So we have started traveling and Savannah, Georgia is our first stop. When I first started homeschooling I thought how absolutely wonderful, I can take my daughter to France when we learn about the Eiffel Tower and Rome when we learn about the Coliseum, New York when we talk about the Statute of Liberty and so on. Well, if you have been following this blog you should know that has not happened yet.
I had a wonderful three-legged, somewhat blind and absolutely wonderful 19 year-old dog that made traveling pretty impossible for the last two years. I had him since he was a pup and, frankly, he needed me following his amputation (this occurred when he was 17) and I needed him. He lived two glorious years thereafter; we just lost him a short time ago. We forewent any traveling so we could be with him; we also didn’t feel comfortable leaving him with anyone considering his special needs. Once we lost this beautiful soul we decided to embark on our educational tour of the world. Only living a few hours from Savannah we thought this would be a great place to test the waters. We are fortunate to still have our other wonderful soul, Prancer, who is our 17 year old beautiful Basenji/Pharaoh Hound mix. She has been in kidney failure for about 6 months (having been given about a month to live 6 months ago). She is outwardly as healthy and strong as an ox. We figured while we were fortunate enough to have her with us we wanted to take her on our trips with us, if able. A short car ride trip seemed appropriate to see how she would do.
I did some research on what to do in Savannah, trying to find educational opportunities (after all this is my plan). Well, I failed in the preparation department other than packing some schoolbooks for us to work on while driving. I had no amazing worksheets set up nor did we review Savannah’s history before we arrived; I didn’t even have Lightning watch or read Forest Gump or Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. (Movies/Books that are regularly mentioned in tours).
What I did do. I found on-line that at the Juliette Gordon Low House, home of the Girl Scouts, there was a Savannah Safari book for about $7.00. First stop the Juliette Gordon Low House. We purchased the book our first day and although planned on hitting all the sites during our travels, we didn’t (this could have been completed within an hour or two, but it had been raining in Savannah on and off during our stay). Although indirectly visiting some stops from the Safari book we decided on our last day we would conquer the Safari book first thing in the morning. I am glad we decided to do it this way. It was more fun to follow the map and complete the Safari in order. Lighting said she felt like she was on a real Safari. We were definitely taken off the beaten path and were able to explore sites we normally would have passed by otherwise. My main critique of the Safari book is it did not offer any information on each stop. For instance, above a book store there was a pineapple sculpture, why? A fun little tidbit why would have been at least anecdotal.
Second, we scheduled a trolley tour. We used the Old Carriage House Trolley, recommended by our hosts at the B&B. Period characters hop on the bus at random stops and tell a short story (we had 3 in all). The trolley drivers also provide a history tour. The main negative is you don’t always catch everything the trolley drivers are saying, particularly if you are in the back, as the trolley’s are a bit noisy. The information they provided definitely are a mini-history lesson…whew…no prep work needed.
Third, let’s make it fun to learn. We booked the Haunted History Tour. Fortunately for us we received a private tour. Talk about a history lesson. This tour was entertaining with ghost tales and history. Nothing I could have prepared ahead of time would have matched this history lesson. We have been covering the American Revolution and the Civil War in our studies so Lightning was able to understand the references in the tour. I definitely encourage you to at least review the basics of both wars if you are thinking about a trip to Savannah.
We will definitely go back, but next time I would love to study the architecture. So many different styles are throughout the city. The flora and fauna, also with bird watching, are another great area of study in Savannah. I noticed they have Audobon walking tours. Considering the rain while we were there it was not an option. It would have fit great into our science curriculum, Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day by Apologia, but the weather was not cooperating.