Harn Homestead

Last week the kids and I made the trek to Oklahoma City to visit Harn Homestead with our homeschool group. Harn Homestead is the former home of William Harn who came to Oklahoma to help sort out land disputes after the land run of 1889. He donated half of the land needed to build the capital building, which is right down the street. His niece lived there until 1967 when she handed over the property to Oklahoma City so that children could learn about the life the Harns led. Which is where we come in..

The first stop on our tour was the farmhouse on the property. The house is set up in a surprisingly hands on way to teach kids about the work involved in farm and family life in the turn-of-the early nineteenth century.  The kids could “cook” in the kitchen, play in the living room and get dressed in pioneer clothing. It was a full immersion experience and they loved it!

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Chef Viggo

river pot hatTrue to form River had his own interpretation of the pioneer look.

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 Next we visited the one room school house and the kids got a taste of what school was like back then.  The visit was complete with bench seats, boys on one side girls on the other, slates and chalk, and a teacher who stayed in character as a pioneer schoolmarm. For a moment I was nervous about our modern manners holding up in this situation, but the children rose to the occasion and played right along!

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pioneer recess

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Just like today, recess is everyone’s favorite part of the school day.

Our last stop was the barn where the kids were given a lesson on the Harn Homtead motto of , “waste not, want not”, by seeing how things on a farm can be used and reused in so many different ways.

sisters harn

When we planned the trip to Harn Homestead, I assumed it would be in a rural area but I was completely wrong. It is a six minute walk from the capital building, right in the middle of the city!  Since the Harn’s are part of the history of the land run, Harn Homestead has land run reenactment days in the spring.  Our day at Harn Homestead brought an important period in Oklahoma’s history alive and the children left with a personal connection to our state’s pioneering days.  Thank you Mr. Harn and Ms. Wilson!

  1. Very interesting! I love those old school desks, I wouldn’t have loved to sit in them all day but very neat to see how things used to be. I was homeschooled so I have a huge appreciation for what you do for your kids, taking them on these field trips is going to help their learning and social skills immensely.

  2. Thank you so much for such a nice post about the Harn! We would love to share this on our Facebook page, but I will not do so without your permission. Let me know if it would me OK for me to do this.

    Thank you,
    Melessa Gregg
    Executive Director
    Harn Homestead Museum
    mgregg@harnhomestead.com

  3. You should consider taking a day trip and going to the George Washington Carver museum in Diamond, Missouri (about two hours from Tulsa); he made a lot of things with peanuts.

    Another option is the Wilson Creek National Battlefield near Springfield, MO.

  4. We live locally to an 1860s style village complete with original homes that were relocated to create this museum after the river was flooded in the 1950s. Several villages were intentionally destroyed in order to build a shipping route and a power dam. The history is tangibly displayed, and our always seem to connect with the experience and the stories of these real people who once existed. Visiting with our homeschool group makes it even better. The kids run from house to house as though they actually live there and the mamas have a chance to catch a breath. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. I loved reading this review on Harn Homestead!! Have you visited the Science Museum of Oklahoma, located right next to the Oklahoma City Zoo? That’s another wonderful atmosphere and learning experience for children of all ages in my opinion! Keep up the great work!

  6. Reminds me of the Little House book series we are working our way thru now. Such fun seeing kids learn how different life was and good reminder for us big people too just how different life really was. Love hands on learning:)

  7. That’s an awesome experience! My town’s school district has a Little Red School House museum located in the city’s “main” park. As part of the 3rd grade curriculum, each third grade class in the school district (approximately 20 classes total) spends a day at the Little Red School House. The children are supposed to be in period clothing. My mom even gave me a lunch pale (old tin coffee can) for my lunch complete with a mason jar of lemonade. This field trip happened 20 years ago, and I still remember it vividly. I’m excited that your kids were able to experience it as well.

  8. Sometimes, when I see all the thing we can teach the kids our own way makes me think “I don’t want to leave him at school next September”…If I could, I’ll probably do it myself….

  9. I recently came across your blog and I’m loving it. I am hoping to homeschool my little one, so I’m loving these field trip ideas. If you have any homeschooling tips I would love to hear them! You family is absolutely adorable!

  10. Natalie,
    Your blog is inspiring. I came across it while doing some research on home schooling. I have two little ones approaching school age and want to keep my options open. Looking forward to reading future posts. You have a beautiful family. Thank you for sharing your classroom adventures!

  11. Hi Natalie,

    All of these places look like great learning experiences. How much research do you do before planning a trip? I am a teacher by trade and was just wondering about it!
    Also, do you do field trips while traveling? I’m in Chicago and would love to recommend awesome museums, experiences and excursions for your group!

  12. I loved reading your blog about visiting Harn Homestead! I grew up in Edmond, OK, and that was one of my favorite field trip locations we went to YEARS ago. My husband and I now call Pittsburgh our home, but I am so glad to see that Harn Homested is still going strong in Oklahoma! What great memories!! I wish the Rock of Ages Hay Farm was still open, that was another favorite of mine.

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