Why do older adults want to continue learning as they age? According to an AARP study they want to keep up with what’s going on in the World, continue their personal growth, and have fun learning something new.
Incorporating education in your activities means that your mind will be more stimulated, your points of view will be sharper, and the social interaction will enrich your life. A healthy mind is critical to getting the most out of life at any age.
Imagine the experience of learning about Scottish Poetry, Digital Photography, Conversational Italian, and England’s Tudor Monarchs. There is little doubt that such experience could spice up your life. The good news is that this is available to you thanks to a large array of educational opportunities in Williamsburg.
The Christopher Wren Association for Lifelong Learning consists of people from a variety of backgrounds who wish to continue to study and learn after retirement. A common interest is shared in continuing learning experiences and intellectual stimulation. There are no tests or grades. Members participate purely for the joy of learning. The organization is sponsored by The College of William and Mary but is self-supporting.
Courses and activities are planned and operated by the members and occur at various locations throughout the area. Members design the curriculum and arrange for volunteer instructors from The College of William and Mary faculty (current and retired), from the membership and from the community at large.
Membership in the Christopher Wren Association (CWA) also provides an opportunity for a variety of social interactions. Class breaks offer members a chance to greet old friends and make new ones over coffee, tea and cookies.
Other area educational and lifelong long learning offerings available in the Williamsburg VA area include :
Auditing College Courses: In Virginia Senior citizens age 60 and older are encouraged to take advantage of tuition-free* courses at Virginia Colleges including William and Mary and Thomas Nelson Community College. Seniors over 60 may enroll in credit courses for credit if their Virginia taxable income did not exceed $15,000 for the preceding year, and may enroll in credit courses for AUDIT (no credit) regardless of income. Senior citizens eligible for free tuition will register the day a session begins on a space-available basis at the Admissions and Records Office. Admission is to a course is on a space-available basis after all tuition-paying students have been accommodated. In general, this means that this form will be processed on or after the first day of classes. W&M info here, TNCC info here
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation offers a range of special onsite learning opportunities for the public, students, teachers, and scholars.
- Archaeological Field School – Archaeological field school students get a hands-on opportunity to learn excavation techniques and recording, along with an introduction to laboratory analysis and 18th-century material culture. The field school is jointly sponsored with the College of William and Mary.
- Fellowships – The John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library offers short-term residential fellowships to support research on topics related to British America, the American Revolution, and the Early Republic.
- Tours – Learn more about the Foundation’s research initiatives through behind-the-scenes tours.
•Along with the Christopher Wren Society, the Williamsburg Area Learning Tree (WALT) offers a number of unique classes hosted by your instructors who want to share their enthusiasm and interests with you. WALT is a non-proﬁt educational program that brings people together to share their excitement and love of learning. These classes have you saying “I want to try that!” and now is the time.
How to sign up: Classes are open to everyone of all ages. Look over the complete course descriptions including class locations that vary. Register online through PayPal or mail in the registration form with your check.
Classes ﬁll up quickly so register early. Registrations are accepted until the class begins, refunds are available until one week before the class begins. Materials fees are paid with the registration fees.
New instructors are welcome to submit course proposals. If you are interested in teaching a future WALT course, contact WALT directly.
WALT Courses include:
Vermiculture – Fun with Worms, Picture Perfect Memories are Yours, Coffee House Drawing & Watercolor Sketching, Chinese for Beginners, The Arts of China, Gentle Yoga, Mah Jongg Strategy, Best Year Yet Plan Workshop, Introduction to Yoga, Basics of Interior Design, Dr. Mom’s Essential Oils First Aid, Saving Jesus, Household Document Organization, Windows 8 Explained and Demonstrated, Everyday Spirituality, Speak Spanish, Health through Environmental consciousness, Graphology: Handwriting Deciphered, Savvy Social Security Planning, Making Your Money Last, iPad, iPad Mini & iPhone Advanced Essentials, Yoga Flow for Every Body, Social Security: Your Questions Answered , Basics of Training for Running, 65 Years Young, What Medicare Means to You, Books vs Nooks, Jewelry Creations with Beads, Boost your Health – Fun with Energy, Mac & iMac Essentials for first time Mac users, Household Budgeting, Loving Your Way Through Divorce, Media Relations for Office Managers, How to Run Your Best Race, Fused Glass Pendants, Amazing Origami, Aging Safely At Home, Excel Intro for Windows PCs, Voice Coaches, Marketing for Artists, Auto Upkeep – Learn About Your Car, How to Make your Own Exotic Hot Sauces, Aromatherapy 101, Chickens in Your Backyard, Create a Birthday Box Card, Medicare Basics, Strategic Attraction Plan for Idea Job, Creating your Ideal Life, Standard English, Develop the Gratitude Habit, Natural History of DOG Street , Basic Bicycle Maintenance, Mah Jongg Magic, Adventures in Sailing, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, How to Reduce Low Back Pain, Cinco de Mayo Cooking Party, Beer Appreciation, Mozzarella 101, Great Homemade Strawberry Jam
Seasonal Garden Programs in Colonial Williamsburg
Williamsburg is known to have been a hub of gardening enthusiasm and knowledge in the 18th century. A number of professional and amateur gardeners lived in the colonial capital, actively sharing horticultural information as they molded the landscape around them. Today we continue to mold the landscape and share information as we gain more knowledge about colonial gardens.
To learn more about this aspect of Williamsburg, take a garden tour from those listed below or visit our Colonial Garden and Nursery or Meet the Gardener as noted below.
The Colonial Garden and Nursery is an interpretive and sales site across from Bruton Parish Church in The Revolutionary City. Using 18th-century gardening techniques and reproduction tools, our garden historians operate a colonial nursery that, like its colonial historical counterpart, sells authentic plants and seeds, and other garden related items. The Colonial Nursery is open the last week in March through the Christmas Season. Go to the Colonial Nursery.
Through the Garden Gate – Learn about archaeological and historical documentation used in re-creating Colonial Williamsburg gardens. This one-hour walking tour is available to Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket holders from April through September.
The Gardens of Gentility Walk – Explore how gardens reflected 18th-century lifestyles and ideals. This one-hour walking tour is available to Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket holders from April through September.
Meet the Gardener – Meet with landscape volunteers to ask questions and learn about period plants and their care in The Revolutionary City gardens. Available April through October.
Tall Treasures – See the diversity of trees that grow in the Revolutionary City. Guides identify street trees of interest and discuss the tree’s characteristics and colonial uses. Available to Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket holders in the fall.
The Williamsburg Library offers a variety of classes in computer classes Find out more here
Including Eat Local: Community Gardening, Boxwood Williamsburg Workshop, Butterflies-How to Invite Magic to Your Garden, Talks@2: The Musical Legacy of Ella Fitzgerald, Africa’s Vanishing Wilderness, The Year of the Bird: Birds of the Colonial Historic Triangle, Antiques at WRL, Solar Power in Williamsburg and more.