Education

At Historic Kenmore and George Washington’s Ferry Farm, families and children have the opportunity to understand the people, events, and ideas that shaped the American spirit by walking in the footsteps of George Washington, Mary Washington, Fielding and Betty Washington Lewis, and their families as well as the Native Americans, enslaved communities, Civil War soldiers, and other people who called these landmarks home.

Learn With Me Days is a series of on-site programs (aligned with VA SOLs) good for homeschool or students who are virtual learning in grade levels K-6. On the last Wednesday of each month from February to October, students learn about George Washington’s life, daily life in the 18th century, the Lewis family’s involvement in the Revolutionary War, or how archaeology contributes to historical knowledge. Each month brings a new topic and the program alternates between George Washington’s Ferry Farm and Historic Kenmore.

To learn about upcoming Learn with Me Days, visit the Events page.

The George Washington Foundation partners with educators to enhance educational experiences for students.  Programs are available at Historic Kenmore, George Washington’s Ferry Farm, or in-classroom, and address a wide range of Virginia SOLs (download list [PDF]), but can also be customized to fit your educational needs.  Programs incorporate letters, estate inventories, wills, diaries, and other primary-source material, as well as, artifacts found in on-site archaeological digs.  House tours at both Ferry Farm or Kenmore are available as part of your on-site visit.

AGE & COST
Grades: K-5
Students (ages 5-11) – $10.00
Chaperone – $5.00 per chaperone
Plus processing fees

GROUP SIZE & TIME
15 students minimum per 1 hour time block
2 chaperones maximum per 1 hour time block

Multiple 1 hour time blocks per day may be scheduled to accommodate larger groups.

Each 1 hour time block must be filled before scheduling any additional 1 hour time blocks.

COVID SAFETY PROTOCOLS

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the bulk of your tour at Ferry Farm or Kenmore will take place outside. Time inside the house will be more limited than normal. Except for access to the restrooms, our visitor’s centers are closed.

SCHEDULE A STUDENT GROUP VISIT
Reservations are required at least two-weeks in advance. To schedule a visit or if you have questions, email groups@gwffoundation.org or call 540-370-0732 x27.

NOTE: There are no food services available at either Ferry Farm or Kenmore. For lunches or snacks brought by student groups, Ferry Farm and Kenmore offer plenty of shaded, grassy areas for picnics. When you schedule your visit, please let us know if you plan to lunch at our sites.

Tours will be limited in size to ensure proper social distancing. School group tours are limited to 2 chaperones per every 15 student visitors. Student groups are also limited to 15 students per programmatic event; you may schedule multiple programmatic events throughout the day.

Masks are required for everyone attending the program.

A cleaning schedule has been established above and beyond the daily cleaning methods. This will assure that all surfaces encountered by the public are wiped down thoroughly several times a day. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be available.

No one with a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19 is permitted on-site.

STUDENT GROUP VISIT PROGRAMS

Programmatic topics vary between sites. Please review the information below to see what topics are available. Each program has a recommended range given what SOLs and information is covered during the program.

FERRY FARM PROGRAMS

George Washington: Boy Before Legend – Grades K-5
Students learn about George Washington’s life, starting from his childhood at Ferry Farm. This multi-disciplinary program examines the important roles that math and science played in his work—first, as a surveyor and, later, as a farmer. It teaches Washington’s historical significance as a general and president. By the end, students will understand Washington as a child, man, and legend.

I Dig George! – Grades 3-5
Applying critical thinking skills, primary sources, and historical research, Ferry Farm archaeologists make new, exciting discoveries about George Washington every day. Through hands-on learning, students conduct a simulated archaeological dig by gridding, digging, sifting, washing, identifying, and mending. Students are challenged to think critically about artifacts they uncover.

First Americans – Grades K-5
The history of Native Virginians spans thousands of years, from the time of hunters and gatherers, to their interaction with European settlers. Through artifacts, primary documents, and stimulating, hands-on activities, students learn about the lives of the first Americans who visited the land now called Ferry Farm.

Habitat Hunt – Grades 1-4
Students explore Ferry Farm’s natural world, past and present, and learn about the local eco-system, as well as, the migration, hibernation, and camouflage of various birds and animals. Students hike in our woods, look for plants and animals along the river, and participate in activities that explain the interdependence of man, plants, and animals.

KENMORE PROGRAMS

A Bird’s-Eye View of the 18th-Century – Grades K-3
Students travel back in time to peek at the lives of the Lewis family at Kenmore in 1775. What were the similarities and differences in how 18th-century people lived compared to us today? How did they cook, dress, and play? Students discover the answers to these questions through hands-on, minds-on activities about colonial buildings, clothing, cooking, manners, occupations, and childhood.

Revolutionary Perspectives: Difficult Choices & Life-Changing Decisions – Grades 4-5
It is 1775. The Lewis family just moved into Kenmore. The Revolutionary War is underway. George Washington, Betty Lewis’s brother, commands America’s Continental Army. Why did the colonies go to war against Great Britain? What role did Fielding and Betty Lewis, their children, and enslaved workers play in the fight? What difficult life-changing choices did Kenmore’s residents make because of the war? Students explore the wartime lives of Kenmore’s residents and learn the answers to these questions.