homeschool- science school

This week we enjoyed a trip to the Kid's Science Museum in the big city nearest to us. Another homeschool mom called to remind us that is was a free day for us, and to tell us that the museum had a neat hockey exhibit...Demi is all about hockey these days, he just tried out for a roller-hockey team...

Nice perk of homeschooling, we were able to drop what we were doing, and head on down!

Here is one of the neat hockey exhibits, a movie screen in front with a hockey player approaching to shoot at the goal. There are 3 slots in the wall, and the hockey puck shoots out of one of them. The kids got to dress up in goalie gear and try to stop the puck. Red lights and roar of the crowd added to the fun.

Amie tried out the harp with no strings. It had lights instead. Sounded like the real thing and was fun to experiment with. Mom played with it, too.

The whole crew had to try out the rock climbing wall. Love these! I wish we had one in our backyard, just the sort of thing I would have loved as a kid.

I've learned through experience to not arrive at the Science Museum until after lunch. I think they try to schedule all of the school field trips on the city-free day. It's a real zoo in the morning. Arriving 1 pm or later works out well, the kids are out having lunch and then being rounded up on buses. We have the place to ourselves, pretty much after 1.

A perk of homeschooling, ....avoiding the crowds. :)

Boston area resources for homeschoolers

I had a stack of must see resources for our trip to Boston. The ultimate preparation would have been a year long American History study, such as Sonlight's Core 3 and Core 4...but this trip didn't fit into that schedule, so here are the books I made sure we enjoyed before the trip:

Johnny Tremain by Ester Forbes: In my mind, this was the most important book to read for our trip, I read this book in 6th grade- and to me, it spoke "Boston". I was so excited to see the area myself, as an adult, and I was sure my kids would love and get as invested in Johnny's story as I did.

Samuel Eaton's Day and Sarah Morton's Day: wonderful, scenic picture-books of a day in the life of a pilgrim boy/girl, photographed at Plimoth Plantation, using period costumes. Really, really wonderful!

Tampenum's Day, a Wampanoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim times:
again, wonderful photos, done on location at the Wampanoag village at the Plimoth Plantation museum.

Drive Thru History: Columbus, the Pilgrim's and early Boston DVD*
I'll fess us and say I haven't viewed this, but if I had known about it before our trip, I would have ordered it. I was aware of the longer and more expensive Drive Thru History America dvd set...and was thinking about getting it when we do American History next school year...but this is shorter, more specific to the area and not a bad price at all... Did you see that it is a DVD? I have viewed one of these on Greece, and it was very entertaining and informative, well-done, I thought.

1621-A new look at Thanksgiving: beautiful photography again. I first read this years ago, and had a little bit of a hard time with some of it's harsh tone and representation of parts of history..but, it did challenge me, and it did present a side to the colonization of Plymouth I did not know, and it presented a clear look at the historical Thanksgiving-debunking many of the myths we learned way back in kindergarten...I think it was a good addition to our reading and gave my students a chance to see the 'other' side of history lore.

We also had a booklet on the Freedom trail, which was invaluable on our walking tour. We purchased it at Border's bookstore in Boston...I'm sorry but I cannot find it now, but I am sure you can find it, or ones like it in Boston!

Of course, Make Way for Ducklings was also on our list!! How could I forget that one? If you don't know, there are statues from this book at Boston Commons...

Plimoth Plantation highlights

I mentioned in an earlier post that our trip to Plimoth Plantation was one of the highlights of our really was, I highly, highly recommend taking in this living history museum if you are anywhere near it. If you are a homeschool family, I think it is one of the 'must sees' for American History.

We began our walking tour at the wampunoag village, which is hosted by real descendants of these native peoples. They do not speak 'parts' in this village, unlike at the Pilgrim village...but they are very open to talking to you about the past, their ancestor's way of living before and after the Europeans came, and about what they are doing at that moment, whether cooking a meal, planting corn or hallowing out a canoe.

This man was hallowing out a canoe with burning coals. I saw a real papoose board, something I have read about in books- it was a little different than I had imagined.
This is the Pilgrim village, men are building a roof. They slowed down to talk to us a bit about what they are doing, and how the village is run.
Two guys talking...
Here is the inside of one of the houses, this is a more prosperous house, we saw some that were more 'humble'.
Here are my kids pondering sitting like this every Sunday...sitting on a hard bench, having to stay awake...being hit if you are a boy sleeping, being poked by a stick if you are a girl...

they didn't sit that, these modern kids...!

off the beaten Plimouth path

I spend a lot of time taking our labradoodle, Emma outside for nature's call...

Okay, I was only fun'in with you...during our family trip to Boston, we visited Plimoth Plantation- it was really the highlight of our trip. Plimoth Plantation is a living museum. First up was the Wampunoag village. Here are a few of their canoes parked on a bank.

What a view! Those Pilgrims had some prime real-estate, let me tell you. I liked looking out and imagining what the coast was like back then...

more to come in the next post.


We really enjoy visiting Cambridge, and of course touring the campus of Harvard. This is the foyer of the Freshman dining hall. You have to be a freshman to eat here. We couldn't even go inside...tho, our last visit here, I got a really good peek inside when the doors were opened for a few seconds. On one side of the foyer was the dining hall, the other side has a theater. The stained glass windows are breath-taking. And, secular. No bible stories here.

The littles paused long enough to look angelic. Don't let them fool you. Don't. let. them.

Amie in front of the statue of the 3 lies. It's a fun story. This is the founder of Harvard, or not...hence the reason they call it the statue of the 3 lies... See the shiny foot? It's tradition that if you touch the foot, that either you or your kids will get into Harvard. So, we saw lots of tourists/visitors holding the foot and taking photos. Our student guides begged us not to touch it, and it wasn't the idea of germs that prompted this warning....we heard tales later of drunken students in the middle of the night, and I'm sure your imagination can supply the rest, think of why the bronze might be shiny, beside people constantly touching it... ewww!!

We loved Harvard, weird statue story and all. It's a beautiful campus. George Washington slept there, really! Lots and lots of history, my favorite subject!

this is homeschool field-tripping at it's best!

Boston! The Home gang takes a tour

Sky and I visited the Boston area two years ago, loved it, and really wanted to take the kids. We finally got our chance this May, after we spotted some super-low airfares. Visiting Boston is a super rich experience for us on two fronts; 1)the history! I loove History, I love visiting places I've read about, and I loved/longed to share these places with our kids. 2) meeting up with people we've met through having the Bible college boys/girls over to our house every week. Sweet, sweet fellowship.
There were many firsts for Demi and Amie. Look! - A very first plane ride!
Look! -very first subway train ride! This actually had monumental buildup after seeing subways in movies like Narnia and Spiderman.
Our very first Bible College boy, graduated several years ago, now serves on the college campuses in the area. He has become a very good tour guide, on the side. Here he is enriching us with his knowledge (which was considerable) of the old statehouse building. We actually had other people stop to listen to him at several stops. (we are joking about sending him a costume so he can do the tour in a proper way...)

Notice Amie giving him all her attention and just soaking in the history...


The Home crew went on a little field trip, we joined the National Tea Party. We were able to bike to downtown, which worked- out wonderfully.
*Notice Amie's civic-fortitude on the far left of this photo...

I love this flag! Texas just embodies what American freedom and independence are all about.

I am pretty proud of the composition of this photo, it just works.
Totally an accidental shot, but I am still proud of it...

The crowd was very well-behaved, the signs were fun, lots of people dressed-up. I captured a lot of fun pics for my fb page. Meg was captivated by the bevy of mounted police folk...she went over and chatted with them. (they looked very bored, with such a tame crowd)
-I guess I can count that as career planning. She discovered one of the horses is stabled at the stable she works at, the policewoman thought she recognized Meg.

A sign of our times, perhaps, or most likely a sign of how little I think of televised media...when I got home I checked FB and googled to see what was going on with the Tea Parties nationally, but it did not even occur to me to turn on the t.v. news. Maybe not having a t.v. for 6 years contributed to that, too. I just thought that was really funny, when in the evening, Sky finally switched on the cable networks.

I enjoyed hearing about the tea bags thrown over the fence at the White House, hee-hee. The new national security's report calling we peaceful protestors possible right-wing terrorists was very insulting and maddening. A reminder to not think too hard about politics, eh?

We are currently reading Johnny Tremain, in anticipation of our up-coming trip to Boston with the kids! We haven't gotten to the Boston Tea Party yet, but I am really excited about all the connections that will surely follow.

Well, that is my excitement for the year...

How was your tax-day?

the inmates run the asylum

I promised the kids a trip to Disneyland a few weeks ago..and so the other day I cashed in my promise. It happened to be an unusually hot day.

We went to art lessons in the morning and then headed to the park.

I got a real kick out of the candy corn's just too cute!

We spent the whole trip over at California adventure park, we headed right for the grizzly rapids was so hot, a little soak sounded like just the thing.

We happened to catch a parade, too.

Lots of fun!

Mom got a diet coke and a rice-krispy treat...she was good-to-go... (it's the little things in life...)