Frank Lloyd Wright:

As you may have gathered from my billion posts on the subject, my kids fell in love with the Blue Balliet books this spring and summer and along the way, fell down a bunch of different rabbit holes. Pentominos were one. Frank Lloyd Wright was another.

When they discovered Fallingwater was located in Pennsylvania, the children insisted on adding it to our summer fun list. And a few weeks ago, we were able to make that particular dream come true.

The trust that cares for Fallingwater doesn’t allow children under six to take the tour. Even if they’re babies. Even if they’re in a sling. Sigh. Whatever. So we had to take the tour in shifts. First Chip took Nicholas. Now, Nicholas doesn’t have the easiest time focusing in the world (/understatement) but he wanted to take this tour more than anything. You see, Nicholas has decided that he wants to be an architect. And you know what? I think he just might do that. Nicholas loved taking the tour with Daddy while the babies, Daniel, the two oldest children, and I hit the snack bar and toured the grounds.

On our way down to the tour


First glimpse of Fallingwater

When Daddy and Nick came out, we threw the babies and Daniel at them (just kidding!) and took the tour ourselves. Before we even began the tour we were amazed by Frank Lloyd Wright’s genius. For example, this little foot bath right outside the entrance where people could wash their footsies off when before entering the house. Brilliant!

We weren’t allowed to take any pictures on the tour, so I handed off my camera to the boys.

Frank Lloyd Wright was a genius, but he was also a big jerk. This was one of the biggest things we learned on the tour. The man was brilliant, but not secure enough in his own brilliance not to use his talent to bully and manipulate others. This was an interesting life lesson for the kids.

After the tour, we all met up again and hiked up to the overlook.

At this point, Nicholas had just about had it.

Back in the gift shop, I purchased a book I have had my eye on for a while.

The first half is mostly biographical information, which we read together. We also watched this video on Netflix on Demand. Well, we’re about halfway through it. Although I would warn you– watch with care if you’re watching with your kids. It goes into detail about how he abandoned his wife and children, his affair, and (even more disturbing) the murders at Taliesan.

This week we did our first art project to go along with this study. We examined his stained glass windows (also called art glass windows). Specifically, we looked at the windows of the Coonley playhouse. See the hidden objects? The American flag, balloons, and confetti?

Using paper, transparency paper (also sometimes called kite paper), pencils, rulers, and sharpies, we made our own designs, complete with hidden treasures. I do wish I could have introduced using compasses as well, but they were all MIA so we ended up tracing glasses and lids for the circles.

Michael, age 12


Katie Grace, age 10


Nicholas, age 7

Can you find our hidden objects?

1 Comment


  1. //

    We tried to take a tour of Sagamore Hill, Teddy Roosevlets’s home in NY when Brendan was 17mo. It was a failure. The tour was too long for Craig and I to take turns(we had a set time we were planning to arrive at his brother’s house a few hours further toward the end of Long Island that day). He *refused* to be held and wanted to be down to walk/run, but the only barriers between where we were allowed to be and not allowed to be were thick velvet ropes hanging across the areas, which a 17 mo could walk right under. At the beginning of the tour even as we held his hand he moved just a bit and managed to step under a barrier setting off an alarm. We left and decided to do the tour another time when he was older. By the time we went back, we had all three boys and they were all school age and able to stay where they needed to be. Plus, it counted as a school day for us.

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