The Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge

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In our homeschool, we try to incorporate one field trip a month. Ten days ago, we visited the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge. I wrote a column for The Mountain Press about it, which you can read here

I realize that light-hearted children and the Titanic story don’t mix well. I watched the Titanic being built and thought I would never visit such a sad place. I would weep throughout. I drove past it on a regular basis on my way home and never gave it a second thought.

Children of Titanic Gallery

Children of Titanic Gallery

As God took me in the direction of homeschooling, I became more aware of possible educational opportunities around us. Before we head over to other states or countries, we want to visit local museums. The Titanic, with its amazing online resources for homeschoolers, made the list. Two things were still missing though:

(1) My children did not even know what death meant and

(2) I needed a new perspective on how to visit a place which recalls human tragedy.

Well, this year, my children became aware of death. I have already answered many questions about death and human tragedies. What’s a few more? Besides, if I don’t talk to my children about what happens after we die, somebody will. And it might be the wrong person.

As to the needed new perspective, one day it just came over me. I realized that remembering the victims is honoring them. So we went. We saw, touched, learned and experienced. We loved the crew’s friendliness and, of course, their uniforms.

We pushed buttons, shoved coals into the furnace, solved 3D puzzles, touched 28F water, and tried to avoid the iceberg in 37 seconds. Their simulator is great! We learned what RMS stands for, how many dogs were aboard, and so much more, as we listened to our headsets.

In the “Titanic, The Movie” room, my daughter and I picked our favorite dresses from Kate Winslet’s wardrobe. The hats took our breath away. Leonardo diCaprio’s drowning scene costume looked small and oh, so dry and clean.

At home, my son decided to build a LEGO Titanic. Here’s what he came up with.

My son built this LEGO Titanic without instructions

My son built this LEGO Titanic without instructions

The kids ran out of patience toward the end of the tour, so we did not get a chance to look our aliases up on the wall of remembrance. These were cards we got in the beginning of the tour, with the names and stories of real passengers. A crew member read to us quickly about their fate, from a book they sell in the gift shop. Whew! We all made it out alright.

I knew that about my character from the very beginning, because they gave me none other than Molly the Unsinkable. I’ve decided that’s my new nickname. By the way, this should be the name of any homeschooling mom out there – we are the Unsinkables of the world. Take heart and enjoy the ride!