested that they pick from the Newbury Award winners and they choose Witch of Blackbird Pond which thrilled me because I have wanted to do the walking tour of Old Wethersfield forever! Visiting the place where a book it set brings the book to life better than a movie, or a unit study, or a discussion.
Old Wethersfield is a day trip for us, and the old section of town is so small that we spent a few hours wandering and made it home in time to enjoy the afternoon. Friends came with us which is always a nice change of pace for us. Most of the time we wander and discover by ourselves, sometimes taking Greg along for the journey.
The setting of Hannah Tupper’s thatched home is now a business park so we wandered down the road a bit to meadows and we discovered huge willow trees in the distance. Sadly these trees were on private property but we were able to imagine Kit and Prudence sitting under a tree in this idyllic setting. It is not a very long walk or jog from the Main Street, yet I can see where Kit would feel she has escaped the work and drudgery of her new life in Connecticut in these meadows.
Cove Park is where we imagined the Dolphin docking and Kit walking the short distance to her Uncle’s house being trailed by men with her seven trunks.
The First Church of Christ served as the meeting house. Behind the church is an old graveyard, and I mean old! Many grave site date back to the 1600s, which in comparison to Europe and Asia is not old at all, but it is still a thrill to touch something that others have touched 400 years ago and walk on the same space walked on by George Washington, John Adams and Rev. Gersham Bulkeley, whose grave marker is up a bit on the hill.
The very best part of our day was when we peeked inside the church. Services had ended and people were milling about so I felt it appropriate to inquire if we could view the church. This is something I do often - step outside of my shyness and ask to do and see things that relate to our learning. If I had not asked, we would not have been granted a personal tour. This tour led to us meeting the musical director of the church, which led to Grace and Lilah having the opportunity to play on the pipe organ and fill the church with their beautiful music. This was a moment I will never forget. This is one of our top homeschooling moments. This brought the book to life in a way that watching a movie or having a discussion simply cannot.
It was a very good, positively perfect, kind of day.