Why Castles Make Me Think of Homeschooling

The village has been around since the 1700s. The thatch roofs look original, and most don’t leak. One “house,” which looks more like a hut, sits on a 10×15 meter lot. That’s pretty small by U.S. standards, but there’s still a vegetable garden present and productive. A father steps out of the house, followed by his wife and two young daughters. They stop and look toward something in the distance, as though their eyes beheld stories of old. The setting sun shines on a most magnificent scene in the east. There in the distance are the castles of Wales.

In 2003, our family had the privilege of meeting a homeschooling family from Wales. They contacted us through an online homeschool loop and were planning a four-week vacation to the United States. Their first stop on our soil was the Charlotte airport. They would have a long layover before flying to New England, where they planned to visit Niagara Falls, New York City, Boston, and a few other vacation spots.

We spent a wonderful ninety minutes visiting with David and Sarah and their two young daughters. Our time together was pleasant, and the conversation flowed smoothly across many subjects.

They showed us pictures of their thatch-roof house. We discussed their religious background, and naturally we each talked about our families’ homeschool experiences. David and Sarah had chosen to homeschool because of their concerns with rebellion in the government schools. Even kids in “private and public” schools were not the desirable sort. (Note that the terminology of “public” and “private” schools do not have the same meaning in Europe as they do in this country.)

Then we talked about the castles, and they gave us a beautiful gift—a book on the castles of Wales. Wales is often called the “Land of Castles” and rightly so, as it’s home to some of Europe’s finest surviving examples of medieval construction. The castles of Wales survive today in a variety of conditions, ranging from mere ruins to stately homes.

Castles have many distinctive features, most of them related to security or defense. You probably know about the moat, a deep trench filled with water that surrounds a castle. Another feature common to castles are turrets, small towers that rise above and rest on larger towers and are usually used as lookout points. A gate house is a complex of towers, bridges, and barriers built to protect the entrance to the castle. There are many more features of a castle, but you can do your own homeschool research project to get the details.

Some castles remain breathtaking despite being 700 to 1,000 years old. (They just don’t build homes like they used to!) Many of these structures took three or more generations to complete. In other words, if we started building a castle in the same way today, our grandchildren would finish the job well after we were dead and buried.

Now, have you ever seem a homeschool castle? Perhaps not yet, but you are constructing one right now. I predict that your grandkids will finish the job long after you are gone. Will it prove sturdy enough to last a thousand years? Will it still be beautiful to behold after many generations? Our Lord told the children of Israel that He wants to bless His people up to a thousand generations, and He promised to do so for those who love Him and keep His ways (Exodus 20:6).

Nothing worth doing can be understood today in the context of history. Therefore, we must live by FAITH. Nothing worth doing can be truly completed in our lifetime. Therefore, we must live by HOPE. Nothing worth doing can be done by ourselves, without help. Therefore, we must live by LOVE.

So go and continue to work on your homeschool castle. Your great-grandchildren will think it is gorgeous when they gaze upon its splendor in the satisfying light of the setting sun.

Hey there! This is my first blog posting. Would you mind giving me some feedback so I know you’re really out there? I’d appreciate your input. If you’re tracking with me and think your home school shares some similarities with castles, please let me know what comes to mind. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Walking by faith and enjoying the homeschooling adventure of a lifetime!


Davis Carman | President

Unless the Lord Builds the House (Psalm 127:1)


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One Response to “Why Castles Make Me Think of Homeschooling”

  1. GriswaldPn says:

    A round of applause for your blog article.Thanks Again. Really Cool.

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