Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Visit to Ancient Egypt

If you think I've stopped posting on this blog, you should visit my neglected homeschool blog. On second thought, DON'T! I have been terrible about posting updates and if you took my reports there to be a measure of our schoolwork, you'd be very concerned about my children's education. I'm really considering merging the two blogs again, because perhaps somehow that will feel less overwhelming than keeping up on them both.

In light of that, I thought I'd post about a recent field trip our little Academy took to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California. We really should have gone back in the fall when we were deep into ancient Egypt, but I didn't know about it then. My kids didn't seem to mind the fact that we were learning about ancient India during the school week and looking at Egyptian artifacts on Friday.

The museum is set on some beautiful grounds with gardens with several buildings built in the ancient style. There was a large outdoor Senet game, which we took advantage of at the end of the day, fountains, and plantings. The museum itself was not large, but they had a surprising amount of artifacts. We loved looking at the mummies, sarcophagi, the toys and jewelry of the ancient Egyptians. There was papyrus and a large diorama explaining family life in ancient Egypt, including how Egyptians welcomed a new baby into the world, which was of particular interest to our family.

There was also a fairly large exhibit of artifacts and replicas from other ancient civilizations including Sumeria, Assyria, and Babylon. The boys were excited to see a replica of the Rosetta stone and of the stele of Hammurabi's Code, as well as an artist's 3-D rendition of what the Hanging Gardens of Babylon might have looked like.

The museum also offered a 40 minute planetarium presentation which we tried but ended up leaving. Brownen didn't make it through the introduction and Ian lost interest almost immediately but managed to sit quietly for about 25 minutes of it. I was surprised that Kimball and Henry did so well with it, as I found it to be a rather dry high-school or college level lecture on the Mithraic Mysteries. I would recommend it for kids at least 10 and older who have an interest in the ancient world, otherwise wait until they are teenagers.

Here are a few shots of the kids playing Senet outside before we headed into rush hour traffic to drive home. I wish that I had taken more pictures of the grounds, but that will have to wait for our next visit.


Sea Star said...

We love the Rosicrucian Museum. We have gone several times over the last few years as it is only about 10 min away from our house.

Yes the plantarium show was a little beyond me too. My husband liked it and the kids sat through it but I honestly was a bit bored.

The grounds are really beautiful at this time of year I am sure!

Jeannetta said...

Cool! Nothing so great here.
Pssst (you spelled ancient wrong, I don't know about you, but MY MIL would be very critical of me--homeschooling and being a bad speller ;) )

Michal said...

jeannetta-- how funny! i must have written it a dozen times in the post correctly, but managed to spell it wrong in the title. i'm usually a good speller, but i have plenty of other faults to pass on to my children via homeschooling!:)

Jeannetta said...

I know me too :D I've done it a hundred times myself! I giggled, because one day my Dad called to tell me I spelled something wrong, so I fixed it while he was on the phone, just to make him happy ;D
Anyway, have a lovely Sabbath Day.

Jen H. said...

I have a suggestion for avoiding rush-hour traffic next time you come to San Jose: Come to my house for dinner!

a10cowwoman said...

Looked fun. Isn't homeschooling fun? . . . well most of the time.