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Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown Victory Center Offer 'Homeschool Program Days' September 10-25

WILLIAMSBURG, Va., September 2, 2016 – As the traditional school year gets underway, homeschool families can enjoy history lessons at Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia, and the Yorktown Victory Center, a museum of the American Revolution, with special admission and family tours available September 10-25 during “Homeschool Program Days.”  The two museums are administered by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The homeschool ticket – $12 per family member – provides unlimited admission to both museums September 10-25. Ticketholders also have the opportunity to preregister at no additional cost for optional student hands-on classroom programs or family guided tours of the museums’ outdoor living-history areas – re-creations of a Powhatan Indian village, 1607 ships, and colonial fort at Jamestown Settlement, as well as a Continental Army encampment and Revolution-period farm at the Yorktown Victory Center. Children age 3 and under receive complimentary admission.

Depending on the age group, students can dig in a garden in the re-created Powhatan Indian village, march in a military pike drill in the re-created colonial fort, or use simple machines to raise sails and cargo on board one of the three re-created 1607 ships at Jamestown Settlement. At the Yorktown Victory Center, students may decode spy messages.

Jamestown Settlement visitors also can take in the ongoing special exhibition, “Bartering for a Continent: How Anglo-Indian Trade Shaped America,” which explores the importance of trade between American Indians and Jamestown colonists and the development of a new world of exchange while offering interactive bartering experiences. A “Search to Survive” GPS-based app game allows visitors to use their own device while visiting Jamestown Settlement’s outdoor living-history areas to learn about cultural intermediaries and trade among the Powhatan Indian and English cultures. A family scavenger hunt will be offered at the Yorktown Victory Center.

Tours at Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center address Virginia and United States standards of learning for history and social studies. Based on space availability, families can enroll in one of the following tours at each museum, according to age level:


Family Guided Tours and Student Theme Tours are available Monday, Wednesday & Friday, September 12, 14, 16, 19, 21 & 23, at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. or 2 p.m.  All tours are two hours in length.  A parent or guardian must accompany children age 7 or younger.

  • Family Guided Tour (All ages): Visit re-creations of a Powhatan Indian village, 1607 ships and colonial fort on this tour designed to introduce the history and cultures of America’s first permanent English settlement at Jamestown, Virginia.
  • Powhatan’s People (pre-school through age 7): Primary-age students will explore the Powhatan Indian village to learn about daily life and seek out natural resources used to supply food, shelter and clothing. Children can play games like those that Pocahontas may have played, and join in a fun activity to learn new Powhatan Indian words. Tour includes brief visits to the 1607 ships, re-created 1610-14 colonial fort and the “Bartering for a Continent” special exhibition.
  • Jamestown Adventure (ages 7-12): Intermediate-age students will learn about John Smith and other leaders of the Jamestown venture as they explore the governor’s house, soldiers’ barracks and other buildings in the re-created fort.  They can join a special military drill to help defend the fort and explore the reasons for the struggles the settlers experienced. Tour includes brief visits to the ships and Powhatan Indian village.
  •  Sailors and Settlers (age 13 and older): Secondary-age students will explore a 17th-century replica ship while learning to use deduced reckoning to plot a course, how to tell time aboard ship, and lift and store cargo using 17th-century technology.  They will experience living conditions for settlers and sailors for the 144-day voyage from England to Virginia, learn the duties of ships’ boys, and be “tested” on the 32 points of the compass – something all ships’ boys were required to learn.


Family Guided Tours are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays, September 13, 15, 20 & 22 at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. or 2 p.m.  All tours are two hours in length.  A parent or guardian must accompany children age 7 or younger.

  • Family Guided Tour (all ages): Offers an overview of life during the American Revolution, with visits to the re-created Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm.  Hands-on activities in the classroom enhance the story, and a musket drill completes the experience.

The deadline to register for guided tours is 5 p.m. three business days prior to the tour. For more information about the Foundation’s homeschool programs or to register, contact Group Reservations at (757) 253-4939 or toll-free (888) 868-7593.

Jamestown Settlement, located on Route 31 southwest of Williamsburg, features exhibition galleries and an introductory film that chronicles the nation’s 17th-century beginnings in Virginia in the context of its Powhatan Indian, English and African cultures.  The Yorktown Victory Center, located on Route 1020 in Yorktown and transitioning to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown in mid-October, features three Revolution-theme films, an illustrated timeline and exhibits.

For information about the museums, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838.