Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Biltmore Homeschool Festival

Going to the Biltmore Homeschool Festival has become a family tradition. They do an awesome job of putting this day together for homeschoolers. I do think we will try the Fall event next school year instead of the Spring. I always want to delve into whatever the topic is at Biltmore, but have trouble doing so because of all of the loose ends I am trying to tie up with the approaching end to our school year.

This year the theme was "Passport to the World". The children learned about nine different countries ~ Spain, England, Egypt, India, Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan and France. They learned about how the Vanderbilts traveled the world and about their personal experiences. There were booths with activities for each country. The kids really enjoyed getting temporary henna tatoos in India. They then moved on to England to attend an afternoon spring tea party.

The kids also got to do some punch embroidery in Russia and make crowns in England. In Japan they learned how to make origami puppy dogs, and in Egypt they wrote some hierglyphics. I thought the lesson on pointillism painting in France was excellent.

Tom Sawyer liked making castanets in Spain. He had to warm up to the idea of spending the day at the Biltmore on his birthday. He gave us a difficult time for a while, but after a talking to from his Dad and seeing that some of the crafts were really fun, he shifted his attitude. They also enjoyed the shows. They saw a Russian ballet and Flamenco dancing.

After an early lunch, we went to the barn to pet the baby animals. This is always a highlight of our day.  The kids petted chicks, lambs, goats, and a horse. They also saw a goat being milked.

 We then took funny pictures in front of the country poster boards on our way to the Biltmore Winery.

The Winery was interesting and was a short factory tour. I loved factory tours as a child and want to share more of them with my children. However, there are not many factories near us anymore. We decided to skip the Biltmore House tour this year and take more time in the gardens. Even though we spent all day there, we still saw just a tiny portion of the Biltmore Estate. We are considering getting a year-long pass sometime in the next year so that we can explore the miles of bike and nature trails, as well as watch the huge gardens change from season to season. 

What a fun and educational day. That is my favorite kind of field trip.



  1. Looks and sounds like a wonderful day!!! I'm hoping that we can go one year!


    PS There is a moravian cookie factory and a popcorn factory toward the middle of the state that are both fun (small) tours!

  2. You all have the neatest things around you! Yes, finding the best schedule to do things can be a bit challenging so I hope the fall event is easier for you all. It looks like so much fun.

    Blessings and ((HUGS))

  3. What a perfect field trip!!!!! Just amazing.
    I think I have now found a reason to visit North Carolina :)

  4. What a fantastic field trip!! That looks like soooo much fun!! I've always wanted to see the Biltmore House. Maybe one day!

  5. That season pass sounds like a good idea. It's nice to come back and see all the seasons and change of activitiies, like we do at CW. I think that's a learning experience in and of itself too.