Homeschool Programs

Historic New England presents our award-winning school programs specifically for homeschool families

Historic New England is proud to present a wide variety of programs for homeschool families.

For each program:

New for 2018: We have increased the number of programs and separated them into two age categories, “8+” and “All Ages.” Programs listed as “8+” are intended solely for children between the ages of 8 and 14 and are not suitable for younger siblings. Programs listed as “All Ages” include a variety of activities designed to engage and educate younger children as well.

There must be a minimum of 5 children registered for programs to run. Programs are limited to 24 people. Full payment is due at the time of registration and is non-refundable (unless program is cancelled by us due to under-enrollment). No registrations will be accepted on the day of the program.

Questions? Email [email protected]

Sample Programs

The Camera's Eye

Use your camera eye to take in the landscape at Hamilton House as Elise Tyson did in the early 1900s.

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  • The Camera's Eye

    Use your camera eye to take in the landscape at Hamilton House as Elise Tyson did in the early 1900s.

  • Springtime Exploration

    Explore seaside Watson Farm and visit the Red Devon cattle.

2018 Homeschool Programs

Wednesday, January 17: The Art of Dining, Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum and Visitor Center, South Berwick, Maine. In this program, discover table manners, etiquette, and design in contemporary times and in the nineteenth century. After visiting The Art of Dining exhibition in the Visitor Center to discover a birthday party, a picnic, and takeout food, participants will head to the Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum. There they will explore the house, imagine a family dinner party, and create their own teacup. Art and Design. All Ages

Tuesday, February 13: Life in 1800, Otis House, Boston, Mass. Participants will learn what life was like for the Otis children and their neighbors as they visit the house, play games in the parlor, and become an apprentice in the plaster workshop. Each participant will create a plaster ornament to bring home. History. All Ages

Monday, March 19: The Irish Experience at Phillips House, Salem, Mass. Go behind the scenes at Phillips House to learn about the lives of Delia Cawley, Catherine Shaughnessy, and other Irish employees of the Phillips family. Explore the service areas of the house and examine primary source documents to turn the spotlight on these sometimes unseen members of the household. History. Ages 8+

Monday, April 23: Simple Machines, Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm, Newbury, Mass. Participants use all their senses while exploring the eighteenth-century barn; discovering the principles of weights and measures; and experimenting with simple machines, such as pulleys, screws, and levers. Science and Technology. All Ages

Monday, May 14: By the Sea: Art and Nature in Coolidge Point, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass. In 1871, Thomas Jefferson Coolidge Sr., great-grandson of the president, purchased land with magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean, now known as Coolidge Point. In this program, we will explore the site’s collections and connections to early American history, and all participants will create a landscape painting. Art and History. Ages 8+. 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Please note: Coolidge Point is not yet open to the public. Registered participants will receive detailed directions and parking information closer to the program date.

Friday, May 25: Springtime on the Farm, Watson Farm, Jamestown, R.I. Join an in-depth exploration of the Watson Farm working landscape. The walkabout includes a visit with Red Devon cattle and newborn calves, the sheep flock with their lambs, and a working dog demonstration with Kep the Border Collie. Participants will investigate the shoreline, swamp, pond, compost pile, and hayfields and spin a wool bracelet to take home. Science and Nature. All Ages

*Tuesday, June 5: Spirit of ’76: Life of a Soldier, Roseland Cottage, Woodstock, Conn. Participants use their inquisitiveness and historical thinking skills to enter the past and gain a deeper understanding of the life of a New England soldier during the Revolutionary War through a series of interactive hands-on activities. History. Ages 8+

*Monday, July 16: A Portrait of a Turbulent Time: Jonathan Sayward and the Revolution, Sayward-Wheeler House, York Harbor, Maine. Participants will discover the thorny history of Jonathan Sayward, who was both a prominent and respected member of the community, and loyal to Great Britain during a time of Revolutionary fervor. After examining his life and his portrait and exploring his house, they will turn the mirror on themselves to create a self-portrait. History and Art. Ages 8+

*Monday, August 13: Spirit of ’76: Life on the Homefront, Barrett House, New Ipswich, N.H. Participants use their inquisitiveness and historical thinking skills to enter the past and gain a deeper understanding of life on the homefront in New England during the Revolutionary War through a series of interactive hands-on activities. History. Ages 8+

Monday, September 17: (De)light and Surprise: Designing Wonder at Beauport, Gloucester, Mass. Henry David Sleeper was one of America’s first professional interior designers, and his summer home was his laboratory and showcase. Participants will explore Sleeper’s use of light and the ways he incorporated elements of surprise throughout the house as inspiration for their own works of art. Art and Design. All Ages

Tuesday, September 25: At the Bay, Casey Farm, Saunderstown, R.I. The salt pond and cobble beach at Casey Farm offer exciting settings to explore the diversity of life along Rhode Island’s greatest natural treasure: Narragansett Bay. Participants learn about fresh and saltwater wetlands and then discover the wide variety of organisms that live in the salt marsh, salt pond, and cobble beach. The Jamestown Bridge provides a backdrop to a discussion of human influences on the bay. Science and Nature. All Ages

Monday, October 15: Dirt Detectives, Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm, Newbury, Mass. October is Massachusetts Archaeology Month! Participants become archaeologists as they excavate a mock pit with actual tools of the trade and process reproduction artifacts in a field lab. Inside the museum, they explore building archaeology via trap doors. They analyze objects to learn about daily life at the farm over the last 300 years. Archaeology. All Ages

*Tuesday, November 13: What Freedom Means to Me, Pierce House, Dorchester, Mass. In this program, students will examine the events known as the Boston Massacre from several different perspectives. They will read what Samuel Pierce, who lived in the Pierce House, wrote about it in his journal; look at reproduction newspaper accounts; and closely examine the famous engraving of the massacre by Paul Revere. They will discuss the influence of propaganda, both in history and today, and create their own engraving. History and Art. Ages 8+

Register online

Monday, December 10: Deck the Halls: A Celebration of Christmas History, Eustis Estate, Milton, Mass. Many of the Christmas customs we take for granted today were invented or popularized during Victorian times and were flourishing when the Eustis Estate was built in 1878. We invite you to learn the history of Christmas while exploring the lavishly decorated mansion. Participants will create a holiday wreath, enjoy seasonal refreshments, and receive a small wrapped gift. Art and Celebration. All Ages. Please note: Due to the cost of materials, this program is $25/$20 Historic New England members.

Register online

*Programs marked with an asterisk work either as stand-alone experiences or as a four-part Revolutionary War track. Register for all four and receive discounted admission. Please call 617-994-6678 to register for all four programs.

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