Last Wednesday, with a family of fellow-homeschoolers, we ventured down to Charlottesville to visit Mr. Jefferson’s home, a home he worked on for more than 40 years. For the self-taught architect, Monticello (check out the old-style nickel to get a view of the famous edifice) was his masterpiece; it’s a near-perfect version of Classic styling with innovations suited specifically for the site and Jefferson’s consistent quest for knowledge, both natural and book.

This is a house I could definitely own — lots of windows to bring the outdoors in (particularly on the north side of the building which gets so much sun that he could grow indoor lemon and other citrus trees), cozy rooms with tons of built-in bookshelves, cool inventions/innovations to make study easier (I love the book stand that allowed for having FIVE books opened all at the same time — Jefferson would have loved having a laptop with multiple windows!). This house has got to be seen in person!

After our tour of the house and the grounds (where we learned just how large a slave house was and saw an original weaver’s cottage from the late 1700s), we made our way half-way down the mountain to the visitor’s center and the exhibits, hands-on activities and fascinating volunteers who like nothing better than talking about Jefferson … Jefferson the scholar, Jefferson the architect, Jefferson the philanthropist, Jefferson the family man, Jefferson the farmer. Jefferson was a living example of the Renaissance Man — and his home in the hills above University of Virginia (which he founded) was an amazing experience for us all.

Getting ready for the House Tour

Horses came to check us out ...

Approximating the size of the slave quarters -- there were 10 of these houses on the hill

A couple of the boys in the Discovery Room -- building their own virtual Monticello

As a homeschooler, I loved this quote on reading the originals ...

Maybe our country needs to get back to an agri-based economy?

Where have you gone recently … either a field trip or just a family visit?

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