Monday, June 30, 2014

Homeschool Year Recap-- Part 1, Field Trips

Numerous field trips are one of the many benefits of homeschooling, a benefit that I felt we just weren't taking full advantage of.

So this past fall I opted out of our co-op activities in favor of extra field trips for me and the kids.  Boy, am I glad we did!  We logged 19 field trips just in that one semester!  My heart swells every time I repeat that number!  Nineteen!

So, where did we go?  What did we see?  Allow me to summarize, in no particular order.

The first four were covered in blog pasts last fall.  (I managed to write about those in a much more timely manner than the rest of these!  Definitely an area in which I need to improve.)  Still, I will start the list with them even if they are repeats. 

#1-4: Philadelphia, Acadia National Park, Maine Farm Days (no pics), and Cole Transportation Museum covered earlier.  
Cole's Transportation Museum

#5: Hiking the Paw-Paw Trail with friends at nearby Fall Creek Falls State Park.  A perfect day, despite the fact that Reagan's little legs gave out long before the trail did so I carried him for much of the way.

#6: A visit to an awesome exhibit of the Old Testament tabernacle.  This was a great experience and the hosts of the event were very informative.

#7: One of the kids' favorites to be sure-- Wonderworks in Pigeon Forge.  Andrew lay on a bed of nails.  Yikes!
 Reagan walked on the moon!
 Marian and Andrew (and Mom, too) overcame any 
 acrophobic tendencies we might have had.
 We made bubbles big enough for Ellie to stand in.  (No picture of that-- I guess I was too busy helping to make the giant bubble.)

#8: A beautiful hike in the Smokeys.

#9: Ripley's Aquarium.  The tube for viewing the penguins was a huge hit!

#10: Local Mountaineer Days.  There were many exhibits to see, including a broom maker;
 furniture makers;
 a Civil War encampment 
complete with...
Yes, they really do fire this cannon, and yes, it really is super loud.
a fully equipped medical tent;  
This guy really know his stuff. If you have a weak stomach, better just keep on walkin'.
also, an alpaca farmer, with two of his alpacas, and his wife who showed how to spin and weave; a man who ran a sorghum mill and boiled the sap down right there for us to see; and lots of vendors selling crafts, trinkets, and lots of yummy food!  What a day!

#11: A trip back in time to Walton's Mountain in Schuyler, Virginia.  Well, it's not much like the house shown on the TV show, but is was really interesting for all of us to see where John Boy-- ahem, I mean Earl Hamner-- really grew up and where the idea of the television show got its start.

#12: Back to something more local.  I've always wanted to hike to the base of Fall Creek Falls at the nearby state park.
 Well, we did it!  Cool pic of Andrew in the middle of the pool at the bottom of the falls.

 #13: We had never taken the kids to Rock City on Lookout Mountain, so I decided to remedy that.  They loved it!  Give us some tight squeezes, some high overlooks, and a swinging bridge, and we're a happy bunch!

#14: One field trip was super close and easy-- right in my own kitchen.  A gentleman from our church raises homing pigeons and offered to bring some to show us and to teach us about them.  They were so neat!  Everyone had the opportunity to hold one and one pigeon even took a brief flight in the living room.

#15-19: The other five trips I just did not get any pictures of for one reason or another:  a tour of Channel 12 News station in Chattanooga; a tour of the orchard and processing area at Wooden's Apple House on Dayton Mountain; and three visits to the Cumberland County Playhouse to attend plays To Kill a Mockingbird and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and an amazing performance of the Golden Dragon Acrobats.

A few of these trips included other friends; most did not.

It was a precious semester with my kids, one I will not forget, one I hope to be a pattern for other semesters to come.

Friday, June 20, 2014

June Birthdays

It really happened.  We have a teenager.  There's no denying or debating it, and we'd better pay close attention because it won't be long before we'll have two!

Marian's 13th, Cecil's 77th, and my (ahem) 42nd all whizzed by on the calendar in one week!  All that birthday cake and so little ice cream!