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Plymouth, Massachusetts: A Homeschooler’s Travel Guide to Early American History

May 7, 2024 | Homeschool, Massachusetts | 0 comments

Welcome to Plymouth, Massachusetts—the heart of Early American History and the very place where it all began. Whether you’re a homeschooler eager to bring history to life or a young learner thirsty for knowledge and adventure, you’ve found the right guide. Plymouth is not just a destination; it’s a living classroom brimming with stories, lessons, and insights into the past that shaped the nation we know today. I invite you and your family to step back in time, explore, learn, and experience Plymouth’s rich tapestry of history through this guide. From the iconic Mayflower II to the historic Plymouth Rock, and the vibrant Plimoth Patuxet Museums, this is your gateway to discovering Early American history where the air you breathe is as rich in historical significance as the soil beneath your feet. Join me on this educational journey in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and create memories that will not only enhance your homeschooling experience but also provide a deeper understanding of the foundations of American society

Where to stay in Plymouth, Massachusetts

John Carver Inn & Spa

25 Summer Street, Plymouth, Massachusetts

The John Carver Inn & Spa is a charming blend of historical allure and modern comforts. Regrettably, I have to report a peculiar incident where the resident ghost took a liking to my digital memories, as my attempts to capture the hotel’s essence vanished into thin air. However, this captivating establishment is nestled in an ideal location, boasting an extraordinary pool that features a grand Mayflower replica complete with slides weaving into the water. It’s perfect for children, making it my top recommendation for families seeking an unforgettable stay.

FYI, my son slid down the Mayflower slide over 100 times! He gave the slide an A+.

Plimoth Patuxet Museums: A Time Machine to the 17th Century

Plimoth Patuxet Museums is an amazing resource for homeschooling parents eager to bring Early American History to life for their children. Marking the spot where the narrative of America began to pivot, it provides a captivating window into the early European settlers’ arrival and establishment of the first colonies. Visitors are transported back in time, given the opportunity to explore the daily lives of the Pilgrims through the engaging presence of actors portraying these historical figures, readily available for questions and interactions. Demonstrations on musketry and hands-on experiences offer an authentic sense of life in that era, making history come to life.

Thanksgiving Feast at Plimoth Patuxet Museums

During our visit to the town, we conveniently arrived during the time of the Thanksgiving Feast at Plimoth Patuxet Museums. We bought tickets to the Thanksgiving Feast a few months beforehand. It is costly but it is 100% worth it! It was a surreal experience where we immersed ourselves in an Early American Thanksgiving, this dinner was reminiscent of what the Pilgrims might have had. The menu featured items that were likely part of the first Thanksgiving, served in a manner akin to that of the Pilgrims’ time. This provided a unique opportunity for history to come alive for my kids.

Mayflower II in Plymouth, Massachusetts

Climb aboard a detailed replica of the original Mayflower. Hear tales of the harrowing 1620 voyage and the hopes of its passengers. What an amazing experience! This was a dream come true for this teacher.

Plymouth Rock: The First Lesson in American History

No visit to Plymouth is complete without a stop at Plymouth Rock, the traditional site of the Mayflower Pilgrims’ landing in 1620. While smaller than many expect, the Rock serves as a powerful symbol of courage and the quest for freedom. It’s the perfect starting point for discussions about early American history, the challenges of the settlers, and the Native American peoples who inhabited the land long before the Pilgrims arrived.

Plimoth Grist Mill

See historical engineering at work. The mill uses water power to grind corn, a staple of the early settlers’ diet, offering lessons in both history and physics.

Make sure you pick up a pack of Plimoth Grist Mill Organic Sweet Corn Mill and Muffin Mix. Unfortunately, as a Southern girl, I can rate this cornbread with two stars.

Must Eat in Plymouth, Massachusetts- (Trust Me)

Breakfast- Will & Co. Cafe, 6 B Street, Plymouth, Massachusetts

Breakfast- The Blueberry Muffin, 2240 State Road, Plymouth, Masssachusetts

Dessert- Cupcake Charlies, 6 Town Wharf, Plymouth, Massachusetts

Bringing History Home: Educational Resources

To maximize the educational value of your trip to Plymouth, consider integrating these resources into your homeschool curriculum:

  • Pre-visit Research: Use books, documentaries, and online resources to introduce your kids to the historical context of Plymouth. This will make the on-site experience more meaningful and engaging. We loved the Liberty Kids series on YouTube, History Pockets: Life in Plymouth Colony, “What was the First Thanksgiving?” book, Plymouth Unboxed (history box), History Smashers: “The Mayflower” book, and “The Boy Who Fell off the Mayflower”.
  • Interactive Workbooks: Many historical sites offer workbooks or scavenger hunts to help kids engage with the exhibits and remember what they learn.
  • Post-visit Projects: Encourage your kids to create a project based on their experiences. Whether it’s a journal entry, a diorama of the Mayflower, or a presentation about the Wampanoag culture, these activities will help reinforce their learning.

In Conclusion

Plymouth, Massachusetts, is a treasure trove of educational opportunities for homeschooling families. By visiting historic sites, engaging with pilgrims, and exploring the natural beauty of the area, kids can gain a deep, personal understanding of American history and the natural world. Plan your visit to Plymouth and unlock the doors to a unique and unforgettable learning experience.

Next stop, Salem!

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Hi, I’m Misty! Welcome to Glam Journey, where you’ll find travel-related content, itineraries and booking services for the adventurous mom who is living her version of a glamorous life.

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