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Summer Holiday 2016…Is Here :)

Summer Holiday 2016…Is Here :)

I always like to have some sort of plan for summer: last year we made a “sunshine list” (basically a bucket list written inside a sun, with activities to bring a little bit of sunshine into even a Scottish summer), and on other years we have done traditional bucket lists. This year after reading Sally Clarkson’s latest book “The Life-Giving Home” I was inspired to do a historical summer holiday.

In “The Life-Giving Home” Sally and her daughter Sarah share how they would do historical road trips in the summer. Where they would chose a theme and visit historical sites linked to that theme, for example the Civil War. This would enable them as a family to immerse themselves in a particular time in history. Although we are not going to do a road-trip, we are going to choose a period of Scottish history and explore it by visiting locations linked to that period.

This year we have been looking through Scottish history, so I thought it would be good to visit sites linked to Mary Queen of Scots. This was a period in Scotland’s history in which the country went through tremendous change: both religious and political. It can be a complicated period for a child to learn about. By visiting various sites the memories created will, hopefully, bring history to life.

Fountain Holyrood Palace

The idea is not so much rigorous academic study into a subject, but the development of our minds, the creation of memories, and the building of a heritage rooted in where they are from. We learn a lot about ourselves from studying history.

To prepare for this I have drawn up a list of sites which have played a key role in the life of Mary Queen of Scots. Some of these we have visited before, so may not visit at this time- concentrating on new places. This has the added fun of two boat trips. The young Mary was kept on a small island on the Lake of Monteith, to protect her from the English who wished her to marry the young Edward VI. And another boat trip on Loch Leven to the site of the Queen’s imprisonment for a while. In doing the list I have found that we have enough sites to go to at least one per week over the summer holiday.

In visiting our first castle, a ruin on the east side of Edinburgh, as well as learning what role the castle played in Mary Queen of Scots’ life, they also had a jolly good time. They had the joy of playing hide and seek in the labyrinth of corridors, getting “lost” as they tried to navigate their way to the very top of the ancient castle walls. This morning when we woke up the very first thing Thomas asked was, “mummy can we go back to the castle?”

This summer we will still do our share of woodland adventures, summer hikes, and picnics but we are adding another dimension to this time, and to do so with a little more intentionality than waking up one morning and thinking let’s visit a castle today!

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