Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Secret learning

We took 2 weeks off of school after Hubs came home to give our family time to adjust and have quality time together.  At first I felt bad about taking 2 weeks off, but I think I need a vacation just from looking at this post.  We agreed to be intentional about learning during this break, but to do it in a secret "we're just having fun" way.  Princess P was not fooled and sometimes struggled with her attitude when she felt like we wanted her to learn when she was on vacation.  However, it was a great opportunity to share with her one of our big views on education; learning is in everyday life and can be fun.  We never stop learning and we desire for our kids to find a love of learning.

So here are all of our "secret learning" opportunities during our school break:

This little girl LOVES science experiments.  However, she loves the end product and not the work that goes into or the info about why it's doing what it's doing.  She asked if she could make flubber and I agreed, but she had to do it all herself.  I made myself conveniently unavailable close by and just kept saying, "Read the instructions."  She had to measure ingredients (she struggles with knowing measuring cups and spoons) and follow step by step instructions and I feel most importantly, gained some confidence in herself.

We went to Colonial Williamsburg and learned about canons,

watched a blacksmith make kitchen utensils,

and took a tour of the capital.

Princess and I read 'Anne of Green Gables' and watched the movie.  She made kettle corn, again having to measure and follow instructions and I could get used to her making snacks!

Life skills and character values is high on my homeschool agenda.  So when Princess P asked if she could serve strawberries to our dinner guests, although not really something I had in mind for the meal, I said yes and let her figure out how to cut and serve them herself.

We went glamping for a few days and Princess P took her 'Nature Encyclopedia' (all on her own) with us to explore new-to-her nature.  Here, she's looking at a spiderweb in the ground that was covered with dew.

We went on a tour of caverns and talked about stalactites and stalagmite.  Hubs was sharing so much with the kids that the tour guide asked if he worked there...some day the kids will be rolling their eyes when he starts throwing out facts.

We found milkweed on our picnic in the mountains and Hubs taught the kids about them.  I really should have listened better to what he was saying because that's all I can say happened.  Learned about milkweed...check.

We saw a black bear!  Can't say you see that everyday!

We went to Monticello and learned about Thomas Jefferson.

I loved this place.  Seriously could have moved right in and been perfectly happy.  The way they delivered information was refreshing.  Sounds strange, but I felt like it was easy to understand, clear and to the point, but not completely dumped down.

Charlie even learned about how the moon orbits at this fun hands on exhibit.

And the kids got to write with quills and hang their writings up along the walking path.

This was my most favorite part; the gardens.  We got to watch some workers harvest some vegetables and it was fun to see so many different things growing in one place.  We would LOVE a garden like this, although I would need all those workers to help me because I am a plant killer.  Love fresh food, but not so good at growing it.

Princess P learned to fish and caught her first one!

We planned to go to an apple orchard, but it turned into picking apples from this barn that already had them picked.  But they did have them sorted into different crates and the kids got to see and taste the difference in apples.  We also got to watch the apple sorting machine at the back and the boys thought that was way more fun than apples.

We took a tour of the ship Hubs was deployed on and no picture can do this it justice.  It took my breath away how big it was.

We ended our "break" with the zoo and watched the monkeys for a long time.  We also say this new animal that is a bear/cat.  I can't even remember the name of it, but it was the strangest thing I've ever seen.

Crazy long post and I can't believe we did all of these activities.  So much for resting.  I believe though, that this is what our family needed.  We learned, we laughed, we didn't worry about schedules or what time the kids went to bed and even if it was too much, we did it all together.

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